Otavalo Market and Communitie Cultural Experience Tour

By: Eric Castro

NEW OTAVALO CULTURAL EXPERIENCE" EXCURSION IN ECUADOR COMBINES

RENOWNED OTAVALO INDIAN MARKET AND TRADITIONAL CRAFTS VILLAGE LIFE

Metropolitan Touring of Ecuador has introduced a new full-day excursion " Otavalo Cultural Experience", combining the renowned Otavalo Indian market with experiencing the traditional way of life in Peguche, a crafts village known for fine weavings and music, and a lunch of Andean specialties. There are daily departures from Quito the Ecuadorian capital and World Heritage Site. The two-hour drive north is through spectacular scenery in the Andes Mountains with views of Cayambe, a snow-capped volcano on the Equator, and San Pablo Lake at the foot of Imbabura volcano.

The centuries-old Indian market, Otavalo is famous for handwoven woolen goods. The quality is high, prices are low and bargaining simpler since Ecuador converted to the U.S. dollar. Then, on the way to Peguche, visit the Sacred Waterfall of Peguche.

Peguche is a small village of tile-roofed adobe houses where top-quality weavings are made on pedal shuttle and back-strap looms. Visitors have time to experience, observe and photograph an indigenous way of life little changed in centuries; stroll the streets, go into houses and see women do chores, men weave, children play and guinea pigs run; browse or buy wall hangings and baby alpaca sweaters. There are also shops where local musicians make and play Andean instruments like large panflutes, drums and guitars.

Lunch is served in the local style at Sumac Micuy, where the local delicacies are prepared over firewood and in a bread oven to preserve their original flavor. Lunch includes quinua soup, freshly picked corn-on-the-cob, lima beans with cheese, roasted chicken and guinea pig, steamed potatoes and vegetables. For groups, they offer live Andean music and dances during lunch.

Metropolitan Touring also operates two- and three-day excursions to the Otavalo area, with more time to visit crafts villages specialized in wood carvings and leather goods. Stays are at Otavalo Hotels, Puerto Lago, Hacienda CusÃ?n, Hacienda PinsaquÃ? or La Mirage

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