06th February 2011

The city of Otavalo [11], at 2600 meters is 2 hours northeast of Quito and sits near the tranquil lake San Pedro at the base of Imbabura Volcano.  The Saturday handicraft market at the Plaza de los Ponchos, famous for multi coloured woven textiles, traditional musical instruments and other quality hand made products, always draws a crowd.


The Otavaleños proudly wear their traditional clothes.  The men have their hair long and plaited, wear calf length trousers and a blue poncho.  The women, a white embroidered blouse, lots of gold coloured beads around the neck, a shoulder wrap and an ankle length skirt (anaco) fastened with an intricately woven cloth belt (faja).  Both wear simple sandals (alpargatas) which were once made from hemp.


Just outside of Otavalo, the Condor Park provides refuge for injured birds of prey.  We enjoyed the flying show they put on there.  Next day we did a pleasant 14 kilometre walk around the volcanic lake Mojanda, about 4,000 meters up.


Mountains around Otavalo

Local women chatting

Traditional fashion


Two ladies resting

Typical men´s dress

Saturday market

Colourful weaving

Red beads for sale

Lady selling corn

Local pottery

There is always pork

Mask worn for celebrations

Lago San Pedro

Condor at the refuge outside Otavalo

Lago Mojanda

Wildflowers around the lake

More wildflowers

Lago Mojanda