100 km north of Quito. Dominated by the "Taita Imbabura" (Father Imbabura), a volcano that is now extinct, this town of 90,188 inhabitants, whose high altitude (2,530 m) is a symbol of tranquility, has made a name for itself throughout the country and even far beyond Ecuador's borders, thanks to its colourful handicraft market. Surrounded by mountains, lakes and fields of crops, Otavalo lives to the rhythm of music, dance and traditions. Welcome to the heart of a thousand-year-old culture that grows like an ancient and sturdy tree whose roots are nourished by the Pasha Mama, the nourishing earth. It is on these principles that the Inti Raymi is carried out every year, with the aim of celebrating the elements that allowed the good harvests of the year.

Its market is one of the largest in South America in terms of artisanal production and is the busiest in the country. This market - the two most important days of which are Wednesday and Saturday - attracts all tourists passing through the country, as well as all souvenir dealers who come to stock up. With its mix of tradition and commercial requirements, the market atmosphere is unique... and very touristic! Here everyone is a trader, and only in the handicrafts that are declined in all its forms: woollen goods (sweaters, hats, carpets, plaids in the colors of the rainbow), clothes in Ecuadorian cotton, felt or straw hats toquillas (Panama), costume jewelry (often imported from Peru), musical instruments, paintings... The choice is vast, even if among the hundreds of stands, it's hard to find a little originality as the merchandise is so similar! You should know that Otavaleños merchants travel the world to sell their products.

The must-see places in Otavalo

Prepare for your trip Otavalo

Transportation
  • Airport/Station car parks
Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Airbnb rental
  • Holiday rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

Pictures Otavalo

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