Photo by: colleen taugher, Creative Commons

Cotacachi, Equador is a charming little village which can be reached via a 30 minute ride from Otavalo. Unlike Otavalo, which is a highly busy and indigenous market, Cotacachi is less crowded and parking is easy. The village provides a number of local handicraft products sold in numerous stalls set up in the village plaza. These include a variety of colourful textiles & leather products. Cotacachi’s narrow streets are filled with shops that offer all kinds of leather goods at a surprising bargain. Here you can find the latest fashion styles in leather boots, bags and jackets. Despite its low prices, the quality is not sacrificed. Any type of leather good, name it. They have it all here in Cotacachi.

There is great misconception with Cotacachi weather. Because the country lies right in the equator, many people believe that Ecuador is hot and humid. This may be true in some locations, but not so in Cotacachi. Since it lies in the Andes Mountains, the temperature is quite cold. Some days are warm, but nights are generally cold. Don’t forget to bring a jacket or sweater if you plan to visit Cotacachi.

Parque la Martiz

Found beneath the towering sculpture of Jesus, Cotacachi’s main plaza is ringed by flags of different nations. This is a display of the city’s numerous international awards. Cotacachi is awarded with a large glass plaque stating the status of the village as a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. Another monument honors Cotacachi’s democratization of municipal management.

Here, you can find a statue of the notable Santa Ana de Cotacachi donning strings of local beads. Walk a little further to find the beautiful Iglesia Matriz Church to see its magnificent exterior and several statues of local religious figures.
To get to Parque la Martiz, just follow the towering sculpture of Jesus, which stands on top of the cathedral.

Mercado de los Andes

The Mercado de los Andes is Cotacachi’s main food market. It includes a large produce section, and sells every type of fruit imaginable—those you are familiar of and those you haven’t heard of before. It’s a great place to get lost into.
The market also has a few cheap clothing stores, and is known for its Ecuadorian hats and leather goods.

Mercado de los Andes is the city’s main food market and includes a large produce section, with every type of fruit you’ve heard of and likely a few that you haven’t. There are also some cheap clothing stores, notable for their variety of typical Ecuadorian hats. To get there, you can walk five blocks from the main plaza, located right next to the city bus station.

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