Otavalo is about a two hour bus ride from Quito, a perfect one night stay, or in our case due to some excellent planning by a coworker, a great day trip!
We set off at 8am on Saturday with a bus full of fellow teachers. Our first stop was a town called Cayambe that is famous for its Biscochos, a cracker/cookie that is salty and breadstick like. They are also famous for homemade cheese here. We had a snack, used the bathroom, and hopped back in the bus toward Otavalo.
Otavalo was stop #2 with its incredible mercado artesenal. The square is filled with so many stalls that you could get lost for hours and then each side street is lined with stalls too and even some of the side streets off of those! We bargained as best we could and got ideas for what to buy when we come back to do our Christmas shopping in November.
After Otavalo we hit two more towns….the first being Cotocachi which is famous for its leatherwork and has about a million shoe stores. Honestly at that point I was a bit overwhelmed and although I tried on many a pair of cute boots I couldn’t come to any kind of conclusive decision. Shoes will have to be on another trip. After Cotocachi we headed a little further down the road to San Antonio de Ibarra which is famous for its woodwork. Here we managed to pick up our wooden carved Inca, our coat rack, and a small table to put our phone and modem on.
All in all it was a very successful shopping trip, an excellent day out of the city and a chance to avoid giving medicine to the cats for a bit! We look forward to heading back as the holidays approach.


Making bizcochos
No wonder I bought so many scarves!
Look Kathy!
An Ecuadorian Lucha Libre Mask?!

It took us awhile to pick just one rug!

Alpaca rugs. We’re considering one of these for under the hammock area, but that will have to be for another time….

A guitar made out of an armadillo?

And in case you’re tired of shopping for arts and crafts, why not buy a chicken?

Loaded on to the bus with all our stuff for the trip home. We filled the area around our seats, the “trunk” of the bus and then had to carry the table on our laps.

Some mountains on the way home…


2 thoughts on “Otavalo

  1. Caitlin- I also have joined the scarf craze. It was so cold in BA that I had to buy a scarf for warmth! They are quite fun and a new way to accessorize. Maybe when I'm visiting you, we can go pick out a few more for my collection.


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