7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR

  1. Plaza de los Ponchos in Otavalo

  2. Mariscal Art and Crafts Market in Quito

  3. Ejido Park Art and Crafts Market in Quito

  4. Ejido Park Open Air Art Gallery in Quito

  5. Juan Leon Mera street high end Art, Crafts & Antique shops  in Quito

  6. Productos Andinos in Quito

Best Art and Craft Markets in Ecuador

The Plaza de los Ponchos Art and Crafts Market in Otavalo

The best place for buying Indian craft and art in Ecuador, no doubt is the artisan market of Otavalo. On the Plaza de los Ponchos you will find all the woven and knitted textiles for which the Otavalo Indians are so famous: rugs, table cloths, shawls, wraps, ponchos, wall tapestry, etc. etc. But you will also find Panama hats from Cuenca, leather jackets from Cotacachi and wood carvings from San Antonio.

 

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The Plaza de los Ponchos was built after the design of Tony Zwollo as a donation from the Government of the Netherlands in 1970. It contains 90 mushroom shaped concrete stalls (quite ugly in fact, but very solid). While the plaza may have been sufficient for the Indian merchants in the 1970s, they certainly are not so now, and many streets feeding into the Plaza, are lined with stalls, particularly on Saturdays, which are market day. Much more information and many more pictures of the city of Otavalo, its people and its market are available on our Otavalo page.

 

The Plaza de los Ponchos with mountains in the background.

 

The mushroom shaped stalls are visible in both pictures on the right.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Woven bags and cloths, Otavalo, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Otavalo women in tradtional dresses

Handbags, table clothes, sweaters and many other woven products abound in many qualities, shapes and colors.

Otavalo is famous for its colorful woolen tapestry, which make particularly great wall decorations.

 

What to Buy in Ecuador

In fact, there are 5 different art and craft markets with Ecuador's art products, making it very difficult to chose what to buy in Ecuador.

 

Art and Craft markets in Quito

Capital Quito also has two art markets and many individual shops, but they are not quite as well supplied as Otavalo. The tow markets are:

  • The Mercado Artesenal Mariscal - the Arts and craft market Mariscal -, which covers the entire block between the Calle Juan Leon Mera and Reina Victoria along the Calle Jorge Washington. 

  • The Market in the Ejido Park, a pedestrian path reserved for art and craft stalls under a modern looking cover.

 

Many individual art and craft shops are found on the Calle Juan Leon Mera (Street) and the Avenida Amazonas directly North of the Ejido Park. More shops are found in the centre, particularly on the Plaza Central, the Plaza San Fransisco and its feeding streets, as well as the Calle Ronda. There are basically two kinds of shops. The small shops which sell the same products as on the markets, but usually with less variety, and the up-scale shops, which sell different products from what can be found on the markets, but they are usually rather expensive and bargaining usually is not very successful (but you can always try).

 

Additionally, there is an interesting painting and modern art market on the North side of the Ejido Park (opposite Hotel Colon). While there is a lot of kitsch, some of the objects are quite original and worth buying for your home. One particular artist makes beautiful paintings of indigenous people at a very large size. Given te size, they are good value for money (art paint is very very expensive). But then, once you have bought it, HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU GET IT HOME????????? (Sorry, I have no pictures of the paintings of my favorite artist).

 

Mercado de Artesanias la Mariscal in Quito

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Mariscal Art Market, Quito, Ecuador

Mariscal Market emblem at the corner of the art Market.

Decorated wall of the Mariscal Art Market enclosure.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Colorful bags and shawls and wraps, Mariscal Art Market, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Covered Art Market Mariscal, Juan Leon Mera Street

Woven textile products.

Otavalo woman with table cloths.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Traditional Otavalo blouses, at art market, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Craft market, Quito, Ecuador

Traditional Otavalo blouses.

Don't just look at the art. Real Ecuadorian life plays out right in front of you: Otavalo women chatting about their toddlers, while lovely children play around you everywhere around you.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Alpaca rug, art market, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Pottery art black and whilte, Quito, Ecuador

Rugs of Alpaca skin made in Peru.

Ecuadorian pottery.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Andes musical instruments at art market, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Pan flutes and Andean musical instruments, Quito, Ecuador

Traditional musical instruments.

