Otavalo - Imbabura - Ecuador

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Peguche Waterfall in Otavalo Imbabura Province

The Peguche waterfall is located just 3.3 km from the city of Otavalo, in the Province of Imbabura, it has a drop of 30 meters high and 6 meters wide, a majestic waterfall that you must visitcasc

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Otavalo - Imbabura - Ecuador

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It is a canton of the Province of Imbabura in Ecuador, one of the most important tourist destinations, visited by national and foreign tourists attracted by its cultural wealth in which Kichwa Otavalo and Blanco Mestizos peoples maintain their identity, the same that is strengthened with its myths, legends, customs and millenary traditions received by their ancestors.

The city and canton Otavalo, like the other Ecuadorian localities, is governed by a municipality as stipulated in the National Political Constitution. The Municipality of Otavalo is a sectional government entity that administers the canton autonomously to the central government. The municipality is organized by the separation of powers of executive character represented by the mayor, and another of legislative nature conformed by the members of the cantonal council. The Mayor is the highest administrative and political authority of the Canton Otavalo. He is the head of the cabildo and representative of the Municipality. The canton is divided into parishes that can be urban or rural and are represented by the Parish Councils before the Municipality of Otavalo.

The artisanal market located in a beautiful place, where thousands of artisans and merchants are concentrated, who leave every day of the week to exhibit their crafts. This cultural diversity is also combined with a variety of ecosystems that contain a very important and representative biological diversity of the region distributed among the mountains, lagoons, rivers, streams and springs that are generators of life and energy. Otavalo "Capital of Ecuadorian crafts", due to the variety and quality of products offered to visitors and the world famous indigenous market. It is the heart of the Province of Imbabura and the meeting point in the Andes above sea level. The city is located 110 kilometers north of Quito, capital of Ecuador; settled in a wide valley.

Relief in Otavalo

There are representative altitudinal differences that oscillate from 1,100m.s. in the area of ​​Selva Alegre up to 4,700 m.s. in the Cerro Imbabura.

Weather in Otavalo

Average temperature 14º C., four seasons in the day, fresh mornings, sunny days, autumn evenings and cold nights.

It is watered by a number of rivers throughout the territory and lakes that adorn the beautiful Otavaleño landscape, highlighting the San Pablo Lake and the Mojanda Lagoons that constitute a fundamental factor that characterize the touristic potential of the region.

Cultures and traditions in Otavalo

Most important Festivals: Festival of the Lord of Sorrows on May 2 and 3; Fiestas del Yamor from 01 to September 10.

Activities of the Fiestas: The traditional Fiestas del Yamor or harvest of corn, are celebrated with popular dances, cockfights, parades and autochthonous events.

On May 2, the eve of the "Fiesta de Señor de las Angustias", a massive concentration takes place in the "May 24" market, where it is celebrated with pyrotechnic games and music from the city band. On May 3, the procession and mass is held in the sanctuary of San Luis.

Sanctuary of San Luis in Otavalo

It is known as the Matriz de Otavalo Church. Initially it was a small chapel. Between 1676 and 1679 it was transformed into a temple of ample proportions of simple architecture, of a single nave, built of lime and brick, that did not resist the scourges of the land of 1868. The new construction begins in 1880 in another location, which ended ten years later, Renaissance style, with a facade of a single basic floor of three naves and apse. The main altarpiece in the Baroque style of the master Gregorio Ortega, gilded in gold bread built in 1869. It holds the tender image of the Lord of Sorrows (1734) that belongs to the brotherhood of the same name.

El Jordán Church in Otavalo

The new temple of El Jordán that can now be admired with its wide and well lit nave, majestic dome and presbytery, was concluded between 1963 and 1964 to serve the faith of a people and their spiritual future. In 1964 the side door of Calderón Avenue was opened to give the public greater comfort but it remains closed. Currently this church is under the orders of the Franciscan Fathers; In the adjoining convent, new candidates for priests who have a large library, especially on theological topics, receive training. Relevant is the stone facade with characteristics of simplicity and sobriety.

Grotto and Cross of the Socavón in Otavalo

The Socavón is a grotto of irresistible spell, adorned with precious liquid necklaces that twinkle between cornices and moldings similar to the Greek Corinthian linking the stony band of songs with tile appearances of perfect architectural adjustment. Each stone in this grotto is a lantern from which limpid water emanates as an allegory of crystals. In the midst of this prodigious nature sits the Virgin of Montserrat considered as the patron saint of Otavalo, is honored with the celebration of the mass at the beginning of the festivities of Yamor.

