- Places to Explore
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Plaza de Ponchos
Plaza de Ponchos Review
Otavalo's premier sight, and one of which you'll be a part, is its Saturday market. This gathering of stalls was once called the Silent Market because there was no loud bargaining or shouting to entice you to buy. Though it's still quiet compared to other markets, times have changed. Today you negotiate your way through a noisy and overwhelming conglomeration of stands crowded with tourists. Once inside the hurly-burly, you deal with the dignified and astute Otavaleños, who speak slowly and softly as they negotiate. For sale are hand-knit sweaters made from sheep or alpaca wool, colorful ponchos, patterned scarves, and Panama hats. You'll also find strings of gold-washed glass beads, worn in multiple strands by Otavalo women, lots of silver, and jewelry embedded with Andean jade. You can usually get discounts of 20% to 30% by bargaining. (Don't bargain too hard though. Prices are already reasonable, and that extra couple of dollars will mean a lot more to the vendor than to you.) A produce market is held simultaneously at the Plaza 24 de Mayo; there's also an animal market at the Plaza San Juan. People from the surrounding countryside—many dressed in traditional clothing—come here to bargain for cows, pigs, and other livestock. The animal market begins at 5:30 am, and most sellers are packing up by 11 am. The Plaza de Ponchos market doesn't really begin until 7 or 8 and lasts until about 2 or 3. Although Saturday is the busiest market day, Wednesday runs a close second, and these days something goes on every day of the week.
- Location: Otavalo
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
First … thank you so much to all who helped with suggestions. Read more
We saw London, we saw France and lots more.
Day 1 (9/18) Amsterdam
Well I have put off this trip report long enough so here goes. I am writing this to pay forward the help and advice which I received from Read more
We will have 10 days to do some touring from the beginning of May.
We will depart from London and had been thinking to head north. Visiting York and heading to the Lakes District. Is this a good choice? Read more
· News & Features
The steep Andes are where you'll find these charming colonial haciendas, which offer a glimpse of Inca... Read more
On a National Geographic cruise through the Galapagos Islands' lush ecosystem, one of our intrepid writers... Read more
Filled with flora, fauna, and fascinating indigenous tribes, the Amazon is a fantastical frontier.... Read more