Otavalo, Ecuador

About this trip

To really understand the emblematic indigenous people of Otavalo, it is necessary to merge with their culture and environment. Let us walk with you!

Tour Description

Tour Description

One of the most popular visits to the northern highlands of Ecuador is the indigenous market in Otavalo, but to really understand this emblematic indigenous group, it is necessary to merge with their culture and environment. Let us walk with you!

Only two hours from Quito, Otavalo is one of the most successful indigenous towns, from a business perspective, in both Ecuador and South America in terms of economic development. This can be attributed to the Otavaleños’ admirable commerce skills, which have enabled their traditions and culture to be recognised not only in Ecuador but also in many other countries.

As our goal is to merge with the locals, firstly we have to know what to see, what to eat and what to listen to. The Otavalos’ skills are much more than the crafts and textiles that we see at the biggest indigenous market. Their lifestyle has a lot to do with their music, and their music is tied to the environment. The mountains and the wind are the perfect environment for the wind instruments that our people have used for centuries, creating beautiful, heartfelt melodies. We will visit a local family workshop of instruments and famous musicians.

The natural and biological richness of the city of Otavalo and its surroundings has made it possible for the establishment of one of the most important cultures of Ecuador and Latin America. The Otavalos, or Otavaleños, have lived for centuries close to the San Pablo Lake, where they have developed their artistic skills using the resources of their environment, learning the art of making handicrafts. The ‘Plaza de Ponchos’, the central square, is a meeting place of cultures, where handicrafts and products from different regions of the country are offered and which, for centuries, has been used for this purpose. For shopping lovers!!

The perfect place to have a delicious and relaxing lunch is in one of the very old haciendas in the region. What is now Ecuador, was in colonial times, divided into big pieces of land called ‘haciendas’ which have now have been turned into lodges or restaurants, but that still preserve parts of the original architecture.

Our last stop is to the volcanic lagoon that was formed inside the dormant caldera of the Cotacachi volcano, which creates a magical landscape adding ‘the cherry on top of the cake’ to your adventure!

What to bring

What to bring

  • ID (original or copy)
  • Rain/wind jacket
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or hat
  • Bandana
  • Sunblock
  • Money, including small change
  • A backpack to store stuff
  • Water


Day trip
Otavalo cultural


  • Hotel pick-up
  • Drive to Imbabura province
  • Guayllabamba town, Quitsato Sundial, Cayambe, Miralago view point, San Pablo Lake, Otavalo Indigenous Market and Ñanda Mañachi art & music centre
  • Lunch at Hacienda Pinsaqui (or similar)
  • Drive to Cotacachi (‘leather town’), hike the Cuicocha Lagoon
  • Return to Quito

Includes: Private tourist transportation, certified bilingual guide and lunch

Excludes: Entrance fees, personal expenses, drinks and tips

Your Organizer

Quito Bike Tours and Travel Experiences
3 reviews
Quito Bike Tours® is the first company in Quito to run urban bicycle tours. We pride ourselves on positive activism and sustainable tourism. We are passionate about doing things ethically whilst having fun. We want to share this beautiful UNESCO heritage city with you! Travel Experiences Awesome Tours and Experiences: Do you want to feel, see, taste and learn about Ecuador? Then join us on one of our day/ multi-day tours, privately or in a group. Contact Us! We know how to make your travel discovery and adventures unique.


I would rate this trip as one of the most outstanding ones we have ever made. And thanks God we could still make it, before Corona took over. What really made the difference in Nicky Lodge was our Guide Pedro -what a special person with so much knowledge and charm, his background, originally from the region, simply overwhelmed us. The lodge was O.K, the cook and the staff so attentive, we really did feel at home. Some of the guides there simply were, as to our opinion, already too touristic. I don't need a personal book to be personally recommendated, do I? The trip was very well organized, we would do it again. I Hope all of you are well, we are with you, Antje and Sylvia
The bus itself was comfortable and clean. Love the second level seating, the view was great from there. The driver and the guide were great, knowledgeable, and friendly. I learned a lot about Ecuador in a fun way through this bus tour. Once at the equator, we went our own ways and met up in a couple hours, which was nice to venture out on our own for a little. My favorite part was the Agave house tour. Again, super educational and getting to taste the Miske and other parts of the agave plant was amazing. 110% would reccomend. Worth the $ and worth the time!
We had a wonderful time with lovely people as guide, driver muy careful and agency muy agréable y useful through a 30 day trip across le country. We recommend surely Quito bike tours for a trip in Ecuador with people local outside of touristic area.

Photo Gallery