Colourful textiles on sale at Otovalo Market, Ecuador
Woven jackets and bags, popular tourist souvenirs in Otovalo Market
Woman in Otovalo traditional costume
Otovalo-style embroidery in progress
Traditional woven designs at Otovalo market
Traditional woven belts in Otovalo

Otovalo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ecuador due to its traditional costumes and textile market.

Otovalo  -  Ecuador Destinations

Otovalo is perhaps the most popular town for tourists to visit in Ecuador.  The native people of Otovalo wear their attractive traditional dress on a daily basis and the textile market is full of brightly-coloured, woven craftwork.  The mountain scenery adds a beautiful background to this typical highland market town.
Traditional weavings and textiles are sold in the busy tourist market at the Plaza de los Ponchos.  Other crafts such as jewellry, musical instruments, paintings and woodcarvings are also on sale and are popular souvenirs.  Otovalo is a rich and successful town which exports textiles all over the world.
Otovalo's traditional dress is not some kind of show for the tourists, the costume is worn proudly by many members of the local community and surrounding highland villages.  
The people of Otovalo are known as Otovaleños, and have maintained more of their cultural identity and traditional dress than most of the native ethnic groups in Ecuador. 
Otovalo's market day is Saturday, and the town is busy with tourists, locals and villagers from many local highland communities.  It is quieter during the rest of the week.
Otovalo market is easily done as a daytrip from Quito.  It's about a 2 hour bus journey by public bus.  You can organise an Otovalo tour with any Quito travel agent.  Tours often include trips to nearby craft workshops, or natural highlights such as lakes or waterfalls, as well as the indian market in the town itself.  
Alternatively, Otovalo is a good base for tours and treks to waterfalls, lakes and indian craft villages.  Accommodation in Otovalo is usually fully booked on Friday and Saturday nights, so book your hostal or hotel in plenty of time if you want to stay around market day.
Useful Spanish Vocabulary for an excursion to Otovalo, Ecuador:
feria: market
tur: tour
artesanías: handicrafts, craft products
Ecuador Destinations: Otovalo, a daytrip from Quito
Excursion to Otovalo for the textile market - traditional handicrafts, indian weavings and toursist souvenirs.
Costumes of Ecuador: traditional dress is regularly worn in Otovalo
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
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