A visit to Ecuador is never complete with out at least a
few days spent in Imbabura, the province of lakes and mountains,
of inspiring landscapes and folklore. This province is only
50 miles North of Quito on the Pan-American Highway. (road
Otavalo Indigenous Market:
Otavalo is a small city of about 50,000 inhabitants. It
lies at 8,300 ft above sea level in a spring-like valley,
situated between the Imbabura volcano (15,118 feet) and
the Cotacachi volcano (16,200 feet).
The most famous indigenous market in Ecuador is held here.
Although the market is bigger on Saturdays, you can visit
it any day and find an impressive variety of all kinds of
Ecuadorian handcrafts. At dawn you may see indigenous people
arriving the market place from many mountain trails surrounding
the city. They come from nearby villages and towns such
as Peguche, Agato and Iluman, to sell their products. One
may visit the workshops of these local weavers working on
back strap and Spanish treadle looms, as well as other artisans
at work making felt hats, knitting sweaters or weaving straw
Other attractions in Imbabura:
San Pablo Lake: the largest lake in the province. Indigenous
people fish early in the morning in their straw canoes,
and also bathe and wash their clothes in this lake during
the day. Inns, farms and restaurants where you can spend
a weekend or just a day full of entertainment surround the
lake. You can also take a boat ride around the lake, or
enjoy other water sports such as sailing, water skiing,
jet ski, etc.
its narrow streets are full of stores that sell a great
variety of leather goods.
Cuicocha Lake: an impressive landscape of deep blue waters
surrounded by hills. Take a hike around the lake. If you
are lucky, you can see a condor.
an impressive landscape of deep blue waters surrounded by
hills. Take a hike around the lake. If you are lucky, you
can see a condor.
this clean, freshly painted colonial city, capital of the
province, is also known as the white city. Eat the delicious
paila ice creams (whipped natural fruit) while
walking around this city.
its name means blood lake. Years ago,
a bloody battle among Indigenous peoples took place at this
lake, thus the name. Now a car racetrack surrounds the lake
and every so often international car racing events take
Antonio de Ibarra:
a small village where everyone
is in the business of carving wooden items. These items
are sold in small shops around the village.
this town is located in a valley with warm
weather and desert landscape that contrasts with the rest
of Imbabura. It is located on the northern part of the province.
With its proud black community and their traditions, Chota
seems like a piece of Africa in Ecuador.