Attractions Grotto and Cross of the Socavón in Otavalo

• The Socavón Cross: In the surroundings of the Socavón Cave, there is a cross of the same name, located in the viewpoint of the eastern sector of Otavalo, which is accessed through a staircase and from where you can see all the city ​​of Otavalo.
• The Neptune Pools: It is located next to the Socavón Cave in the streets of Guayaquil and Juan de Dios Morales, in the Florida neighborhood. Here, the idea of ​​crossing the lagoon of San Pablo emerged.
• The Barrio Monserrat, the veneration of the Blessed Mother of Jesus with the invocation of the Virgin of Monserrat is a devotion that has been taking place in Otavalo for many years and which, with some variations, is now known as the festival of yamor, festivity that in the religious aspect it has an undoubtedly mestizo root. The oldest reference indicates April 28, 1865.

Plaza de Ponchos In Otavalo

Centennial Market or "Plaza de Ponchos" here are concentrated thousands of artisans and merchants who leave every day of the week to exhibit their crafts especially on Saturdays when the fair extends to nearby streets due to its size and importance.

Lagunas de Mojanda in Otavalo

This is perhaps one of the most beautiful scenarios of Otavalo, the lagoons of Mojanda are surrounded by pajonales and remnants of native forests that maintain a representative biodiversity of the northern Andean páramos, here are three lagoons of volcanic origin. These are: Karicocha, Warmicocha and Yanacocha (male lagoon, female lagoon and black lagoon, respectively). In the large lagoon, for its ecological wealth, it is advisable to go canoeing in rowing, you can also practice sport fishing for trout.

Laguna de San Pablo or Imbakucha in Otavalo

It is a beautiful eye of water of approximately 583 hectares, with a depth of 35 meters in its central part, which houses a great variety of fauna and flora. It is guarded by the Imbabura volcano and is only 5 minutes southeast of the city of Otavalo. It is the largest lake in the province of Imbabura, here the Indians go out to fish early in the morning in their totora canoes and also take a bath and wash their clothes on the shores of the lake during the day. In addition, it is an ideal space for the practice of water sports and recreation.

Peguche waterfall in Otavalo

It is a water fall of 15 meters high by 3 wide, located two kilometers from the Peguche community and 10 minutes from the city of Otavalo. It is surrounded by an immense eucalyptus forest, inside which there is a great variety of flora, fauna and trails for the visitors to travel. It is a ceremonial site, considered sacred by the indigenous people.

Condor Park in Otavalo

It is located on the hill of Pucará, five kilometers east of the city of Otavalo. The site can be accessed through the eastern neighborhoods of the city or by Eugenio Espejo parish. The park is dedicated to the care of birds of prey, such as vultures, eagles, hawks, royal buzzards, chilies and the condor, the symbolic bird of Ecuador. None of the birds that arrive at the park have been taken directly from nature, are rescued from inadequate environments, donated or arrive through the Ministry of the Environment. Its climate is temperate and its average temperature is between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Imbabura Hill in Otavalo

It is an extinct volcano. It has a height of 4,621 meters; It is located 8 kilometers east of the city of Otavalo. From its top you can see the volcanoes of the Sierra Norte. It has native forests with a great variety of flora and fauna. Within the indigenous worldview, it is considered as the "taita" or father and has given rise to several legends and beliefs.

Pucara of Rey Loma in Otavalo

It is a hill located five kilometers east of the city of Otavalo. According to historical data, it was one of the main sites of resistance of ancient populations against the Inca domain. From its top you can see an incomparable panoramic view of Lake San Pablo, the Imbabura volcano and the Otavalo valley

Cerro Fuya Fuya in Otavalo

The Fuya Fuya is preferred by tourists who like mountaineering in its different specialties. In the sector there are three trails that lead to the summit of the hill from where you can see the summit of the volcanoes Imbabura, Cotacachi and Cayambe. It is located near the Lagunas de Mojanda, passing the town of Pedro Moncayo at 17 km. south of Otavalo. It has a height of 4,275 meters. It has a temperate climate, its temperature is variable between 7 and 9 degrees Celsius. In regard to fauna we can observe several species among them we have the hare of páramo, birds like the condor, wild rabbits, curiquingues, eagles. Among the species that characterizes the flora we can find the forest of polilepis considered as a forest species, the straw, the sunfo that is considered as an aromatic plant, among others, you can also observe species that corresponds to a primary forest of the high Andean area.

Attractions Cerro Fuya Fuya in Otavalo

• Taxopamba Waterfall: Another place to visit is 4 km away via the lagoons of mojanda. There is a diversion to visit this beautiful waterfall with a walk of 25 min.

