The best town we visited near Otavalo was Cotacachi, which is famous for leather goods. There’s a market selling these goods and several stores along 10 de Agosto and Plaza de San Francisco.

Plaza de San Francisco in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Plaza de San Francisco

Craft market on Plaza de San Francisco in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Craft market


Parque Abdón Calderón

We also visited the main plaza, Parque Abdón Calderón, which has tall palm trees and a beautiful church. The Museo de las Culturas is off the plaza next to a few nice restaurants but was closed at the time of our visit.

Parque Abdón Calderón in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Parque Abdón Calderón

Church in Cotacachi, Ecuador


Museo de las Culturas in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Museo de las Culturas



Cotacachi seemed much more peaceful with just as much authenticity of Otavalo. If I make a return trip to Ecuador, I will choose to stay in Cotacachi rather than Otavalo.


Getting There

Buses from Otavalo are just US$0.25 and run through Quiroga before reaching Cotacachi. You can catch a return bus to Otavalo in Parque Abdón Calderón.

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