April 3, 2020

Top 5 Indigenous Markets in Ecuador Andes

By superduper

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This Market is for sure one of the oldest ones of South America and the most famous handicraft market of Ecuador located in an area known as “Plaza de los Ponchos” in the heart of Otavalo City .
The charm of this market bases in the interaction with the locals (mostly indigenous), its Andean traditions part of the culture for over 1000 years. Also known for their creations that range from paintings, jewelry, traditional clothing, tapestries to endless local artwork.

Saquisili Indian Market, very famous on Thursdays, is located in Cotopaxi province near Quito City. It is undoubtedly a very colorful place, where you can admire the indigenous culture of Ecuador . The main attraction is the Animal Market, where hundreds of indigenous people trade with their live animals as part of their incomes. In this place is fine to take pictures of their clothing and the Andean landscape but always keeping fair distance. At the central part of the town, you can also visit the squares, full of handicrafts, music and typical food. Definitely a good option to visit in Ecuador.

Guamote Indian Market is located 2 hours far south from Riobamba City and it is only open on Thursdays. This is the main product exchange market of Ecuador because products are coming from all over the country. There is a large livestock and farmyard market, but also a clothing market, and all kinds of food and household goods are for sale. it is for sure on of the best markets in ecuador
The stalls are not only in the city squares, but also on various streets. At the town, there are some open-air restaurants where you can try local cuisine. However, it is still not too clean for tourist; but you can look for some fresh empanadas if you desire to try some of their local food.
Gualaceo Market is located at the eastern side of Cuenca City. This market is only open on Sundays, where a street market is display and you can see the Cholas Cuencanas (Indigenous Ladies) selling their fresh goods all over the town. It is very easy to get there on your own in one of the many buses that connect Cuenca with Gualaceo, renting a car or on a tour. As always, it is best to arrive early to see all the local activity. In this case, even before, because the cattle market is a bit far from the center of the town. As Cuenca is also one of the largest flower producers in the Andes, you will also find a flower market and enjoy its colorful views.

Zumbahua market is famous for its Saturday Feria. On the way to the market on a clear day, it is possible to see some volcanoes such as Cotopaxi Volcano and Illinizas. Zumbahua is a typical mountain market in Ecuador where lamas and horses are commercialize, in addition to woodcarvings carved by local artisans, and other handicrafts.
This market is not very crowded as some others on this list; therefore, you will be able to appreciate the life of a culture that few people have the possibility of seeing. You will see women carry the goods on their heads and on the back of a lama. This and more will be waiting for your visit while in Ecuador.

As you like our travel post, we invite you to learn more about these areas and other sites of Ecuador, Galapagos, Colombia & Peru, with one of travel specialist that will help you to create your next travel experience.  Our email :

Otavalo Indigenous Woman

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