Otavalo Culture

Learn Spanish and Explore the Northern Andes . . .

Otavalo is a vibrant indigenous town located about two hours north of Quito. It is particularly famous for its Saturday market - the largest indigenous market in Latin America - that showcases the range and quality of crafts produced in the region.

Yanapuma has partnered with a Spanish school in Otavalo that is also a member of the same association of Spanish schools - the AECEE- to offer a program of Spanish classes and cultural excursions and activities that explore the history, culture and geography of the region.

Some of the highlights . . .

  • Explore the indigenous crafts-producing town of Otavalo
  • Stay with a local host family
  • Visit the famous Cuicocha Lake
  • Visit Peguche Waterfall
  • Visit the indigenous community of Chilcapamba
  • Visit the Parque Condor animal and bird rescue center
  • Learn about the Kichwa culture of the Andes

At the end of the week students may elect to stay overnight on Friday to visit the famous market on Saturday. This starts at 5.00 am with the animal market, with the crafts market opening around 9.00 am. There is plenty of opportunity to shop for souvenirs of your visit to Ecuador, as well as to enjoy tasting local foods.

The Andes mountains represent the western terrestrial edge of the South American tectonic plate, being constantly pushed upwards as it rides over the Nazca plate underneath the Pacific Ocean. It is an area of constant volcanic activity with a string of volcanic peaks stretching all the way down South America. It has created stunning Andean scenery and the area around Otavalo typifies the Andes.

"After studying in Quito I thoroughly enjoyed the quieter ambience of Otavalo, especially its strongly indigneous character. The transition between teachers was seamless as I carried my school folder there with me, and the excursions filled the rest of the day with insights into this Quichua culture."

Click to contact us for a more detailed itinerary