Otovalo Market, EcuadorWe love marketplaces. That’s where you get your fill of colors and smells and sounds of the local culture. We visited the colorful and lively market in Otovalo, a small town in northern highlands of Ecuador. It is the largest indigenous market in South America and dates back from the pre-Incan period.


Locals in Otovalo Market, EcuadorFor centuries, locals have been coming to the market of Otovalo to buy and barter animals, food and their essential needs. Today, it’s also a popular place for tourist who are looking to buy local crafts.


Textile Vendor, Otovalo market, EcuadorOtovalenos are known for their excellent woven products. Their colorful woven textiles are one of the most sought after products in the market.


Yarn vendor in Otovalo Market, Ecuador

A yarn vendor.


  Vegetable vendor in  Otovalo Market, Ecuador

The vegetable stall.

Arts in Otovalo Market, Ecuador

Colorful paintings and crosses for sale.

  Colorful plates in Otovalo Market, Ecuador

Vibrant plates and bowls for sale.

Hammock for sale in Otovalo Market, EcuadorThe stall of vividly hued hammocks.


Blouses for sale in Otovalo Market, EcuadorThe traditional blouses for sale.  Women of Otovalo still wear this traditional clothing everyday.


Local shoppers in Otovalo Market, Ecuador.Lovely local shoppers strolling around the market.


Some vendors taking a lunch break. Otovalenos are also known as good traders.  They are considered the most affluent indigenous group in Ecuador.



A serious looking young vendor.

An adorable boy helping mom make a sale.


Little girl in Otovalo Market, EcuadorA vendor’s beautiful daughter.


Drinks for sale n Otovalo Market, Ecuador.A little boy eyeing the shakes his mom sells.


Woman breastfeeding in Otovalo Market, Ecuador.

A vendor taking a break to nurse her baby.


A creative incense holders.

Wooden wares for sale in Otovalo Market, Ecuador    Wooden wares for sale.



Feathered headdress for sale.

  Feather headdress in Otovalo Market, Ecuador.

Keith standing in front of the feathered headdress.

Panama hat for sale in Otovalo Market, Ecuador.

They say Panama hats actually originated from Ecuador.

  crafts in otovalo market, ecuador

More traditional woven products.

Young lady in Otovalo Market, Ecuador

Lovely young Otovalenas

  Lovely senoritas in n Otovalo Market, Ecuador.Hanging out with the charming senoritas.


Travel Notes

Getting there: We took a 2 and half hour bus ride from the capital of Quito. You can also get there by taxi or by booking a tour through your hotel.

Travel Date: February 2008

Travel Guides:  Lonely Planet Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands


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Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

17 responses to “Ecuador: The Colorful Indigenous Market of Otovalo

  1. Kira

    Wonderful photos, beautiful colors and amazing subjects.
    What an exotic location. I can only learn about them through you. Thanks foir sharing.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi again Kira, our pleasure. It’s a very colorful and exotic locale indeed. Glad you enjoy it.

  2. Craig Siimone

    I enjoy your blog. You have really good contents. Quality photos and interesting destinations. I look forward to see more of your future posts.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Craig, glad to hear you enjoy the blog. Thanks for dropping and we look forward to hear from you again.

  3. Kara D

    I’m loving all your Ecuador travels. It wasn’t on my bucket list but now it is! We may have to consider this after the Moroco trip. I’ll definitely contact you for tips when that time comes. For the meantime, I’m extremely grateful for all your Morocco tips. Can’t wait for the trip!

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Kara, glad you to hear you add Ecuador on your list. Will definitely love to share more tips with you.

  4. Love how colorful your shots are!!! Every time i think of ecuador, i think of roses! :)

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jenny, it’s a colorful place indeed. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Mitch Tancio

    I’m loving the commentary on all of them Marisol. You really brought the atmosphere of the market place to the reader. Great work!

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thanks Mitch! Glad you liked it.

  6. Carrie Sieber

    I love markets, too! This one is ultra exotic and colorful! Your photos are beautiful and you captured the market scenes so well. Just love the burst of colors. Was this the most colorful market you’ve seen in all your travels?

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Carrie, I’d say Otovalo was the third most colorful market place I’ve been to. The most colorlful I’ve seen was Sunday market in Bacha, Vietnam. It was such a feast to the eye. The people from different tribal villages converge in this market and they all wear very colorful clothing. The second most colorful for me is the Pisac market in Peru, which I will be posting pretty soon.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Christy, you may end up with more than that! Thanks for visiting.

  7. Very lively and so colorful! I’ve heard so much about Otavalo market – wish I could go there someday! This reminds me of the Sunday market in Pisac, Peru.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dennis, Yes, very colorful indeed. But I would say I found Pisac much more colorful. Thanks for dropping by.

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