Otavalo is just a few hours drive north of the country's capital, Quito and is famous for its traditional and colourful market which is at its busiest on the weekends. Ecuador has many local markets throughout the country but Otavalo is one the best places in the country to buy traditional textiles and the world-famous Panama hats. Otavalo town is the epicentre for the artisans and weavers to come to sell their wares from small communities dotted around this pretty region close to San Pablo Lake and in the shadow of the Imbabura Volcano.
We recommend including a visit to Otavalo region if you have time where you can explore the local communities and see the artisans at work in towns such as Cotacachi and Ibarra, Agato and Peguche. On an Otavalo holiday or visit we thoroughly recommend a relaxing stay at one of Ecuador's historic country haciendas close to the town, some dating back hundreds of years to the days of the Spanish conquistadors. Here you can enjoy a taste of Ecuadorian rural life in comfortable surroundings with local cuisine and warm hospitality.