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Guaranda is a city in central Ecuador. It is the capital of Bolívar, a province located in the Andes mountains. The city is connected by road with other hubs, including Riobamba, Babahoyo and Ambato.Guaranda is a market town located in a valle – a deep valley in the high Andes, serving a vast hinterland of agricultural settlements ("comunidades") peopled by Quechua Indians. Its climate is subtropical, with a long (May – October) dry season ("estio"). Its population is mainly mestizo, but includes many people of different ethnicities. Supposedly, the city was first colonized by Jewish Conversos fleeing from Lima's Inquisition. This nucleus has been intermarrying for almost five centuries, forming a compact population linked by family connections. Since the 1990s, the indigenous majority has seized political power and most of the local elected officers are of Quechua origin.The city has 55,374 inhabitants (2011 census) and is growing. It suffers severe problems of electricity and water supply. Water is drawn from high surface sources, mostly from the Chimborazo glacier, and is of good drinking quality. The city is known for its week-long Carnaval and for its "Pajaro Azul" alcoholic drink.HistoryThe city was founded by Spanish explorers in 1571, but wasn't officially recognized until November 11, 1811. The city celebrates its independence day on November 10, commemorating the day the city definitively declared its independence from the Spanish.Guaranda is in Bolivar Province. Make your own Guaranda vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our Ecuador road trip planning tool .
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