There is something so inviting about the town of Otavalo. The Artisan Market is definitely something!
Otavalo is a countryside town located at the northern side of Ecuador’s capital city Quito. It is about 90 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city and can easily be reached via the Pan-American Highway.
To get to the Artisan Market, you just have to take a cab as soon as you are dropped off to Otavalo. There are many other markets that can be found around town. But the Artisan Market separates from the rest because of all the ingenious crafts that you can find there. That’s why it is very easy to find. Cabbie drivers know exactly where they need to drop you off.
What to See There
The Artisan Market in Otavalo is famous for its artisan products, what else? The variety of crafts that you can find in this open market cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
Shopping is a major activity in this tourist spot. You will love taking items from this market all year round. Saturday is a favorite day for those hunting for bargains and endless options, as it is quite extensive during that day. But any day could be market day for anyone – local and tourist alike – because the Artisan Market is never short of wonderful items for sale.
Although foreign and local tourists scout the market all year through, it is especially in demand during the Christmas season. The Artisan Market will introduce you to a helluva of gift-giving suggestions that any kind of receiver would surely appreciate.
If you do not care about bringing home a thing or two from the Artisan Market and you just want to “look around”, you may well do so. The Artisan Market is a nice sightseeing destination because it will treat your eyes to truly marvelous works of ingenious hands.
The Artisan Market has its roots from the Andean tradition. That is still quite obvious these days. As you roam around the market, you will observe a lot of haggling and bartering and trading. In fact, during early Saturday mornings, it is quite usual to see animals – from camels to donkeys to pigs to chickens to horses – being sold, traded, or bartered.
There is no fee to enter the open air Artisan Market. But you definitely have to pocket some amount so you can partake on the good buys — wooden crafts, woven cloths, paintings, and precious metals.
You can also buy raw materials at the Artisan Market. Nuts, beads, precious stones, metals, wool, and leather are widely available.