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-colored 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 colors 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.

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