Typical Food in Otavalo

Yamor: It is a fermented chicha with low alcoholic power that is obtained from the ferment of the seven grains of corn, this drink is accompanied with a succulent dish of fried with mote, tortillas and empanadas.

Shampoos: In finados it is common to serve a dish of shampoos that is cast corn flour with mote and pineapple accompanied by guaguas of bread.

Masamorra with cuy: A traditional dish that is offered at indigenous parties is the masamorra with cuy. In finados it is customary to prepare this masamorra but with churos.

There are also other local foods, such as humitas, hornado, fritada, yahuarlocro, among others. They are found in the food and restaurant markets of the canton.

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Ecuador and its unique charms.

4 worlds in one place, so you can enjoy them to the fullest...!

Ecuador country of 4 worlds, in one place...!

Ecuador, officially called the Republic of Ecuador, is a sovereign country located in the northwestern region of South America. Bordered on the North by Colombia, Northwest with Peru, to the South and to the East with the Peru. The Pacific Ocean bathes the western coast, and separates it from the Galapagos Islands located thousand kilometers to the West.

Soo close Quito the capital of the Andes, stands the Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. It is currently one of the most traditional and culturally better preserved on the planet, it has 5 nominations for the Cultural heritage of humankind, two natural heritage of humanity and over 20 candidates for other commemorations of the Unesco .

History of the Ecuador

The first human settlements in Ecuadorian territory date back to 12 000 to.C., subsequently developed several pre-Columbian peoples. After the definitive independence from Spanish rule, part of the territory joined quickly the Gran Colombia, while the coastal territory remained independent until the annexation by manu militari by Simón Bolívar. In 1830 the Colombian territories of the South seceded and created the Ecuadorian nation.In 1979, the country returned to democratic system, although political instability between 1996 to 2006 led the country into an economic, political and social crisis, resulting in the dollarization of its economy and toppled three Presidents before the end of its mandate.

The Ecuador culture

Rag dolls representing the indigenous culture of Ecuador is a multi-ethnic and multicultural nation.It should consider the ethnic and regional diversity of Ecuador to analyze their culture. Ethnically it is marked by the presence of mestizos and indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, white; as well as regions such as the coast, the sierra, the East and the insular region, all of them with very rich specificities.

The Ecuador climate

The country has a tropical and humid climate, the air quality is very good by the presence of large natural forests, national parks, and the Amazon rainforest.

Geography of the Ecuador

Ecuador is located on the terrestrial Equator by which its territory is located in both hemispheres.The country has an area of 283,561 square kilometers. It is divided into four natural regions (La Costa, Sierra, the Amazon and the Insular region or Galapagos), in turn is divided administratively into 24 provinces.
In the Pacific coast are the provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabi, Los Rios, Guayas, Santa Elena and El Oro.In the Andes, in the North and central are Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Chimborazo, in the South are Bolivar, Cañar, Azuay and Loja.In the Amazon, on the other hand are succumbing, Napo, Pastaza, Orellana, Morona Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe and in the island, the Galapagos Islands, made up of 13 main islands region.

The Ecuador economy

Ecuador is a major exporter of bananas (first place worldwide in its production and export), flowers, and the eighth World producer of cocoa.Petroleum accounts for 40% of exports and contributes to maintaining a positive trade balance.

Festivals in the Ecuador

  • Easter, many of the provinces celebrated on this date, with regional events.
  • November 2, the Difuntos.
  • 25 of December day, they celebrate Christmas, sharing in family.
  • 331 December, farewell of the year.

Regions natural of the Ecuador

Amazon rainforest, Andes mountains, Costa and the Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador national parks

Parque Nacional Yasuní, Cotopaxi, Sangay National Park, National Park Podocarpus, El Cajas National Park, National Park Machalilla National Park.

Languages spoken in Ecuador

Ecuador speaks the Spanish throughout the territory, also Quechua indigenous populations of the Sierra and the Amazon, but as it is a country with a tourist infrastructure in development, can be guides in several languages; It is possible to speak in English at the points of attention to tourists called "iTur"; created by the Ministry of tourism also in airports, Bus Terminal, municipalities and others find information points.

Shopping in Ecuador

We recommend going to the handicrafts market of Otavalo, located about 2 hours (120 km) of Quito city, there you can get variety of souvenirs and handicrafts that are found in the rest of the Andean region.And don't forget Cotacachi, a town with cute works in leather of high quality.
In the city of Cuenca also can be purchased pottery, textiles, jewelry, crafts in toquilla straw, wrought iron, etc.

