The heart of Ecuadorian craftsmanship and folk traditions, Otavalo is the place to experience authentic Ecuadorian culture. The handicraft market here is world renowned and a good place to pick up some excellent souvenirs, as well as learn more about the indigenous identity of Ecuador.

Throughout the town there are countless features that reflect these fascinating traditions, with the proud Otavalo population eager to showcase their culture, with many dressing in traditional attire.

Beyond the famed market and colourful dress of the locals, there are numerous ways to learn more about and engage with the area’s indigenous identity. From intriguing museums to vibrant festivities, immersing oneself in the arts and character of Otavalo is effortless, whether it’s witnessing a traditional dance performance, listening to renditions of cultural songs or taking a guided tour with a passionate Otavalo local.

Beyond the colour and charisma of the town, the surrounding area is rich in blissful nature, boasting everything from glistening lakes to dramatic volcanic peaks. Choose to discover the sacred waters of Peguche Waterfall, marvel at the startling blue waters of Cuicocha crater lake or simply relax and breathe in the fresh air of the verdant surroundings.

When to go

Otavalo can be visited all year round, though the altitude means that it can be cool at any time of year.


What to do

  • Explore the famous handicraft market
  • Visit the workshops in the nearby towns where the goods are made
  • Hiking the mountainous surroundings
  • Discover the Peguche Waterfall
  • Visit Cuicocha crater lake
  • Horse riding