"PLAZA DE PONCHOS" Otavalo Things to Do Tip by swesn
Otavalo Things to Do: 63 reviews and 139 photos
Plaza de Ponchos is the huge famous square in Otavalo. Famous for being a gigantic artesania market.
The Saturday Market is renowned here in Otavalo. Besides artesanias, there is a livestock market somewhere around town, thereby making the atmosphere very busy with locals streaming in from nearby towns.
However, the artesania market is there on the square everyday to cater to the tourists. Every morning, these Otavalenos will carry HUGE sacks of woollies on their backs and start laying them out patiently. By about 6pm, they again make the tedious task of folding everything back into the sacks and plodding home.
There is indeed a huge variety, from woollie bags, to sweaters, to scarves, to carpets, to hats, to gloves, etc... I guarantee that you will definitely walk away with a handful of plastic bags of shopping, even if you had psyched yourself beforehand 'Thou shall not purchase anything'.
I understand that they not only sell their own Otavaleno's weavings and sewings, they also bring in goods from Peru and Bolivia. Very resourceful. In fact, the Otavalenos must be the most business-savvy of all indigenous tribes around.
If you arrive on other days besides Saturday, unless you have really good reason to, I do not think it is necessary to stay til then. The artesania market on all the other days are sufficient to assuage your woollies needs. The quality and variety are indeed mind-boggling. In fact, on other days, with things being a little slow, you just might get better bargains.
Besides the square, you will find many shops all over the town centre selling similar woollies stacked from floor to ceiling. Gosh, a humongous number of Otavalenos (or those from other tribes) sure was working very hard to churn these quantities out.
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