3 Days in Otavalo

So you want to visit Otavalo and you only have 3 days. What to see and do?
Plaza de Ponchos

Fortunately, Dad came to find out.

First, if you only have a short time here and are flying into Quito, consider a taxi to Otavalo. Usually around $50, its especially handyif you will be arriving later in the day and don’t want to bother with multiple taxis, buses, and hotels.

View from Cabanas El Rocio

For an inexpensive and tranquil hotel, check out Cabanas El Rocio, just across the Panamerican highway, about 4 blocks from the Plaza de Ponchos. Rooms are $10 per person. There are a number of hostels closer to downtown for around the same price if you’d rather be centrally located, its easy to walk around and find one you like.

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Of course,  shopping in the Plaza de Ponchos is top of the list for what to do in Otavalo! Saturday is the best market day, with endless stalls set up and live music at some of the local restaurants.  Buena Vista is has a great view on the balcony overlooking the Plaza and the mountains in the distance, and gets really interesting about 5pm watching the entire marketplace pack up and disappear.

We stopped at Oraibi on Sucre after hearing the music calling us from inside.

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This place was really pretty inside and friendly service, a nice coffee break from overwhelming choices of beautiful things outside. Definitely rejuvenating for another round of shopping!

(By the way, isn’t dad’s hat great…!)

Another of our days was spent visiting Cotacachi, a quaint town nearby famous for its leather creations. From the Bus terminal its a $0.25 ride and about 20 minutes away, or about $5 by taxi.


Cotacachi is quite popular with expats and as a retirement destination. If you’re hungry and thinking of moving here, Serendipity cafe is often full of friendly and knowledgeable extranjeros to talk to. For more local food, El Lenador has some really good dishes.


We also made a trip out to the falls at Peguche, again a $0.25 bus ride from the terminal (be sure to confirm its going to the Cascada…) or about $2 by taxi.


And for a wonderful lake side lunch, we headed to Cabanas del Lago, on San Pablo Lake.

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There’s also a waterpark there with boat rentals and swimming which looks like great fun! We also visited friends and such, so we had less time than most visitors would to sightsee.

Some other great things to do are:

  • Lagunas de Mojanda- beautiful lakes nearby (post to come shortly!)
  • Parque Condor – bird park with lots of owls and condors
  • Cuicocha Lake – Another pretty lake with a boat tour or hike around
  • Weaving demonstration in Peguche

And of course exploring the town and its restaurants! And then making plans on how to move here and make it permanent of course…

And now dad’s off exploring Peru by motorbike with 3 friends, will have to convince him to send some photos to show you soon!

This entry was posted in Accomodation, Friends, Otavalo, Restaurants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 3 Days in Otavalo

  1. Ellie says:

    wow, fantastic pictures!!!! you all look so happy, and you my dear look so freakin skinny!!!!! so wots it like to LIVE on holiday??!!! great post, love to read about wot u’ve been up to!! luv u guys xxx

    • Jo says:

      Thanks! 🙂 We don’t spend every day at the lake… but we do get to look at mountains every day… so its fantastic! I love the running weather year round, tons of fresh food, not having a car, and not needing much to get by. (Except when mum or dad visit and have room in their suitcases, heh heh…)

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