Food typical of the Ecuador

Ecuador has a variety of typical food, in each of the natural regions, such as Costa, Sierra and East have their own typical food, in the East can eat a Chontacuro (worms grilled on skewer), in the Sierra you can eat a delicious "fry pork", a hornado, llapingachos, the Guinea pig, the classic "sing" in Cuenca, and a fish coconut coast, prieta salt, green bolon or ceviche de concha and many more dishes.In Manabi most importantly the food is tanning with lemon and fresh fish.

  • Pope locro, is a stew with squash, beans, corn or potatoes.
  • Roast Cuy or Guinea.
  • Cebiche or ceviche, this dish is very consumed in the coastal area.
  • Encebollado, is a stew of fish containing Yucca and pickled red onions.
  • Cuy or Guinea pig, is usually roasted.
  • Bolón de pescado
  • Bolón, is based green bananas broiled or fried previously.
  • Fritada is another delicious dish of Ecuador.Not be left confused by the name, is not a dish of fried meat.The meat of pig or pork is cooked in plenty of water and orange juice with cumin, garlic, onion, salt and pepper until the water has been consumed to be completed. Then the meat begins to Brown in its own fat. Also is it accompanied by mote (boiled maize).

Drinks and fun in Ecuador

There are many clubs and bars in constant renewal in the country.

  • A reference point for nightlife is Montañita where Sun, surf, beach and joy.
  • In Guayaquil, there are bars and clubs for all tastes.
  • In Quito, the area of fun, dancing, alcohol is known as the Mariscal. Current law restricts the opening of bars and nightclubs on holidays; the days Friday and Saturday until 2:00 am, on Sunday the sale of alcoholic beverages is limited.

Lodging in Ecuador

Ecuador has a good hotel infrastructure for all kinds of tourists, from Hostels up to Super exclusive luxury hotels such as the Hilton Hotel Oro Verde, Sheraton, Wyndham, Unipark, among others. All this is thanks to the good tourist development that has had the country in recent years.
If you need more information about where to stay, we recommend you to enter this link: Lodging in Ecuador and review the tourism infrastructure that exists in all of the Ecuador.

Tourism in Ecuador

Ecuador lies within the countries more diverse in its ecosystem and for this reason National Geographic categorized it within the top 10 tourist destinations in adventure.

Cultural in Ecuador tourist attractions

Historic center of Quito, Mitad del Mundo, Ingapirca ruins, historic centre of Cuenca, Latacunga, and much more.Come and visit Ecuador!

Natural tourist attractions in Ecuador

Galapagos Islands, National Park Yasuní, National Park El Cajas National Park Sangay, Parque nacional Podocarpus, Vilcabamba, bathrooms.
Glaciers and volcanoes: Antisana, Cayambe, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo Illinizas.El is the volcano and highest mountain of Ecuador, is the farthest from the center of the Earth, and «the point closest to the Sun». Its last known eruption is believed that you occurred around the 550 dC.
Beaches: Crucita, Atacames, Bahía de Caráquez, Esmeraldas, Manta, Salinas, Montañita

The house of Olmedo in Babahoyo Province of Los Ríos

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Galapagos Islands

Extraordinary flora and fauna, a place you must visit...!

Galapagos Islands are worldwide known for their wide biodiversity and for being the point from where Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution.We present you 5 facts that perhaps you didn't know about the Enchanted Islands.

The term "Enchanted islands" first appeared on a map in 1589.Sailors nicknamed thus to the Galapagos Islands, by referring to these "appeared and disappeared", since due to the sea currents strong, access to the Islands was limited at certain times of the year. The nickname transcended over the years and today is still saying that the Islands are "delighted", but referring now to the great biodiversity of flora and fauna.

The Galapagos marine iguana, is the only species of reptile in the world that has managed to adapt to life under water.

The Islands are named for the giant tortoises that live there (the Galapagos word meaning turtle). This species can reach up to 16 hours a day to sleep and mainly feeds on cacti that grow there.

In keeping with the turtles, originally there were 15 species of giant tortoises in the Galapagos, unfortunately 5 of them are completely extinct, so there are only 10. The main threat of the turtles is the human being, who for years has been dedicated to hunting them for their meat and oil.

The Galapagos Islands were part of the second world war! During this war, the Government of Ecuador allowed the United States Government build a runway with strategic aims in the Islands.When the war ended, the Americans abandoned the place. That track currently serves as the main airport of the Islands, which welcomes the year thousands of passengers.