How to visit the Otavalo animal market near Quito

Otavalo animal market near Quito in Ecuador

One of the great attractions of a trip to Quito, in Ecuador, is, without a doubt, the possibility of visit the Otavalo craft market, considered the largest in South America.

But I anticipate that the greatest dimension of your visit to Otavalo you will have it if you go a Saturday morning. Why?

He artisan market, which is the main focus of the attention of tourists, is installed every day in the main square of Ottavalo, the Ponchos square.

Otavalo animal market near Quito in Ecuador

But if you have the opportunity to visit this small city a Saturday morning, you will check that severalStreet markets they expand over much of the streets of its urban center.

So, on a Saturday you can see in his full strength the food market, but also a very curious ... animal fair.

Ottavalo, capital of the province of Imbabura, is located about a hundred kilometers north from Quito, but that takes two hours by car if you leave from the center of the Ecuadorian capital.

You can also go by bus from the station located north of the capital.

Otalaveño Indians at the Otavalo animal market near Quito

When and how to visit the Otavalo animal market

For See the Otavalo livestock market You should get up early, so a good alternative to pose is to sleep the night before in this city.

He animal market begins its activity with the sunrise, that is, from 6.30 in the morning.

In the case of my trip we went to visit him around 9 in the morning, and the market maintained a large part of its commercial activity.

Do not expect to find any building, as a large fish market, where animals are exposed for sale.

On the contrary, the market occupies a large open-air esplanade divided into two large spaces separated by a metal fence.

Otavalo animal market near Quito in Ecuador

In one of them the cows are sold, and in the other space the smaller animals grouped in different areas are shown.

That's where you'll find pigs, sheep, chickens or guinea pigs, a small rodent characteristic of South America.

If you're curious, I'll tell you in the animal fair of Otavalo You can buy a cow for about 400 dollars and a calf for between 60 and 100 dollars, depending on its size.

If you want to buy a pig (there are blacks and pinks) it will cost you between 150 and 200 dollars; a chicken, 8 dollars; and a guinea pig, 20 dollars.

And for just one dollar you can buy three chicks, which you can choose from a large number of them that you will find painted in different colors.

Otavalo animal market near Quito in Ecuador

How are the Otavaleños natives

Now, from my point of view, the true attraction of the visit of this animal market where you will surely not find tourists, is in the opportunity to see in their environment the otavaleños indigenous.

It is a relatively rich community that currently has about 50,000 people.

It is very easy to distinguish otavaleños, not only for its strong indigenous traitsbut for his characteristic dress of striking colors.

Women usually wear embroidered blouses, large necklaces, and a garment that looks like a hat that covers their head; men, with long hair and braids, with ponchos, sandals and hats.

At animal market you will not find a tourist environment, but on the contrary, a very authentic environment, starring otavaleños They are trading with animals.

Otalaveño Indians at the Otavalo animal market near Quito

In short, a visit that is very worthwhile, and that can be a good aperitif of your subsequent visit to the great Ponchos square, where you will find the famous artisan market.

Photos of the Otavalo animal market

To encourage you to get up early and visit a Saturday morning the animal market of Otavalo, here are more photos of the environment you are going to find, and you will surely enjoy

Video: INSANE ANIMAL MARKET. Local Bus to Otavalo, Ecuador (November 2019).