Otavalo, Ecuador

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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Otavalo with other popular and interesting places of Ecuador, for example: Manta, Galápagos Islands, Baños, Puerto López, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Otavalo, Quito, Salinas, etc.

How to Book a Hotel in Otavalo

In order to book an accommodation in Otavalo enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Otavalo hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Otavalo map to estimate the distance from the main Otavalo attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Otavalo hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Otavalo is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Otavalo is waiting for you!

Hotels of Otavalo

A hotel in Otavalo is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Otavalo hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Otavalo are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Otavalo hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Otavalo hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Otavalo have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Otavalo
An upscale full service hotel facility in Otavalo that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Otavalo hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Otavalo
Full service Otavalo hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Otavalo
Boutique hotels of Otavalo are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Otavalo boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Otavalo may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Otavalo
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Otavalo travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Otavalo focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Otavalo
Small to medium-sized Otavalo hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Otavalo traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Otavalo hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Otavalo
A bed and breakfast in Otavalo is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Otavalo bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Otavalo B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Otavalo
Otavalo hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Otavalo hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Otavalo
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Otavalo hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Otavalo lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Otavalo
Otavalo timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Otavalo often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Otavalo on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Otavalo
A Otavalo motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Otavalo for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Otavalo motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Otavalo

Otavalo with Imbabura in the background

Otavalo, capital of Otavalo Canton, is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The town has about 90,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura (4,630 metres (15,190 ft)), Cotacachi (4,995 metres (16,388 ft)), and Mojanda volcanoes. Gustavo Pareja is the current mayor of Otavalo. He was elected in February 2014.

The Saturday market in Otavalo, showing the colourful fabrics
An Otavaleña in traditional dress works with a customer in the open-air market in Otavalo
Tawa Jewelry & other handcrafts at the Otavalo Artisan Market
Hand painted crafts at the Otavalo Artisan Market

Otavalo (city): The market

The indigenous Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool (that is sometimes as black as a raven), which are sold at the famous Saturday market. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops. The shops sell textiles such as handmade blankets, tablecloths, and much more.

The Otavalo market consists of mushroom-shaped concrete umbrellas with benches. The market was designed and built in 1970 by Dutch architect Tonny Zwollo.

During the market's peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool. As the city has become more of a tourist attraction, many of the goods sold in the markets are mass-produced in nearby factories and sold in the market by middle-men. More artisan products can be purchased in neighboring communities or at the Museo Viviente Otavalango.

Otavalo was an area made up principally of farming communities due to the rich volcanic soils in this area, but with the growth of tourism, the town has begun to focus more on the making of handicrafts which have made the Saturday market a popular stop with visitors to Ecuador. Tourism has become the town's main industry and as a result there are many more hotels, hostels, and tour operators than other similarly sized Ecuadorian towns, such as nearby Cayambe. Further, Otavaleño (people from Otavalo) have had notable success selling their goods abroad.

As Otavalo is famous for its textiles, many of the nearby villages and towns are famous for their own particular crafts. Cotacachi, for example, is the center of Ecuador's leather industry. In San Antonio, where the local specialty is wood carving, the main street prominently displays carved statues, picture frames, and furniture.

Otavalo (city): Attractions

Many people come to Otavalo to visit the market, but the city and surrounding area is also home to the Peguche Waterfall, Lagos de Mojanda, and Museo Viviente Otavalango. The museum is located in the "antigua fabrica San Pedro," where indigenous Otavaleños worked in sweatshop style labor for generations under brutal conditions. After the factory was shut down, a group of locals purchased the land and have since reclaimed the factory and its grounds as a living museum and community space for the indigenous community. The museum shows aspects of Otavaleño life both historically and in present day, and allows visitors to interact with the indigenous craftspeople making textiles and farming. The museum also serves as a community space, with concerts, weddings, and community meetings held in buildings on the grounds.

Otavalo (city): Traditional clothing

Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with cream or white under skirts. Long hair is tied back with a 30 cm band of woven multi coloured material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. They usually have many strings of gold beads around their necks, with the number of strands and thickness of beads representing their age and wisdom, and matching tightly wound long strings of coral beads around each wrist. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos.

Otavalo (city): Music

Otavalo is also known for its traditional music and musicians. Every summer the music of Otavalo, and the surrounding areas, plays a primary role in the indigenous festival for the summer solstice, called Inti Raymi. There are many musical groups currently traveling around the world promoting their music (sometimes known as Andean New Age). This style of music has had notable commercial success worldwide. One group from Otavalo which has toured internationally is the hip-hop group "Los Nin", which raps in Kichwa and Spanish.

Otavalo as seen from the east

Otavalo (city): Otavalo and Surrounding Mountains

Otavalo (city): References

  1. "Datos Importantes Otavalo". Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  2. "Female Architecture:A market design for Otavalo". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  3. Manuela Picq. "Hip-hop Kichwa: Sounds of indigenous modernity". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  • Guide to Otavalo from Go South America

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