Vivid colours and a lively atmosphere tempt both locals and tourists to this huge market town.

Otavalo is a feast for the senses. On Saturdays the popular market fills the streets and allows visitors to feel beautiful handwoven textiles, smell and taste delicious food, listen to the locals bartering in their native language Quechua, and of course watch the explosion of colour and activity. Otavalo is well known for its traditional music and many locals are passionate about this form of art. Using instruments which are only produced in the Andean regions, the sounds created are quite unique. The market is also an excellent place to observe the traditional dress of Otavalena woman – intricately embroidered blouses, heavy skirts, waist bands and many strings of beads around their necks which often represent age and wisdom. The city itself is positioned in an attractive valley and horse riding and hiking are popular activities outside of the centre to view the stunning mountainous backdrop. Nearby, the Peguche Waterfall, Lagos de Mojanda, and Museo Viviente Otavalango can easily be taken as day trips. One authentic experience for any traveller to this region it to stay in a rustic hacienda for a few nights. These ancient buildings have been beautifully restored and offer some of the most attentive hospitality in the whole country.


Our favourite luxury hotels

Mashpi Lodge Otavalo Ecuador

Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge is a luxury, 5-star jungle lodge in the heart of the Andean cloud forest. Just 3 hours from Quito, this provides an exclusive and unique experience in beautiful surroundings. Located on a plateau in the heart of the Equatorial Chocó Bio-Region, this is a truly authentic wildlife and nature experience in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The hotel has been designed to blend in with the surroundings. It is constructed using local materials and using clean lines and earthy tones. Glass features strongly here, allowing panoramic views of the surrounding forest.

Hacienda Piman Otovalo Ecuador

Hacienda Pimán

Dating back to the late 17th century, Hacienda Piman has been owned by the Zaldumbide family ever since. Beautifully located in a valley in the Northern Andes, the hacienda is surprisingly less than 2 hours from Quito airport, and surrounded by mountains. Over the course of three years the owners restored the historic building, with its antiques, paintings, library, immense stone walls, old chapel and beautiful gardens, and embellished it with tasteful, modern elements. Today the Hacienda, is the perfect hotel for guests who value the comfortable accommodation, peaceful surroundings and delicious home-cooking.

Hacienda Zuleta Otovalo Ecuador

Hacienda Zuleta

Regularly mentioned as one of the best hotels in Ecuador, Hacienda Zuleta has an interesting past. For over 100 years the property has belonged to the family of Mr Galo Plaza Lasso – a former president of Ecuador. It dates back to the 16th century and remains as a traditional, working farm with over 4000 acres of land. Ideally located in the middle of the Andes, it is just 2 hours from the capital city Quito. Tranquil and cosy, the 17 rooms boast their own fireplace and living area, opening out onto colourful gardens. In the main house, guests will love the delicious Ecuadorian cuisine that is prepared using trout and organic vegetables, plus dairy products that are produced by the farm.

Hacienda Cusin Otovalo Ecuador

Hacienda Cusin

Located in the Ecuadorian sierra, Hacienda Cusin is just 1 hour from the Quito international airport. A 17th century estate that has been expertly restored whilst maintaining the original charm, boast exceptional staff and a highly personalised service.