Otavalo market & Quilotoa

After a week of working, I was sent on 2 day tours which Ecuatraveling sells. First, the Otavalo Market Day Tour. Otavalo market is only 2 hours of the tour. Firstly, you go to El Mitad del Mundo (the middle of the earth) to literally stand on the middle of the earth: the equator. Can tick that off my bucket list. Then, you visit a bizcochos factory, where they make traditional cookies. They were very good for breakfast. Then it’s off to the biggest market of South-America: Otavalo market. It’s so big that I even got lost between all the stands. It’s an amazing place to buy souvenirs. Try to negotiate and be persistent. Finally, you go to Cuicocha lake for a small hike but more importantly a nice view.

The next day, I went on the Quilotoa Crater Lake Tour. Here, you firstly visit a local market. You wouldn’t believe the amounts of fruit they sell. Negotiating prices in Spanish also isn’t easy. Next, you visit a native house of the indigenous people. It was a small wooden house, with guinea pigs running loose. By the way, guinea pig is the local delicacy in Ecuador. Sorry animal lovers, but you often see them roasting above a fire. Then, you go to beautiful Quilotoa crater lake (3800m) where you have the most amazing views. You can hike down to the lake, which is a 45 min steep climb down. In my enthusiasm, I raced down not really thinking about the fact that I have to go up again. The warning about the ability to rent a mule wasn’t exaggerated. The hike up took 2 hours of sweat and a red face (which to the indigenous people was hilarious). I died a little inside hiking up. Totally worth it.

Firstly, my day of Otavalo:

Finding balance on the Equator

The Equator

Making Bizcochos


Bizcocho Breakfast

Bizcocho Breakfast

Otavalo Market

Otavalo Market

Lost between the stands

Lost in Otavalo Market

Cuicocha Lake

Cuicocha Lake

And finally my day of Quilotoa:

Pujili Market

Pujili Market

Visiting a native house (yes including guinea pigs under the bed)

Native House

Beautiful Toachi Canyon Crater

Toachi Canyon Crater

Amazing Quilotoa Crater Lake

Quilotoa Crater Lake

Renting Mules in Quilotoa where the kids have to run up and down

Renting Mules Quilotoa

Thank you for an amazing first week Ecuador!


Written by: Sophie van der Pluijm