This small town is surrounded by three volcanoes. Otavalo is famous for its textiles and is home to the largest market in the country which takes place on Saturdays. We visited on Sunday so it was ghost town. I imagine the market is incredible with the wools, leather, carved woods and other handicrafts, all produced in nearby towns. Just west of Otavalo is La Laguna de San Pablo, the lake is particularly scenic since it is located at the foot of Imbabura volcano.
On our first full day in Quito, we set off for Mitad del Mundo, but our GPS took us to another location on the equator near Cayambe. Since, we were so close to Otavalo, we decided to go and have a look despite it being a notoriously quiet day. Driving into Otavalo we were immediately taken by the beauty of city nestled into the nearby volcanoes. We first came upon Puertolago, which is a hotel and restaurant on Lake San Pablo. We had tried traditional Ecuadorian bites for a snack and washed it down with Pilsener that really hit the spot.
Otavalo was really lovely, I wish we had more than a couple hours there. It was far more to our liking than Quito. I wouldn't hesitate staying a night or two in the future.