During the market's peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool.
Otavalo was an area made up principally of farming communities due to the rich volcanic soils in this area, but with the growth of tourism, the town has begun to focus more on the making of handicrafts which have made the Saturday market a popular stop with visitors to Ecuador. Tourism has become the town's main industry. Further, Otavaleño have had notable success selling their goods abroad.
Staying in a hacienda while visiting Ecuador has become a “must do” for any trip to the Ecuadorian Andes. Experience historical farm houses that date back to the 16th century that have been renovated and changed into first class hotels, lodges and inns.
Haciendas in most cases were founded by Spanish settlers who received large gifts of land from the Spanish and then later Ecuadorian government and managed expansive farms using the local indigenous population as laborers. Most haciendas nowadays are reduced to a small area of land around the historical house after centuries of land reforms and selling of land parcels to neighboring farmers. But many of the remaining houses maintain their original architecture, gardens, towering trees and old world ambiance.
|Andes Near Otavalo at Hacienda Zuleta|
|Farms near Hacienda Zuleta|
|The Andes are all around|
|Marketplace at Otavalo|
|Colorful Vegetables For Sale|
|Colorful Beans and Rice|
|Textiles Made by Locals|
|Potatoes in Many Hues and Shapes|