The Otavalo town square is home to the city’s famous market, which attracts many visitors to this city two hours north of Quito, in the Andes Mountains. You might be surprised to learn this fact if you set foot in the town square on any day other than a Saturday, as during the rest of the week, with the exception of market day, the center of Otavalo is a quiet place where locals gather to chat and visitors stare in awe at the charming buildings.
However, the square is transformed on Saturdays, when the Otavalo Market in Ecuador comes to town. International travelers arrive from Quito on the Friday and spend the night in one of the local haciendas eagerly awaiting the market. This market is the most famous in all of South America, and every week displays a stunning variety of textiles, produce, jewelry, pottery, and more. The market begins in the town square but sprawls outside of the square as well.
If you are going to visit the Otavalo Market Ecuador, you had better get ready to haggle. This is a tradition at the market, and no one accepts the first price offered. Watch how local people bargain before you go in for it yourself to see how it is done. Foodies will love the produce market, where you will see everything from exotic fruits and vegetables to a wide range of potatoes. For many travelers, the highlight is definitely the textile market where rugs, hand-woven sweaters, and ponchos in every color of the rainbow are on display.
If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home to friends and family, you will have a wide range of choices at this market. When Saturday comes to a close and the market finishes, the Otavalo town square once again returns to normal. It is worth sticking around for a few days to enjoy horseback riding tours, water sports in the nearby lake, and to see what normal life in this town square looks like.