Otavalo is currently considered one of the most important tour destinations in Ecuador, due to its ancestral cultural heritage, enriched by millenary traditions, myths, legends and customs together with Andean landscapes of outstanding beauty: mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rivers, which as per the Otavalo Cosmovision, possess life and energy.
This overnighter is the most recommended trip to Otavalo, allowing guests to explore the fertile valley of Otavalo, enjoy its landscapes of mountains, lakes and corn fields, its craft centers, and wonderful people. Spend the night at an hacienda or country in the area and the next day, arrive early at the handcraft market. Guests will thoroughly enjoy this two-day excursion, with ample time to explore the fertile Valley of Otavalo, its landscapes of mountains, lakes and corn fields, see the artisans at work, visit Indian communities and its wonderful people.
Day one, first stop is Calderón, a small town where bread dough figurines are made in many shapes and sizes. Continue along the valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe, with their dairy farms and flower plantations. Arrive at one of the charming country inns or colonial haciendas where you will spend the night. Visit the town of San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for the woodcarvings, the town of Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to selling fine leather products, visit the town of Peguche where textiles are woven in old-fashioned shuttle looms. Accommodations and all meals are included.
The second day have an early start at the handicraft market of Otavalo, piled high with ponchos, woolen goods, tapestries, the original "Panama" hat, sweaters, Indian jewelry and many handicrafts. Lunch in the area is served, on the return trip, a stop is made for a coffee break at one of the haciendas of the Cayambe area. Return to Quito in the late afternoon.
- All meals
- Round trip ground transportation and guide
- The order of the visits may vary - depending on weather conditions and the day of the week.
About the Lodging
Overnight in Otavalo can be spent at any of the following:
(A) HOSTERIA PUERTO LAGO
Has an impressive waterfront setting, on the banks of Lake San Pablo, 5 minutes to the south of Otavalo. It has comfortable bungalows with fireplaces. The restaurant overlooks the lake.
(B) HACIENDA CUSIN
Is a fully renovated colonial hacienda 10 minutes to the south of Otavalo, at San Pablo del Lago. It has attractive rooms, most with fireplaces. It is furnished with colonial antiques. Dinners are served by candlelight.
(C) HACIENDA PINSAQUI
Dates back to the 1700's and has always been in the same family. It has 16 large comfortable rooms with heavy ornate beds and fireplaces and keeps its hacienda feel.
All Haciendas and Hosterías have private bathroom-shower facilities and hot water.
Our recommendations for the best possible experience
- Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, and coat).
- Take a warm coat for evenings
- Rain protection from January to May.
- This tour includes walking at an altitude of 2560 meters (8434 feet).
- Sun protection (SPF 40).
- Good walking shoes.
- Great photo ops, don´t forget your camera
- Average Temperature: Day 10° to 25° C / 50° to 77° F. / Night 6° to 10° C / 43° to 50° F.
- Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat)
- Take a warm coat for evening and rain protection from February to May
- This tour includes walking at an altitude of 2560 meters (8434 feet)
- Sun protection (SPF 40)
- Good walking shoes
- Great photo ops.
Otavalo Ecuador indigenous market tours
Handicrafts, the products of the land and rich ancestral cultures in a display of dazzling colors.
To the north of Quito, the province of Imbabura is one of the most popular destinations in Ecuador: a magical land of lakes, snow-covered mountains and terraced farmlands.
For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. The colorful local markets of the Andean Valleys are famous for their fine handycrafts.
The Otavalo Indian market dates back to pre-Inca times and is famous for its textiles woven on backstop and shuttle looms.