Otavalo Market

In about one month I will be back in Michigan for the holidays, up to my knees in snow, sipping hot chocolate, wrapped in my parka, baking Christmas cookies with my family. To say that I am excited would be an understatement. There is nothing quite like decorating the Christmas tree with your family (in our case, a 15 foot tree), or the smell of Christmas. Ecuador’s 65-degree weather has been so lovely, but I miss the first snowfall and subsequent snowballs. With my mind on Christmas time, I decided to check a few people off of my list (naughty or nice) with some goodies from Otavalo Market.

Traveling a mere two hours from Quito, Otavalo is an easy day trip. The entire bus ride was absolutely gorgeous and I am constantly reminded of the beauty of the country every single time I step out of Quito. Between catnaps I would open my eyes and be rewarded with the perfect view of a volcano. Incredible.

Otavalo is famous for it’s artisanal market, but this is no normal market. The shopkeepers were not aggressive, as in some of the other markets that I have visited. The market spread over many streets—it would be easy to spend an entire day there. There was an abundance of alpaca wool products, handmade trinkets, paintings, musical instruments, jewelry, and fresh produce.

While a slightly touristic town, I had a great experience winding through the streets, past various shops, bartering with the men and women. And, by mind November I am nearly finished with my Christmas shopping! It will be an exciting 4 weeks before I return home, with a trip to Baños, Quito-festival, and the end of the term, but I am counting down the days!

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