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Escorted Rail Tours to Otavalo

The most famous market in Latin America

The small Ecuadorian city of Otavalo is famous for its indigenous population (the Otavalos) and its colourful market - probably the most famous market in Latin America.

The Otavalos are considered to be the most economically-successful indigenous group in South America; many Otavalos are known to travel across the world selling goods or playing Andean folk music. The Otavalos can be recognised by their traditional dress - white trousers and dark-coloured ponchos for men; a dark-coloured shirt and white blouse with colourful embroidery and a colourful waistband for women. Both men and women wear their hair long - it is invariably very thick and jet black.

The market in Otavalo is centred on the aptly-named Plaza de Poncho and is at its busiest on Saturday - the main day for the market. Stalls sell a huge variety of traditional goods, including weavings, paintings, wood and stone carvings, clothes, hats, jewellery and crafts. The products and stall-holders come from all over Ecuador, as well as from neighbouring Peru and Colombia.

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