View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Otavalo Market

Otavalo is a predominantly indigenous town about 2 hours from Quito. The town is surrounded by volcano's so the drive there is absolutely breathtaking. I went with Pablo (my host) and my friend Sandy (who I met through Pablo the first night here). We stopped at a little tourist stop on the way and took some amazing pictures with little kids in traditional dress and llama's...of course!

The town itself is transformed into one of the largest and most famous markets in South America every Saturday. The indigenous Otavalenos are known for their weaving of textiles. They make gorgeous scarves, hats and sweaters out of bright textiles. The market seems never ending as you walk through the streets there appears to be no end in sight. I didn't plan to buy anything because I have absolutely no room in my backpack, but the energy you feel once you enter the market makes it hard to resist making at least a few purchases. One of the great things about the market is that both locals and tourists alike are shopping the streets. It actually felt as though the locals out numbered the backpack toting, sneaker wearing tourists. It was not nearly as crowded as other markets I have been to, like Portobello Rd. Market, so was much easier to browse what the hundreds of vendors were selling. Luckily I had Sandy and her fluent Spanish to help me barter with the sellers!

Aside from the market one of the reasons many people travel to Otavalo is to see the natives in their traditional dress. Like those men and women that were on the plane over to Quito with me, the traditional dress is gorgeous with embroidered blouses and unique shoes. I purchased a layered gold necklace just like the ones the Otavalenos wear!

After the market we had lunch at one of the many restaurants in town and then drove up the mountain a bit to check out the Casa Del Sol, a peaceful retreat just above the town. Here you can stay in a comfortable and clean room for $25 a night. We were just there to enjoy the views, tranquility and take advantage of their wireless signal!

Tonight I am headed to Peru via overnight bus!

No comments:

Post a Comment