Ecuador's colourful markets
Enjoy a slice of local life, visit one of Ecuador's colourful markets
Not just for tourists
The markets will give you a taste of what life is like for the locals. Barter for local fruits, textiles or perhaps jewellery.
Otavalo Market, in the town’s main square, is one of the more well known markets. There’s something to see here most days but the main market days are Wednesday and Saturday. If you are in the vicinity then stroll down, the earlier the better if you want the full experience. The locals make their way down from the mountains and highlands to display their colourful textiles. It’s a feast for your eyes with contrasting and clashing bright colours at every turn. If it’s textiles you are after then this is the place for you. There is livestock for sale too, though this is mainly early in the day.
Pujili Market in Cotopaxi province hosts a market on Wednesdays and Sundays, though the Sunday market is considered to be better. Here the locals gather from the surrounding area and peddle their crafts and produce. Those with a love for ceramics will find this market of interest.
Another market with a non-touristy flair is Saquisili Market, about 1.5 hours south of Quito. This market has an authentic feel as the locals come down from the highlands to sell their wares and meet with family and friends, you’ll find fewer tourists here.
Situated 2.5 hours south of Quito, Zambahua market is one of Ecuador’s oldest markets and takes place on a Saturday. It really is a taster of life in the region, the focus being local produce and of course llamas and horses.
Another insight into local life is Guamote Market, two hours to the south of Riobamba. It’s a bustling hive of activity with people dressed in their colourful local costume bartering for produce and livestock where ever you glance.
Santa Clara Market
Naturally Quito has its share of markets too. A vibrant and particularly bustling one is Santa Clara Market. Have a wander round and feast your eyes on an array of fresh produce from meat and fish to vegetables, fruits and spices. Keep your city smarts about you though as you navigate the stalls, taking in the amazing sights, sounds and smells of a typical Andean market.