CULTURAL OTAVALO AND SHOPPING
From Quito to Otavalo we have 2 hours by direct bus, but on our 1 day tour on shared basis, we visited 6 different attractions between Quito and Otavalo in a full day. Our trip is through the North Pan American to reach the Quitsato Solar Clock, located in the cayambe canton name given by the snowy present in the place. This cultural site built to measure solstices and equinoxes, in pre-Hispanic times, also considered the «other half of the world», since the equinoccial line or equator crosses through this place and by the middle of the top of the snowy Cayambe. Its people live on livestock, agriculture, a sector dedicated to harvesting export roses.
To know its gastronomy we have a stop to have a cup of Ecuadorian coffee or chocolate with some biscuits; which are like a type of small baked breads with an unmatched flavor and the best of everything we will go into to see its production process. Our next place to visit is Otavalo. It is located in the province of Imbabura known as the Province of The Lakes, a few minutes from reaching our main destination, we have a viewpoint towards the lagoon of San Pablo and in the background the hill Imbabura, to adorn the landscape.
Then we arrive at the largest and most important indigenous artisan market in South America, it is possible to visit this market every day of the week. But on our 1-day tour we coincide the largest fair days where all the artisans meet in La Plaza de los Ponchos, here we have 2 hours to make purchases to later head to Cotacachi. Here we will find another craft production market specialized in leather products, being a small place we have 45min. Our last place is the Laguna de Cuicocha located at 3068m (10065.62 feet) in an active volcanic crater with islets or domes and observation of plants.