Journals from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
Carnival is celebrated the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in Ecuador and I think pretty much every country in Latin America. Since we had no school those days, a group of us took advantage of the long weekend to go to the beach. We decided to go too late to make a reservation at a hotel, so we decided to travel Ecua style. We showed up in Montanita Friday morning after 15 hours of traveling and luckily found a hotel right on the beach that didnt accept reservations. One of the nice things about Ecuador is that reservations arent a big part of the culture. So although lots of the places in guide books do accept reservations, there still are tons of other equally nice of places that do accept reservations.
The biggest way that carnival was celebrated at the beach was that it was perfectly acceptable to run around foaming random strangers or spraying them with water, especially the gringos. It was especially a popular thing for the little kids to do. In other places it is a lot more intense. One of my friends who went to the jungle said that someone threw a water balloon filled with fish guts at her and my host mom told me that in Ambato they will spray you with water and then dump flour on you.
So we spent the long weekend playing in the water, working on our tans, meeting some Chileans that were staying in our hotel, and trying to avoid getting foamed or sprayed with water.
P.S. Montanita was gorgeous; if you come to Ecuador it is one of the beaches you must go to.