Shopping in Ecuador is an essential way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Traditional markets, such as the Otavalo Ecuador Market, represent local customs that have survived over hundreds of years. To many travelers, the best market in Ecuador is the one where you will see more local people than tourists, and where you can buy local items at a fair price. If you’re wondering what to shop for, keep your eye out for tapestries, musical instruments, hats, clothing, crafts, and more. Don’t forget to barter—this has been part of the tradition while shopping in Ecuador for generations.
In addition, be sure to bring along that Spanish phrasebook or dust off your Spanish skills to try and negotiate a fair price. If you love to cook, you are sure to be drawn to the exotic produce that will be piled up throughout the market. Take the time to talk to the locals about the produce and what they use it for, and you might return home with some new cooking ideas!
The Otavalo Ecuador Market makes a great day trip from Quito. You can reach this market by a two-hour bus ride from Quito. Travelers make this journey to experience the traditional market environment. Known for being the most indigenous market in the country, the market in Otavalo is the place where people from the surrounding hills have brought their goods to be sold for centuries. While you explore the best market in Ecuador, you will certainly discover that a day at the market is about more than just shopping. You will see socializing, laughing, bartering, and catching up with old friends. Local people who live a distance away from each other revel in this scheduled meet-up every Saturday.
From embroideries to ceramics to dolls, you will find incredible craftsmanship at these markets. Keep your ears open for fair prices and try to overhear the price being offered to local people and make your offer close to that amount. To experience authentic Ecuador, don’t miss the opportunity to explore one of the local markets.