Updated November 24th, 2019.
Grab some beautiful handicrafts at the Otavalo Market!
Ecuador’s most famous artisanal market is a must-see for travellers heading to Ecuador. A trip to the market is an unforgettable experience for backpackers, allowing you to learn about the traditional methods used to make handicrafts and also to meet the talented craftspeople responsible for the goods you see on the stalls. The market is one of the continent’s largest and a full day trip from Quito takes all the hassle out of planning your visit. Don’t miss this tour!
Otavalo Market Itinerary:
Tour runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Your tour will commence at around 7 am from the New Town of Quito or 7.15 am in the Old Town. Once you have boarded the transport, there will be a short visit to Calderon, a small town renown for its Mazapan handicrafts.
You will head towards Cayambe town to taste Bizcochos, a type of cookie which originates in Ecuador. See how these biscuits are made in a wood-fired oven and of course, don’t forget to pair them with dulce de leche when you try them!
There will also be a stop at a viewpoint en route where you can take in the sights of the San Pablo Lake and the Imbabura volcano which clocks in at a whopping 4610 metres!
Once you arrive at the Otavalo market, there will be time for shopping and taking photos. Here you can meet the craftspeople and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the famous market. There are hundreds of stalls in the market and it is split into sections which include an animal area, craft area and grocery area. This is a great place for backpackers to visit if they are planning on cooking in their hostel!
Otavalo is a great place to buy a whole manner of souvenirs from Ecuador. At the market, you will find ponchos, tapestries, scarves and sweaters to name a few!
After your visit to the market, there will be a stop for lunch (included in the price of the trip) before you head to Cotacachi town for a visit. After this stop, you will depart for the Cuicocha Lagoon. Here there is the opportunity to take part in an optional boat ride. Guests wanting to take in the sights from dry ground can use the allotted time to explore and enjoy the vibrant landscape.
You will arrive back in Quito at around 6.30 pm.