Posted by: mckecuador | May 12, 2011

Day Trip to the Various Markets

Our second trip to the Equator.

Day 3-May 11th
Hola! Today the adventure continues from the get go.  We started our day with breakfast at Los Alpes Hotel.  In the mornings we are served different jugos (juices) and today we were served juice made from Babaco or the star fruit which are much bigger here than in the states.  After breakfast we departed with our money and extra backpacks for souvenirs for our main destination, Otovolo market, the largest indigenous market in South America.  On the way, we stopped at the equator located in a different area.  Never failing to provide us with a plethora of culture and history, Miguel told us about the valley of Wiabamba, known for their different kinds of fruit and the town of Cayamby which is known for dairy and biscotti which we all enjoyed with some caramel.  None of this could compare to the view of the Andes Mountains from the bus on our journey.  Because we were out of Quito, there were no houses to block our view from the breathtaking mountains.  Made for some great scenery pictures!  Our next stop was to Peguche to visit a friend of Miguel’s who weaves, Jose Cotacachi.  Here we got to experience very rich tradition in weaving.  We watched how they made beautiful colors all from nature such as from bugs found on cacti.  We also got to experience the weavers at work and purchase handmade hats, scarves, tapestries and much more.  The art in Otovolo was so gorgeous and full of color.  Lush color in the whole market as far as the eye could see. 
A Shopper’s Paradise–The Otovolo Market
Otovolo was an interesting experience to say the least.  We were all given an hour to shop until we dropped, or ran out of money.  In the indigenous market bargaining is a must and we all had a great time bartering with the indigenous people in Spanish trying to get the best deal.  The one rule, never pay the first price they ask.  Rows and rows of scarves, dolls, hammocks, blankets, clothing, bags, and so many other colorful trinkets.  After the first shopping fever ended, we left with full hands and little money.  After the market, we ate lunch at local restaurant, Casa de Sol were we paid only $42 dollars for 14 people to eat a 3 course meal which was outstanding.  Here we were also enriched with more culture as we were entertained by a man playing traditional music with his guitar, pipes and his voice.  Muy bonito.  With full bellies, we headed to another market in San Antonio of Ibarra where the people specialize in handmade wood carvings.  Such beautiful art we experienced here.  All of us were in awe at the work done by the hands of these people.   Our last shopping stop was to Codacachi, where the indigenous people specialize in leather.  The smell of fresh hand crafted leather filled our noses.  After buying a few more items, we boarded the bus for the long journey home.
Cuy! For dinner we experienced a traditional Equadorian cuisine, cuy, or in other words guinea pig!  A restaurant in Quito that specialized in Ecuadorian quisine provided us with 2 cuy and then chopped them up for all of us to taste.  Definitely made us all feel like we were part of Ecuador after eating cuy.  Miguel entertained us as well by taking a nice big bite of the head.  La comida es muy bueno!!

Would you like to try some cuy?

We are all having so much fun together, especially interacting with the people of Ecuador.  Hasta manana!


  1. Love reading the blog! Stay safe and have lots of fun! I had a pulled pork sandwich tonight for dinner before I read your blog. Yikes!!

    • Hi Brenda,
      Thanks for the comment! I’ve packed some cuy for you to try when we arrive home!


  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I can’t wait to see more pictures. Did the cuy taste like chicken? (ha ha)

    • Jan,
      Haleigh is doing great and we’re passing your comments on to her. What an experience for her and all of the students!

      Dr. Diuguid

  3. Guinea Pig? I will put PetSmart on alert! Wow….love the blog! Thank you for sharing it daily with us! Lisa

  4. I’m glad you’re enjoying this trip of a lifetime. I’m sure you felt you were right in your element with all that shopping Haleigh, and knowing that mom wasn’t there for you to spend her money, I’m sure you got the better of the bargianing. Good luck on the rest of the trip…we love you!

  5. Hey Kat how was the cuy? Did it taste anything like Carolina Bar-B-Q? It reminded me of the moles Lucky dug up in the yard to play with. I’m really enjoying the pictures and blog.
    Love you,

    • We miss you! I hope your having fun! Christina said come home “I want my Aunt Kat!”xoxoxox

  6. I LOVE reading your blogs. Excellent information. GREAT pictures!
    Be safe and enjoy! 🙂

    (But I don’t need to see any more pictures of cooked little pets. Ha ha ha!)

  7. Mamma, it did NOT tast anything like Carolina BBQ. You know I tried like four bites, but still no bueno. I didn’t like seeing the pain on the animals face… I was told they are fried alive! I am re-thinking my choice to eat meat in general. I love you mi famila! I will call you when I’m back in the USA! Thank you so much for following my travels! We’re all (as in, all theStudleys) coming back soon together guys. Maybe to Central America(we HAVE to go before the coral reefs are flash fished out of existance!)? It is cheap cheap cheap! ❤ Can't tell you how much I appreciate your support 🙂

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