Close Search in Top Menu

View all tours

Otavalo: The most important indigenous market in South America

Posted by admin on July 31, 2014


Otavalo is THE place to be to make your last shopping before coming back to your home town. I won’t lie to you; I assure you will find there items to make your luggage heavier…

Obviously, I wasn’t the exception which confirms the rule. For you to have a brief idea, I came back home with 2 bright colored ponchos, an embroidered scarf and a hand bag according to the latest local fashion.

This lively market is vibrant and exciting. It offers you a variety of possibilities such as indulging yourself in local food, admiring paintings with bright palletes, or listening music while buying clothing.

It’s such a treat to find out what is hidden behind this agitation and emulation.

Otavalo Market


Later, you will have choice between staying in Otavalo, or going to Cotacachi for the lunch. There, you could enjoy the famous and typical “Locro de papa”, Ecuadorian soup made with potatoes, avocado and cheese. This excellent dish might delight your taste buds!

This enchanting city is also well known nationwide thanks to its artisanal leather. Consumers of these products could find a thoughtful gift, one which might be considered as a treasure once back home.

Leather products in Cotacachi are not only inexpensive, they are of the highest quality! The economy of the town is all related to the production, design and commerce of this goods. Still, it is a vibrant little city with music and colorful streets that has seen a major improvement in the last decade regarding infrastructure and translating it into progress.


Street Musicians in Cotacachi


My advice:

Do not hesitate bargaining prices but be reasonable, each work deserves an honest reward.

My favorite time in this tour:

I especially keep in my mind the 10 minutes stop I had in Puerto Lago. At this place it was possible to consider this beautiful lake in the skirt of the Imbabura Volcano, overhung by a magnificent blue sky.

Moreover, if you are lucky you might meet these 2 young boys with their lama. I swear, better than seeing them on a post card!


Otavalo Kid


Personally, the best moment that I had in this tour fitted with the arrival of 3 little indigenous girls. They came with us in the bus for the last 15 driving minutes, to reach Otavalo. Some traditional songs (one with a young man convincing a young woman to marry him as he will take good care of her) and explanations about their local clothing made this moment unique.


Now, it’s your turn … Find your own favorite moment and tell us! 

Have your say - Leave a comment below:

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Marketing & analytic cookies

Gray Line Ecuador uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more.