Handcrafting adventures in Ecuador and Peru since 1979
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Otavalo and other indigenous markets

A cultural rendezvous

These markets date back as early as 700 A.D. as traditional gathering places for produce coming into the central Andean highlands from both sides of the Cordillera, that is, the Amazon and the Pacific. Not only is it business that is conducted here, but also an amazing social fiesta. In addition to the great variety of fruits and vegetables that are traded amongst the local people, you can also find crafts worth taking back as testimonies of the incredible creativity of our artisans. Overnight stays at haciendas and lodges in combination with treks in the highland country can add even more dimensions to your market visits, where spectacular Andean mountain landscapes bordered by snowcapped volcanoes lead to these markets just a couple of hours from Quito.

Remote markets, 2 or more days

In combination with an overnight at a hacienda or lodge, their names and locations are kept confidential (until you come) to protect the fragility of the cultural ecosystems where they take place. So, if you want to buy, you might have to settle for a llama, a set of horsehair sieves, a sack of protein-rich quinoa, baskets, wooden spoons, brightly dyed sisal rope, pottery or someone’s necklace or string bag that caught your eye. These are the indigenous societies so dazzling and hospitable as to make us wonder if they’re real.

Note: Only for those with a deep interest in cultural conservation.
Market gossip<br />
Market gossip
Spices<br />
Market sounds<br />
Market sounds
Market buddies<br />
Market buddies

Otavalo backcountry, 1 or more days

The land of the Otavalo people is perhaps the most important mainland attraction after the Amazon rainforest. A great deal of pride is displayed not only in the native handcrafts of this unique indigenous culture, but also in their dress, music and beliefs that have defied the passing of time. In the most breathtaking of Andean scenery, their market is just one of the countless surprises that the “awakening valley” has to offer its visitors.

General highlights

- Pre-Incan sites.
- Back-strap weavers.
- Wood-carvers & leather-crafters.
- Forgotten cobble-stone pathways.
- Crater lakes & volcanoes.
- Historical haciendas & spas.
- Andean musicians & indigenous healers.

Note: The longer you stay, the more you can experience! So, inquire with us where to stay during your Otavalo visit.
Colonial hacienda<br />
Colonial hacienda
Indigenous parade<br />
Indigenous parade
Cultural interaction<br />
Cultural interaction
Happy shoppers<br />
Happy shoppers
Backstrap weaver<br />
Backstrap weaver
Wash day<br />
Wash day