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Altitude: 2,530 meters (8,300 ft)

Population: 43,000

Phone Code: 06

Set in a valley a couple of hours north of Quito, Otavalo is at the top of any traveler's must-see list. It is famous for its weekly market, reportedly the largest of its kind in Latin America, where one can find an overwhelming variety of Andean crafts. Every Saturday from about 7 a.m., the local craftsmen pour into the town and unfold their wares along Plaza de Ponchos and in the surrounding streets. The whole area explodes into a hodgepodge of colorful rugs, clothes, paintings and other crafts. There is also a chaotic early Saturday morning animal market which is well worth a visit.

During the week Otavalo is a sleepy little town, which can be hard to believe if you've seen it during Saturday's mid-market frenzy. But rest assured you'll find something regardless, for there's always a number of market stalls in the Plaza de Ponchos.

Architecturally speaking, Otavalo is relatively modern (if you count 1960's and 70's vintage cinder block as modern), although there are a few colonial buildings left, mainly at the southern end of town around the Plaza Bol├şvar. There are also a couple of museums that are worth a peek. Nightlife is virtually nonexistent during the week, but come the weekend a healthy number of venues open up, particularly traditional Pe├▒as that play live Andean music.

Despite its quietness - or perhaps because of it - many travelers opt for an extended stay here, often to study spanish, volunteer for a few weeks, or explore the surrounding area with its lakes, waterfalls and ancient Inca trails that weave in and out of the mountains.

Neighborhoods in Otavalo: Cuicocha Lake, Iruguincho, Cultural Tours In Ecuador, Iluman, Around Otavalo, Around Otavalo,

Other places nearby Otavalo: Tumbabiro, La Esperanza , Agato, San Antonio De Ibarra, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Cayambe, El Ángel, Cahuasqui, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and Salinas Valley.

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Stay Warm: Top Hotels Around Otavalo

Runa Tupari

110464Runa Tupari is a community operation run by UNORCAC- an organization representing the rural indigenous people of Cotacachi. The establishment is located in the rural Cotacachi area near the ...

La Luna

Perched up in the quiet hills a few miles south of Otavalo, La Luna feels like a home away from home and is an excellent choice for backpackers who want to chill out for a few days. Depending on your ...
Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador

Ali Shungu

HIDDEN OCT 2012 NO LONGER IN BUSINESS (Is now La Posada del Quinde) Margaret and Frank, the American owners, have done a fabulous job in decorating the hotel with wonderful handicrafts from Ecuador, ...

Las Palmeras Inn

Las Palmeras is a 150-year old hacienda just a few minutes outside of Otavalo. The establishment, set in gorgeously landscaped gardens, has spectacular views of Imbabura and Cotocachi Volcanoes. Most ...
Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador

Hacienda Pinsaqui

Located between the market towns of Otavalo, Cotacachi and San Antonio de Ibarra, Pinsaqui is the perfect place to come to to visit the markets while enjoying the comfort of one of the most beautiful ...
Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador

Shopping in Otavalo

Otavalo's Markets

101624The Otavale├▒os have been long renowned for their weaving skills, and over the last few decades have become the most successful indigenous group on the continent, thanks to the popularity of their ...
Market, Info.
Otavalo, Ecuador

Otavalo Festivals

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