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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands: Otavalo and the northern highlands

The upland town of Otavalo, 2,573m, is world-famous for its huge livestock, vegetable and textile market, organised by the prosperous Otavaleño Indians who attend dressed in their distinctive costumes. Surrounding the town there are snow-tipped volcanoes, lake-filled craters, rolling hills, cobbled lanes lined with silvery eucalyptus, and tiny, whitewashed adobe villages each specialising in a cottage industry such as weaving, dough-ball figurines and wood carvings. Busy Ibarra, 2,225m, is populated by indigenous mountain people and others of African origin. There are leather goods to inspect in Cotacachi, 2,440m, and for walkers, a delightful stone-flagged track to the rim of Cuicocha volcanic crater lake, 3,246m.

Our holidays to Otavalo and the northern highlands

View all holidays
Blue Footed Boobies

Signature Ecuador and Galapagos: Volcanoes to the ocean

16 days from £6788pp

Weavers in Cuenca

Signature Ecuador: Volcanoes to the ocean

10 days from £2782pp

Bartolome Island

Value Ecuador and Galapagos: At a glance

8 days from £1996pp

Things to do in Otavalo and the northern highlands

Cuicocha Lake

Cuicocha volcanic lake walk

Horses in the Andies

Horse riding Ecuador's Andes

Slow train

Take the Tren de la Libertad

Volcanic lakes

Sunset walk beside a volcanic lake

What our clients say

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What our experts say

Parque Condor, or the Raptor Rescue Centre, is a mere 4.5km from Otavalo. It houses rescued birds of prey  which, for various reasons, cannot be released into the wild, and carries out very important community education work with local school groups, raising awareness of wildlife and conservation issues. The centre´s work helps save these species from extinction. A visit is very interesting, though of course the birds are in cages.


Lina Fuller

Travel Consultants

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Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award2013

British Travel Awards – Best Small Tour Operator Central & South America 2011, 2012

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