Otavalo Traditional Market & Handicraft Tour
Otavalo, Central Highlands, Ecuador
A tour around Otavalo market, famous for its handicrafts and for being one of the finest markets in Latin America. The region’s craft heritage is displayed in all it’s finery here, so expect woollen scarves, handbags and ponchos.
Otavalo is a small and vibrant Andean town in the northern Ecuadorian highlands, set within a lush valley encircled by imposing sacred mountains. Spend a day exploring its world-famous rainbow-coloured indigenous market, one of the very finest in Latin America. Shop for textiles, blankets, alpaca-wool sweaters and scarves, and see the crafts created by the indigenous Otavaleño people, who have worked as weavers since pre-Incan times. All the while, the backdrop to your adventure is the handsome Imbabura volcano. A visit to a family of weavers allows for demonstrations into the craft, showcasing how the workers weave on their traditional back-strap looms and how they make striking colours from local plants. Many other artisans live in this area, too and the tour will stop to visit a family of musicians where you can experience Andean music and watch how Andean flutes are crafted. There are hiking possibilities around the nearby Cuicocha Lake, too, a beautiful, and highly photogenic turquoise crater lake, that sits at the base of Cotocachi Volcano.