Celebrate the Holidays in The Galapagos Islands

AUTHOR Daniel Andino

It’s the holiday season and our team at Ecoventura is celebrating in Galapagos style! Each year, we celebrate with two holiday cruises, one for Christmas and the other for New Year. Consider making this magical time a plan in your future!

Celebrating Christmas in the Galapagos Islands

Christmas is full of festivity and family time in the Galapagos, and a lot of food preparation! Ecuador is a predominantly Catholic country and Christmas traditions bring families together for celebration of “Noche Buena” (Christmas Eve) and Christmas Day recovery from large dinners and good times! Traditional meals include:

Pavo horneado: Roasted turkey is a must have for Christmas dinner in Ecuador

Hornado de chancho: Ecuadorian specialty for roasted pork leg marinated with garlic and beer

Pernil lojano: Pernil is a roasted pork loin dish where the pork is marinated in a sauce of bitter orange juice, onion, garlic, achiote, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and panela and slow roasted in the oven for several hours.

Canelazo and Naranjillazo: Canelazo is warm spiced cinnamon cocktail made with cinnamon, water, sugar and aguardiente.

Although gifts are exchanged on Christmas, they are traditionally smaller token gifts instead of overly extravagant gifts.

Are you joining us on a Christmas Cruise this year?

Our festive departures are December 18-25 and December 25-01 January – will be fully decorated with a tree and sparkling lights for a magical feel wherever you look. Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine is served with turkey, pork and all the trimmings. For any children aboard, Santa will still find you here on board in the Galapagos! Sometimes the captain will even dress up as Santa and share small gifts for all.

This will be a Christmas you’ll never forget!

After Christmas, it’s time to celebrate the New Year!

As we ring in the new year, Ecuadorians like to celebrate the past year as well. Any negativity, failure or problem of the last year is officially left behind, looking forward to good times ahead!

On December 31st, “anos vinejos”, or “old years” – represented by scarecrow like dummies built to represent bad things or people from the previous year – are burned. They are constructed with paper, sawdust, wood and firecrackers, and sometimes stuffed with a list of past worries and problems which are burned along with the old year.

Photo credit via El Tiempo

Even if you can’t find a New Year’s eve party to attend, this tradition makes for quite a sight to watch between 11:30 and midnight. These dummies are lit on fire at midnight!

Another tradition you will come across on New Year’s is children and women (or men dressed as women) dress in black and play the old year’s “widow” role, crying and asking for some money or candies in the streets.

And finally, a very popular tradition in Ecuador is the eating of 12 grapes at midnight which is said to bring good luck in the coming year.

These traditions take place everywhere in Ecuador, but the most exciting place to see New Year’s Eve traditions come alive in Ecuador is Salinas, a beach town resort area close to Guayaquil.

Are you celebrating New Year’s onboard with us?

If you are adventuring on an Ecoventura yacht over New Year’s be ready to celebrate! When boarding you will be greeted with party hats, noise-makers, and a champagne toast to set the mood for the week. This year’s New Year’s cruise, we hope to celebrate with you on future New Year’s cruises!

From our family to yours: We wish you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year — and we hope to see you onboard over the holidays… or in the new year!