Getting to Otavalo

Cuenca to Otavalo. After a search on Internet it seemed that the only way to get there would be with a bus (and maybe also terminal) change in Quito. Our plan was to take a Sunday nigh bus to Quito, so that we would get to Otavalo on Monday late morning. We decided to buy tickets already on Saturday, so that we would know exactly what time we should be at the terminal. We walked around the bus companies’ offices, checking for the ones that go to Quito and their departure times, until we arrived to the far end of the building and there we saw it – a company Flota Imbabura which has busses all the way to Ibarra. And Otavalo is on the way from Quito to Ibarra. And they even had a bus that departures at 9 pm. We did not have to decide whether to buy the tickets or not.

The journey should have taken about 11 hours, but our drivers were obviously looking forward to be at home and they made it in less than 10. The part between Quito and Otavalo was spectacular. The sun was rising and there surprisingly were no clouds, so we could see all the impressive volcanoes around ecuadorian capital. Unfortunately we did not take any pictures.

Hostal Flying Donkey

The bus did not go to Otavalo bus terminal, but dropped us on a Pan-American highway at about 7 AM. Otavalo is fortunately so small, that everything is within a walking distance, so we saved about 1 buck (that’s how much the taxi costs here) and within 10 or 15 minutes we reached our hostel Flying Donkey by foot. The hostel is very well located just between two main squares – Plaza Bolivar and Plaza de Ponchos. And what was even more important to us – just about two blocks from a food market!

Our room was fortunately empty, so even at this early hour we could check in, take a shower, make ourselves a breakfast in a communal kitchen and have some rest before exploring the town and having lunch (we found a local restaurant with almuerzo for just 2 USD).

Back to Hostal Flying Donkey. Staying here was a blast! It was not only the central location, a rooftop terrace with a beautiful view over the city and surrounding mountains, comfortable rooms… But mainly the approach of it’s owner Paul and his family, which made our stay one of the best in South America so far. With a good customer service, one totally forgets about the WiFi, which only worked next to the room door and some other small imperfections.

Make sure to check Hostal Flying Donkey, if you are heading to Otavalo!

Why Otavalo?

Why did we come to Otavalo? Not only because the town is known because of it’s huge Saturday market, one of the biggest in South America. Mainly because the town is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, where you can spend days hiking. And the fact that Lori and Eric were also coming in few days was just a coincidence, trust me…

  • Bus Cuenca to Otavalo – Flota Imbabura – 16 USD per person