"To market, to market ..." Top 5 Page for this destination Otavalo by toonsarah

Otavalo Travel Guide: 159 reviews and 491 photos


There is a market in Otavalo every day of the week, though Saturday, when we went, is one of the biggest and busiest days. Locals, mainly indigenous people, come from miles around to sell their various handicrafts ? woven goods, musical instruments, paintings and much more. And tourists come from even further afield to buy them!

The people of Otavalo and the surrounding area have been making textiles for centuries. As tourism to Ecuador has grown, their goods have become well-known and popular, and the market has grown because of this, and also because the local people have spotted a good opportunity and made the most of it!

A visit to Otavalo market must be one of the most popular of day trips from Quito. It can be done on local buses, through a tour booked in the city, or with a private guide as we did. To be honest, when planning our Ecuador trip, a visit here wasn?t one of my top priorities and with relatively little time in Quito I had considered giving it a miss as we?d seen many colourful markets elsewhere, for example in Guatemala two years ago. But then I had second thoughts and when our tour company proposed including it I went along with the suggestion. On balance I think it was good decision as we enjoyed our visit and it is one of the sights of northern Ecuador.

This is one of a number of small pages about a variety of places we visited on our holiday in Ecuador. There is more information about the country as a whole and our experiences there on my overview page, linked above.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Worth the journey even if you don't want to buy anything - but you quite likely will!
  • Last visit to Otavalo: Oct 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (5)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    I love all the bright colours. Visiting here is so interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    What a lovely town. I am hungry now, well, hungry for freshly squeezed juices :-)

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Feb 24, 2013 at 2:44 AM

      Thank you for visiting Otavalo with me :-) Yes, those juices - wonderful!!

  • Jan 24, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    it looks charming enough, but not a huge fan of markets and shopping really. might still do it as a day trip like you did!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I love the photos of the people!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Hi Sarah, I like your new page on his colorful market town.


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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