If traveling through Quito, stopping at Ecuador’s Otavalo market—only 2 hours from Quito—is a must. This 3-day Otavalo Escape, designed to complement your Galapagos cruise, is a perfect in-depth and relaxing experience that highlights Ecuador’s highland region, including an Andean music house, traditional weaving workshop; Cuicocha Lake and Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to fine leather products; a rose plantation; and of course, the Otavalo market.
The Otavalo market, which makes the town of Otavalo world-famous, is one of the most fascinating and important markets in Latin America. Featuring a dazzling array of handicrafts including tapestries, hammocks, jewelry, paintings and colorful native clothing, the Otavalo market is a major source of income for local artisans from over 75 nearby villages. The Otavaleños are a very prosperous community of skilled textile weavers, who gather to sell their products at the market in the city of Otavalo as they have done for centuries, as regional markets have played an important role in Andean life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing.
Today, increasing numbers of Otavaleños have also been traveling overseas to sell their handcrafts in Europe and North America. The Otavaleños are proud of their cultural heritage. They are hardworking people who have managed to overcome poverty without changing their way of life, traditions or clothing style, while at the same time taking advantage of technological advances.
The Otavalo Escape includes a 2-night stay in a centuries-old colonial hacienda, Hacienda Pinsaqui, whose winding cobblestone pathways, fountain courtyards and bright gardens are historical and comforting with modern amenities. Enjoy delicious cuisine in traditional style surrounded by antique furnishings, Andean crafts and local people who want to share their culture with you.