Spend your morning at the Otavalo market, one of the largest and most colorful in South America that comes alive every day of the week.
There you can find all types of handicrafts: woven rugs, alpaca sweaters, shirts, wall hangings, bags, paintings, clay figurines, silver jewelry and many other local souvenirs.
On Saturdays only, locals come to trade livestock and other agricultural goods. The market is also very busy on Sundays and Wednesdays. Many stall owners belong to the Otavalo community and can be recognized by their traditional clothes. The many sights of women dressed in long skirts and embroidered blouses while men proudly wear hats to cover their long hair make this market a great opportunity for beautiful pictures.
Transfer to the town of Peguche (10 min), home to a stunning sacred waterfall. The village inhabitants have worked for centuries on traditional back strap weaving techniques, the manufacturing of musical instrument and wool felt hats.
After lunch, head to the mysterious Cuicocha Lake (40 min) whose beautifully-still waters stretch over the caldera of an ancient volcano that collapsed over itself millions of years ago.
On the way back to Otavalo (20 min), enjoy a short stopover in Cotacachi, a little town whose activity is dedicated to making fine leather products: crafted leather belts, purses, bags, jackets, backpacks and more.
Overnight in a hacienda in Otavalo.