Otavalo is located approximately two hours north of downtown Quito. Surrounded by beautiful mountains like the Imbabura and the Cotacachi, the small city of Otavalo is the gathering place for hundreds of merchants where they come together to sell handicrafts, woven clothes, and musical instruments.
As one of the largest indigenous markets in South America, Otavalo brings together more than 500 different artisans and merchants that sell diverse products, ranging from alpaca sweaters to charangos (miniature guitar-like instruments native to Latin America), and other interesting artifacts.
On your visit you will not only be able to learn about the rich Ecuadorian indigenous culture but you can also practice your bartering skills with the locals, who will be glad to negotiate with you so you can take a little piece of Ecuador back home.
After visiting the market, you will have lunch at one of the nearby haciendas. The haciendas of Otavalo were important economic centers during the 16th century. Here, the textile industry was especially important, namely for wool and other important products, like sugar cane, potatoes, corn, and other grains. Nowadays, these haciendas welcome tourists from all over the world. Here, they can try the rich Ecuadorian cuisine and learn more about how these farms operate and about the families that own them.
After lunch you will return to the city of Quito.