The Northern Highlands: Places to Explore


  • Cotacachi

    Although most people just pass through here on the way to the lake of the same name, the quiet little town of Cotacachi is well worth a visit. The small central plaza is charming, with young...

  • Otavalo

    Residents of Ecuador's most famous market town proudly retain many of their old customs, including their manner of dress. The women wear embroidered white blouses, blue wraparound skirts, black or...

  • San Antonio de Ibarra

    Renowned for its wood carvings, San Antonio de Ibarra is where you'll find skillful artisans who show off their wares in the shops surrounding the central plaza. Check out the chess sets, which...

  • San Pablo

    Easily accessible from Otavalo, the highland town of San Pablo is a collection of adobe buildings along the shore of deep-blue Lago San Pablo. The lake sits at the base of the massive 15,190-foot...


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