Nestled in a valley at the foot of a volcano, Otavalo is a highland community of indigenous locals famed for their weaving skills and colorful textiles. The local people (Otavaleños) who sell their wares at the daily market, wear traditional clothing and have maintained their culture, costume and identity.
Saturday is the main market day in Otavalo but a weekday visit will be less hectic and provide more opportunity for some serious browsing. Within the market you’ll find traditional crafts, brightly-colored textiles and traditional weaving designs plus some musical instruments and carvings.
Even if souvenir shopping isn't your thing, Otavalo market is a popular day trip from Quito, and a visit to Otavalo and the surrounding area is a window into the world of some of the more traditional indigenous peoples of Ecuador.
Some visitors opt for an overnight stay in Otavalo as there are plenty of natural attractions nearby and opportunities to visit traditional craft villages. If you are traveling independently and planning an overnight stay, you will need to book in advance on the weekend when the market is at its busiest.
Otavalo market is about 2 hours by bus from the Terminal Terrestre Carcelen in Quito’s north. Alternatively tours are easily arranged in Quito.
Tours & Tickets
Explore the indigenous craft markets and small towns of the Northern Andes, surrounded by forested hills and volcanoes, on this guided 2-day tour from Quito. ... Read more
Duration: 2 days (approx.)
Enjoy a 7-day private tour in which you will explore Quito and visit its surroundings including Otavalo, the Middle of the World Monument, Quilotoa Lagoon, ... Read more
Duration: 7 days (approx.)
Enjoy a private day trip to visit the Otavalo market and learn all about the culturally rich indigenous communities. Admire the Andes on your drive there and ... Read more
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)