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Visiting Markets in Ecuador

Piggy Went to Market Travel Photography

Ecuador Street Scene - Little Piggy Went to Market

Travel in Ecuador often means making the effort to arrive in certain towns on market day; or the night before.

Visiting Ecuador's indigenous markets is so popular with Gringo tourists that day tours even depart from Quito; to Otavalo (Plaza de Ponchos), and Saquisili (baskets).

Riobamba and Cuenca (flowers) are further away and will most likely mean staying the night; maybe on the way south to Guayaquil.

Photo by Michel Guntern.

Plan Your Visit to Riobamba, Ecuador

Map of Ecuador

Remember to practice your bargaining skills while shopping in markets, as it is customary in Ecuadorian culture.

Also, keep in mind that markets can get crowded, so be cautious of your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings.

Location Scouting

Visiting markets in Ecuador is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant culture, rich traditions, and diverse products of this beautiful South American country.

Ecuadorian markets are filled with colours, flavours, and unique items that reflect the country's history and heritage.

Here are some popular markets you should consider exploring during your visit to Ecuador.

Guamote Indigenous Market

Taking place on Thursdays in the town of Guamote, this market is one of the most authentic indigenous markets in Ecuador.

Guamote offers a glimpse into the unique customs and culture of the Andean communities.

La Mariscal - Quito

Although not a traditional market, La Mariscal in Quito is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its craft shops, art galleries, and souvenir stalls.

It's a great place to purchase souvenirs and interact with local artisans.

Mercado Artesanal (Artisan Market) - Cuenca

Cuenca, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its craftsmanship.

The Mercado Artesanal is a great place to find high-quality handicrafts, including pottery, jewellry, Panama hats (which are actually from Ecuador), and embroidered textiles.

Mercado Central (Central Market) - Quito

As the capital city, Quito hosts several markets, and the Mercado Central is a must-visit.

This bustling market offers an array of fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, spices, and Ecuadorian dishes.

It's an excellent place to try local delicacies such as ceviche, empanadas, and hornado (roast pork).

Otavalo Market

Located in the town of Otavalo, about two hours north of Quito, this market is one of the most famous and largest indigenous markets in South America.

Otavalo Market is open every day, but the main market day is on Saturday.

Here, you can find a wide variety of traditional crafts, textiles, clothing, jewelry, and fresh produce.

The colourful textiles and intricate handwoven items are particularly noteworthy.

Santa Clara Market - Cuenca

Another noteworthy market in Cuenca, the Santa Clara Market is known for its fresh produce, flowers, and traditional foods.

It's an excellent place to taste local fruits and vegetables.

Saquisilí Market

Located in Cotopaxi Province, the Saquisilí market is a traditional indigenous market that takes place every Thursday.

It's an excellent spot to witness the authentic daily life of local communities and to buy agricultural products, livestock, and handmade crafts.

Things to do on Location

Ecuador Tourism:
Ecuador travel and tourist information with links to official travel and tourism websites and local resources for visitors to Ecuador.

Where to Stay in Quito, Ecuador


Hotels in Quito, Ecuador.

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