About Otavalo Ecuador
No visit to Ecuador is complete without at least a few days spent in the Otavalo area. Otavalo is a small city of about 50,000 inhabitants and home to the Otavalo (Kichwa) indigenous people. It is located less than two hours north of Quito on the Panamerican Highway at 2,530 meters in altitude between the Imbabura and Cotacachi volcanoes.
Some of the highlights for visitors of La Posada del Quinde include tours of the lakes in the province, shopping for leather or wood goods in the villages, and visits to Parque Condor, a local raptor rehabilitation center. However, despite its stunning natural and cultural beauty and all that it offers apart from the market, Otavalo is best known for the Plaza de Ponchos.
The Otavalo people have established one of the largest handicrafts markets in South America, which operates daily, though Saturday markets are a sight to be seen, boasting practically every handicraft produced in Ecuador! The surrounding indigenous villages, including Peguche, Ilumán Agato, San Roque and Carabuela provide ample opportunities to see the local handicrafts as they are being created, in workshops and demonstrations. Many guests remark that their most valuable experience is that of visiting a local master weaver who still uses weaving techniques that predate the Spanish.
For more active travelers, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area on foot, bicycle, horseback, or even climbing! It is also very affordable to rent transportation (van or taxi) by the hour to explore the Andean mountain roads and stumble upon unexpected adventures along the way.