Celebrated just before Lent, Carnaval is the ultimate party in the Catholic nations of Latin American. While not as extravagant in Ecuador as in Brazil for example, celebrations here include water fights and lavish parades. Ambato is a good destination with its famous fruit and flower parade takes place. Guaranda is another hot spot. Although the dates change annually according to the religious calendar, Carnaval is always celebrated as an extended weekend prior to Ash Wednesday.