Although Spanish is Ecuador’s official language, Quechua is widely spoken by the indigenous population. Ten other native languages are also spoken throughout the country. This is just one indication of the rich mestizo influence that characterizes Ecuadorian culture.
A traveler to Ecuador may hear beautiful Andean music typical to the region floating through restaurants, on buses, and live, if one is lucky. It involves, drums, flutes, and guitars and has an airy, ethereal quality. The marimba is also prominent in Ecuador; it originates with Afro-Ecuadorians.
Ecuador’s prominent indigenous population has beautiful traditional dress. Specific dress varies from region to region, although there are similarities across the country. Women’s dress typically involves a white shirt and a shawl with a long skirt. Their gorgeous long hair may be adorned with a scarf. Men do not use the traditional dress as often, although they might wear a fedora or poncho. However, dress in the Amazon is much more minimal than that of the colder highlands.
A trip to Ecuador should plan to include one of the incredible markets that take place across the country. The largest is the Otavalo market, although Quito and Guayaqil also have their own impressive offerings. Travelers can find indigenous crafts, artifacts, food, textiles; these markets are famous for their diversity.