We went to the Otavalo from Tulcan at the Colombia-Ecuador border. Cross the border at Ipiales and arrive on Ecuadorian side. Get a collective for 75 cents to Tulcan. From the Tulcan bus stop, a bus to Otavalo will cost approximately $3 for a 3 hour ride. Pay the fare after you see the bus and make sure it looks okay. As you approach the bus stop, you will be approached by bus company agents asking you if Otavalo is your destination.
In Otavalo, we stayed at Hostal Valle Del Amanecer on Calle Roca y Quiroga. Its a nice little place with clean bathrooms, no kitchen, good breakfast and a shaded central courtyard to sit and relax. Saturday is the best day to experience the market and the animal market (which we did not get to see). Go prepared with plenty of change and will power – you’ll need it if you dont want to shop too much.
Otavalo is home to a successful indigenous community who still pride on their traditional ways. You’ll find otavalenos wearing traditional clothing, super cool bead jewelry and travelling in really modern cars. Multiple strings of golden beads are really common: