Activities in Otavalo
Besides the well-known Otavalo market, there’s much more to do in Otavalo and its surroundings.
- You can visit Lake San Pablo or Imbakucha by crossing the mountains east of the city on foot, hopefully finding on your way the legendary tree "El Lechero" protected by the impressive Imbabura (4609 m / 15,121 ft.).
- New: Take a train ride from Otavalo through Ibarra to Salinas (day trip), with several stops on the road for museums and local artefacts. The renovated train station is just a block away from our hotel.
- On these hills you also will find the Condor Park, dedicated to the rescue of birds of prey. In the park there are flight shows several times a day. From the Condor Park you’ll have beautiful views of the Awakening Valley and the Lake San Pablo.
- From our hotel a half–an–hour walk takes you to the Forest and Waterfall of Peguche.
- Around Otavalo you’ll find many little villages like Peguche, Agato, San Rafael and others where the producers life that make the handicrafts that are sold in the market in Otavalo, especially the weavers. Iluman is also famous for shamanism. You can visit these villages walking or if you wish with a driver-guide.
Activities at a little distance
- About 30 minutes - by taxi or pick up – you’ll find the crater of Mojanda with its three lakes and the summit of the volcano Fuya Fuya (4263 m./13.986 ft.) waiting to be conquered.
- A ride in taxi or bus of about 20 minutes takes you to Cotacachi, known for its products of high quality leather, for sale in the many shops in the center of this small town.
- At about 30 minutes you’ll find the stunning Lake Cuicocha, located in a volcanic crater. If you decide to go down the path that follows the edge of the crater, there is a good chance of seeing the summit of Cotacachi (4,939 m./16.204 ft.) and with a little luck even the summit of Cayambe (5,790 m./18.996 ft.). A walk around the lake will take about 4 hours. Sundays – and holidays – little boats can take you around the two islands in the middle of the lake.
- About 15 minutes north of Otavalo is the town of San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for its wood craftsmanship.
- A little more to the north – 20 minutes from Otavalo – you’ll find the capital of the province of Imbabura, Ibarra. The Central Bank’s historical museum is worth a visit, showing you the pre–Inca history of the region.
- From Ibarra you can visit the Lake of Yahuarcocha (10 minutes), the museum and house of Atahualpa in Caranquí (10 minutes), the Valley of El Chota (30 minutes) or the thermal baths of Chachimbiro (45 minutes).