31 Aug 2019 - 1 Sep 2019
2 guests - 1 room
Nice for a little stop for hiking on your way across the Colombian/Ecuadorian border.
It's a growing town and in a couple of years there will definitely be great restaurants here. Unfortunately right now (especially for Vegetarians) the options are limited and not great. But don't let that worry you as the activities are wonderful and worth your time. A trip to Ecuador without going to the Otavalo market will be like having missed out on the most Ecuadorian experience possible, while the Cuicocha lake comes close to the most beautiful lakes in the world...
In spite of it's overwhelming tourist draw, there's something about Otavalo that just captures my heart. It's the combination of locally unique, intriguing and dramatic elements that draw me in. The fine tradition of Otavaleño dress - the men, with their long braids and ponchos, the women with their distinctive blouses and necklaces. The emerald slopes of the monolithic Imbabura volcano dominating the horizon. The hustle and bustle of market-based tourist town, set to charming colonial-style homes and haciendas. And the agrarian yet somehow untamed environs - deep lakes, high Andean slopes, and rolling verdant hills that stretch as far as the eye can see. Yeah, I hate to admit loving something so "touristy", but I do. Otavalo is awesome.
Otavalo has one of the best-known and yes the best local crafts market in Equador. The town itself is full of artists and artisans. I remember a little shop full of amazing little creations of villages and people all made of colored dough. I bought a wonderful small oil painting of a mysterious night mountain scene in the local style. We met and thanked the artist, who sold it to use himself for a very very reasonable price. I still love looking at it, and it was easy to pack in my suitcase.