Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Otavalo and the northern highlands

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When To Go

The northern highlands have an all year round spring-like climate with temperatures averaging 21°C.  It can rain at any time in the year but most precipitation falls all year with Feb-Apr and Oct-Nov the wettest months. The main market day at Otavalo is Saturday when there are four different markets, including artisan and livestock. The towns and haciendas in the region can be busy at weekends and from Christmas to New Year.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

Language

Spanish

Getting Local Currency

Ecuador uses the US dollar. There are banks in Otavalo but it’s best to take out money in advance in Quito where there are many ATMs.

Time Difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines With

The bird-filled cloud forest in the Mindo region, 37km; the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 136km.     

Getting There

It’s a drive of a couple of hours on a winding upland road (58km) from Quito to Otavalo.

Key Events

Fiesta del Yamor: Otavalo and other towns, first two weeks of September.  Music, dancing, fireworks, cockfights, bullfights, processions and boat races on Lago San Pablo. 
Inti Raymi and San Juan:  Around Otavalo, 24-29 Jun. Bullfights, regattas on the lake, costume parties.

If you still have questions, please contact us and one of our Travel Experts will be happy to help.

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  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

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    It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

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    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

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