For hundreds of years the town of Otavalo, an hour's drive to the north of Quito, has been home to one of the most important Indian markets in the Andes. The textile market in particular offers a huge variety of goods - ponchos, scarves, blankets, wall hangings, woven belts (fajas), hats, handbags and much more. The local Otavaleños barter in silence, in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets; take your time to negotiate the best bargains. Then, proceed to Peguche, an Indian village very near Otavalo that is home to artisans who do the weaving in their homes; guests can learn about their culture and everyday life. Lunch (included) is at one of the charming country inns or haciendas of the area.
This tour can is on a private basis with your own driver and English-speaking guide. Saturday sees the biggest market, but this excursion can be taken on any day of the week (some people prefer these days as the market is less crowded).
There are also 2 or 3 day excursions from Quito to the Otavalo region including additional sightseeing and overnight stays in traditional haciendas. Details on request.