Things to see in Otavalo

Otavalo is one of the most colourful and mercantile towns in Ecuador.


Then I tell you all the things to see in Otavalo and its surroundings.


A must if you are in the country of the four regions, Ecuador is life and nature where you look.

Things to see in Otavalo, how to get there?


Also known as the Dawn Valley for its landscapes.


From Quito, take a bus to the north terminal of the city "Carcelen". The bus schedule I can not tell you, but it usually comes out with a regularity of every hour or so.


The buses do not leave you in the square of the ponchos since they are not authorised to enter but they will leave you as close as they can. Ask the driver where you have to get off so you can walk as little as possible.


Things to see in Otavalo. Curiosities of this indigenous ethnic group.


One of their traditions is that men wear their hair very long almost to the waist. Normally the hair is wrapped in a blue ribbon typical of their textiles, or in a braid of three loops.


One of the worst things that can be done to men to dishonour them is to cut their pigtails. If you see someone without a ponytail, it's because he just got out of jail. In Ecuadorian prisons, long hair is not allowed


They survived several Inca attacks led by Tupac Yupanqui eager to learn about their textile techniques, production methods and commercial arts.


Characteristic clothing for a man. A fine white linen trousers, white shirt, dark poncho, hat and blue sandals with white.


In the case of girls. Long white linen shirt, embellished with embroidery of multicoloured handmade floral motifs. Wide lace in the neckline and in the sleeves, two anacos of cloth, one white and another navy blue or black, rectangular fabric like skirt.


The female attire is complemented with a series of gold necklaces, coral bracelets, rings and earrings with coloured stones, ribbons. Men use espadrilles with navy blue or black capelladas and to wrap their hair ribbons as if it were braided.

One of the most famous characters worldwide


Leo Rojas proud Otavaleño who won the German television program, fame and talent in 2011.


One of its typical dishes are the guinea pigs, called Cuyes and certainly very tasty, which I will talk about later.


Its population also suffered the Spanish conquest and the contagion of measles and smallpox brought from the old continent.


They speak Kechwa or Quechua, an indigenous language used by 9 or 10 million people in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.


The Kichwa is one of the most spoken dialects in Ecuador, especially in this place where the average number of speakers of this dialect grows dramatically compared to other places.


A language so spoken in number of people as Catalan (10 Mill) at the moment. And very superior to Basque or Basque that does not reach a million speakers.

Things to see in Otavalo, Your market.


The Otavaleños are one of the most mercantile communities in Ecuador.


I would even say that in Latin America, since its handicraft market is the largest in South America.


They are easily recognised by their clothing, (As I described above)


The best known is its market, if you go to Otavalo and do not go through its market it is as if you had never been in this city.


I say this because it is not an activity designed or intended only for tourists.


The main protagonists are still the local inhabitants of the city and other surrounding towns.


Who come every Saturday to sell or buy animals, food, textiles, clothing, etc ...


Saturday as I said is the big day, if you want to experience a whole new feeling of how things are done in this place.

Traveler Tip.


Surely you will move a lot so do not carry all your luggage but if you have no choice remember how to travel light.


The importance of the market is so great that we could distinguish three categories.


The food market.


The craft market.


The cattle fair that takes place especially every Saturday.


If you want to enjoy these three different scenarios, I recommend you go early and start with the cattle market, which is close to the stadium.


You will see both farmers with large herds and also more modest farmers or ranchers. Everyone goes to sell or buy their cow, pigs or chickens.


When you get tired of seeing so much cattle, everyone has their own limit.


It is time to move to the food market in the centre of the city. Just ask where it is or better still follow the trace of the smells that you will get to perceive.


After recovering strength and try something typical like the ripe banana on the grill with cheese. Very cheap, delicious and a new flavour for you.


It's time to go to the craft market, with its central square called "Plaza de los Ponchos" or "Plaza Centenario"


In this place you will be struck by how colourful your textiles can be. Sure you dare to buy something so it is mandatory to always haggle.


I advise you to go around first, see what interests you and ask for prices.


When you have it all clear go to a single position and if you can buy everything there, for the amount of your purchase, you will get a better price.

Things to see in Otavalo, what do you have to try?


A typical dish that you have to try when you are Otavalo is its famous Cuy, better known in other places as "guinea pig"


There are two well-known recipes to cook it and be able to taste it:

Rosterized: It consists in giving him a bath of boiling oil to cook it well and in a few minutes, leaving his skin super crispy and very rich on the palate.

Roast: It is the way you most often find it, especially for its easy preparation anywhere. You only need a grill and a bit of achiote to colour it.

And to sell Cuys!


Traveler Tip


If you are reading this maybe your stomach has turned upside down, knowing that I have eaten a guinea pig, you can already see it as a pet.


But here is the most curious, in Ecuador this animal is not considered a pet but a typical dish as many of those that exist.


On the contrary, they do not eat rabbit, which they consider a pet.


And as for drink, recommend that you try the chicha. It is a biological process of fermentation (joint of seven varieties of corn) caused by microorganisms that process carbohydrates to obtain an alcoholic beverage as final product.

Things to see in Otavalo, Peguche.


Peguche is an indigenous town that is very close to Otavalo, for only 0.25 dollars you can go by bus.


Apart from discovering some craft workshops in the city, I also recommend you visit the Peguche Waterfall.


Go prepared with the swimsuit in case you want to take a dip or cool off in its waters.


Things to see in Otavalo, Laguna de San Pablo and El Lechero.


Also for 0.25 dollars you can visit this lagoon thanks to the frequent buses that you can find.


One of the activities after enjoying the lagoon is to climb a hill to make a magic photo with "El Lechero". A thousand-year-old tree sacred to the natives, with the image of the Imbabura volcano. It is a fantastic natural viewpoint.

Things to see in Otavalo, El Cóndor park.


Very close to the San Pablo Lagoon dedicated to the rescue and care of birds of prey.


In your visit you can see: Condors, Eagles, Owls and Owls.


Due to lack of time, you can not visit this place, I will also have another opportunity to observe these birds in Peru. Above all I would very much like to see a Condor up close.


Things to see in Otavalo, Cotacachi and Laguna de Cuicocha.


Less than 20 minutes by bus you can visit this town. Especially if you are interested in leather crafts. Garments and ornaments of quality and authentic leather at a great price.


The most interesting part of this route is to reach the Cotacachi National Park to see the Cuicocha Lagoon. The curious thing about this lagoon is that you have two islets, emerged by the eruption of an ancient volcano.


If you have already been in these places and want to contribute something else, please leave your contribution in comments so that we can all take them into account.


On the other hand to finish, if you like what I do and want to create your own blog do not miss this article.

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