October 3 – Otavalo

We arrived in Cotacachi late the night before, after a sumptuous dinner in Ibarra with friends of Wilson.  We were checked into a very nice B&B called the Yellow Guest House.  The rooms are nice, with private baths, comfy beds and very nice hosts.

Today we visited the town of Otavalo, home to the largest Indigenous market in South America.  The last time we visited, it was a weekday and not so busy.  This time, we hit it on a Saturday – it was 100’s of times bigger with so much to see and do….

After several hours at the market, we travelled out of town and to the top of a nearby volcano.  There was a beautiful lake and the whole area was part of a large park.

After a short hike and great views, Wilson had another surprise for us – we were going to have lunch at a local steak house!  Not quite like the Keg, but then we were in Ecuador…

Our afternoon activities included driving around the lake – Lago San Pablo – looking at properties and then a stop at a bird sanctuary situated on top of a hill overlooking Otavalo.  As we were walking towards the park, a condor appeared overhead.  Wilson said it was very rare to see a condor so close to a large populated area.  The sanctuary had a variety of local birds – eagles, condors, hawks, owls.  They had a demonstration for us at a viewing area overlooking the city below – it was quite enjoyable and informative.

 

2 Replies to “October 3 – Otavalo”

  1. Dave
    Got this blog address from you on your Cotacachi Ex pat website.
    Do you still use Wilson as a guide? We will be going to Ecuador in 2019 and could use a guide for part of the trip. How much does he charge>

    Thanks
    Larry

    1. Hi Larry,
      Yes, we are good friends with Wilson now. He is a very good guide, but does not come cheap. He is well worth it as far as we are concerned. His rates are around $250/day. This includes his vehicle and fuel expenses. Sometimes he even buys the meal. Giselle and I have hired him privately several times. His English is very good and he seems to know people everywhere, no matter what city or town we visit. He has “back door” access to many touristy places where normal tour groups would miss out on. He is passionate about his country and heritage. We highly recommend him. His phone number is 099-833-4700. If you call him, tell him his Canadian girlfriend says hello…;)

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