Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Otavalo Marketplace with Optional Lunch. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
I was very happy with the staff; the tour leader was great and spoke fluent English and Spanish, and he was very informative. The driver was very careful and considerate on the roads, and the vehicle was quite modern and comfortable. The market and other places we went to were great, and lunch was fine, too. However, the tour could have been slightly more "eco friendly". The tour leader showed us how a certain species of plant can be used as a needle and thread by pulling off the "needle" from the plant and later disposing of it. If this is repeated every week, that's a lot of plants being damaged needlessly. Also he showed us an insect that the Ecuadorians use for dye. He squashed an insect in front of us as an example. I for one feel these examples could have been explained verbally.
Disappointed we were only allowed to spend an hour at the market and far too much time at other places, the tour says Otavalo market so should have spent more time there! The lunch option was good, restaurant choice and menu offered something for all tastes.
The tour guide was very conscientious but as with so many of these guides never seem to know just when
to stop talking. Otavalo Market itself is fascinating and the Andean mountain scenery en route is just mind
blowing. However, as with so many of these organized tours there are the inevitable 45 min stops at craft
stores, leather shops and pre-selected restraint the guide selects. Without these distractions, this 10 hour
tour cut have been cut down to 6 hours.
Its worth doing if you want totally taken care of all the way.
Was good except for the fact the driver didn't know where the bus registration was and we were delayed at a checkpoint for quite some time.
This trip was good except that it would have been better with more time at the market . An all day tour with only 1 1/2 hours at the market indicates too much time spent at other sites .
The guide was very knowledgable and helpful. Also, the bus was air conditioned and comfortable. The trip was on a day with heavy traffic and we spent over 4 hours getting back. We spent more time on the bus than at the actual markets. I felt rushed at the markets, which was the whole point of the trip. If I were to go on a normal day, without so much traffic, I think I would have enjoyed the tour more. One more thing...buying the package with the lunch is more expensive than just buying it once you get to the resturant.
It felt like a lot of driving to see a small market for tourists only... Our guide was great but the day itself was not really worth it.
This tour was quite disappointing compared to our other Viator experiences.
Firstly, our scheduled 8 hour tour took over 10 hours and we almost missed an evening engagement with the rest of our travel group. Too much time allowed at shopping sites - the Otavalo Market (1.5 hours to visit too many similar stalls selling not so artisan goods and 1.75 hours checking out a street with leather stores as well as allowing time for lunch - which was quite good albeit in a tourist oriented restaurant). The food section of the market was very traditional, interesting and tasty!
Washroom breaks on the bus ride were well spaced and appreciated.
Our tour group consisted of 20 passengers and Roberto, our guide, had half English and half Spanish speaking clients. I do understand a bit of Spanish and understand enough that when there is a 3 minutes explanation about a site or bit of history in Spanish and the English version takes but 30 seconds - the Anglophone version was missing some interesting points. In some cases he would not offer an English version unless asked - a specific example being his explanation of typical foods of a region in Spanish and only when asked did the English version come forward.
As noted previously, my wife and I have enjoyed 2 previous Viator tours - I would not recommend this tour as a one day venture to 'experience' Equadorian culture outside of Quito.
The central market in Quito has all the same items and could be accessed more readily PLUS there were many stores that specialize had much higher quality and variety of clothing and handicraft goods including items from many South American countries.
While the drive was pleasant your photograph of the market was totally misleading. We expected to go to a fresh produce market and instead we were taken to a craft market for tourists. We didn't want lunch so we were left to look after ourselves for three hours in a town with very little to look at.
Our guide was poor and gave little information of value for the day and his time keeping was poor. In summary the day was a complete waste of time..leaving the hotel at 8.20am and not getting back until 7.10pm