Flutes and pan flutes.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Table Cloths at art market, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Chocolate shop at Mariscal tourist market, Quito, Ecuador

Merchants inspecting products.

Chocolate and drinks from Ecuador.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Otavalo sales woman, Mariscal market, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Otavalo woman in traditional dress

Otavalo woman showing a blouse.

Otavalo woman in traditional blouse.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Panama hats at art market, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Leather jackets and bags at stand Mariscal art and craft market

Panama hats made in Cuenca.

Leather products.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Silver jewelry at art market, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: silver and porcelin eggs, at craft market, Quito, Ecuador

Silver jewelry.

Silver and glazed egg-shaped birds.

 

7 BEST ART AND CRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Children at Mariscal artesan marketWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Otavalo sales girl in traditional dress at Mariscal art market

Children of merchants entertained at the market.

Young otavalo woman in gorgeous dress.

 

Specialized art and craft shops on Juan Leon Mera Street

Several art shop in Juan Leon Mera street sell quality products and antique not found on the market, but at much higher prices.

 

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Juan Leon Mera Street: art and craft shopWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Masks at art shop Calle Juan Leon Mera

Rare masks in art shop in Juan Leon Mera Street.

Art Market in Ejido Park, Quito

 

Covered stalls in the Ejido Park Art & Crafts Market.

 

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Ejido park art and craft market, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Art stall at Ejido Park, Quito, Ecuador7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Otavalo children playing while parents sell art productsWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Children at Ejido park, Quito, Ecuador

Watch the children and families have a great time.

 

Open air paintings Gallery on Ejido Park

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Open air art gallery with paintings, Ejido Park, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Paintings at Ejido Park, Quito, Ecuador

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Paintings exposition at Ejido Park, Quito, EcuadorWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Paintings stall at Mariscal art market

On the north side of the Ejido Park are displays of paintings for sale. Many may not be your taste, but some of them are very artistic indeed.

 

Productos Andinos

An all times classic is Productos Andinos, Calle Urbina & Cordero, the first shop with quality traditional art of Ecuador, founded in the early 70s and still owned by the same charming elderly lady. Over the years we have bought many great pieces from this shop and always stop here to see if she has something of our liking. She sells the best Mazapan, a very traditional dough based art product that is now hard to come by in Quito.

 

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: A great art and craft shop is Productos Andinos, QuitoWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Beautifully upscaled tapishes, etc. at Productos Andinos, Quito

Productos Andinos, on the corner of Calle Urbina & Cordero, Quito.

Selection of fine Otavalo Designs with higher quality weaving.

 

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: Mazapan in Productos Andinos, QuitoWHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Great necklaces in Productos Andinos, Quito

Mazapán, now a rare classical Ecuadorian art product still sold at Productos Andinos. Made in the town of Calderón, they are made of bread dough. Nowadays very few shops still sell them and usually only poor quality small items.

Quality necklaces at Productos Andinos include Coral beads and Colombian gold bath Pre-Columbian designs.

 

7 BEST ART AND HANDICRAFTS MARKETS OF ECUADOR: A favorite is a sturdy beautiful ladies backpack.WHAT TO BUY IN ECUADOR: Baskets in Productos Andinos, Quito

Other Ecuadorian art and craft hard to come by at Productos Andinos:

  • Some of our favorites: The fabulous lady's backpacks (left). It's sturdy and backpack looks very special;

  • Colored baskets.

 

The Centro Cultural Tianguez is an artshop with restaurant at the Plaza San Fransisco with traditional food of all regions of Ecuador.

 

Centro Cultural Tianguez restaurantCentro Cultural Tianguez indiginous art shop

 

City tours are almost daily available. Our Andes Trek, Ecuador program includes the best National Parks of Ecuador in the Andes as well as the famous cultural highlights, like Quito, Cuenca and Ingapirca.  Please contact us for information, rates and bookings.

 

 

Cuyabeno Lodge:

Shyris Park Building, Av. de los Shyris N36-188 & Av. Naciones Unidas, Office 608, 6th floor, Quito

Phone Office: (++593) (0)(2) 292 6153

Cell (mobile) phone: (++593) (0)999 80 3395

Map:

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