Tips for Visiting the Otavalo Market on a Trip to Ecuador

Tips for Visiting the Otavalo Market on a Trip to Ecuador

Ecuador has a lot of highlights but a few sites and activities stand out as global bucket list destinations. One of those is the market at Otavalo. This famed indigenous market is probably one of the oldest markets in the Americas because Otavalo was known as a market town long before the Spanish arrived. In fact, local Otavalans were selling their wares for centuries even before the Incans showed up.

The Otavalo market.

The people of Otavalo continue to bargain with customers to this day and it’s an easy, fantastic place to visit. Here are a few tips to help enhance your time in Otavalo:

  • Take your time: There’s a lot to see in Otavalo so don’t be afraid to take your time. The Otavalo market is not a place for shoppers in a hurry!
  • Bring small bills: Although many of the vendors probably have change, it will be easier on them and your wallet if you have small bills.
  • Don’t be afraid to bargain!: People have been bargaining in Otavalo for centuries. The vendors are used to it and may be open to a discount if you buy several items. They will also happily sell that hat or woven Alpaca shawl for the asking price without a second word but it doesn’t hurt to ask for a lower price.
  • Ask before taking pictures: Another thing to always ask for is permission to take photos. Just ask before you bring out the camera.

We hope these tips help when visiting Otavalo, Ecuador!

Recent Posts

Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

  The wooden barrel at Post Office Bay is very likely the Galapagos Islands’ most famous man-made site. It has been in use since the

Otavalo Cultural Trails

The lakes district in the Northern Andes is a beautiful area to explore, not only for its scenery and interconnected valleys, but also for the

Mystic Weaver: Weaving Inca Links

“Four generations or perhaps even more” says Miguel Andrango, master weaver, when I ask him how long his family has been in the trade. He

Floreana Island – Galapagos

The Galapagos’ Floreana Island has a history cloaked in mystery. There are unsolved murders, love triangles and old pirate caves to explore, as well as