If you’re planning to visit the Quilotoa Loop, don’t forget to plan around market days for a more cultural touch to your holiday! The Saquisili market is by far the most famous market of all, but what many people don’t know is that as you get deeper in the mountains, there are several really beautiful smaller non-touristy farmers markets to explore!
Here an outline of the best markets on the Quilotoa Loop!
Latacunga (Tuesday, Saturday): Known for its size and meat market, which often includes the slaughter of live animals in the slaughterhouse. The Saturday market is larger than the Tuesday one.
Sigchos (Sunday): One of the less touristy but most wonderful markets on the Quilotoa Loop! It has several plazas and you can find everything here, from fruits and vegetables, to pots & pans, cheese & honey. The indigenous of the whole Quilotoa Loop come to visit this market, so it’s also a great spot to just sit and watch the locals!
Saquisili (Thursday): Widely considered to be the best market in Ecuador, this massive market stretches across 7 blocks and down streets, selling everything from appliances to woven baskets to live animals. Not only is it one of the most interesting for travelers, but one of the most practically and economically important markets for locals in the region.
Guantualo (Monday): Despite its rural location, the Guantualo market is very lovely and one of the less touristy markets on the Quilotoa Loop. It also lays in of the greenest valleys on the loop, so makes for a most beautiful mountain hike.
Pujili (Wednesday, Sunday): In addition to a number of fruit and vegetable stalls, Pujili is especially known for its pottery and ceramics. You are more likely to find such wares at the Sunday market, the larger of the two.
Zumbahua (Saturday): This early morning market is considered one of the best markets on the Loop, second to perhaps only Saquisili’s. Located in a more remote region of the mountains, this market is home to some indigenous cultural treats. If you’re looking for llamas, this is the market to see.
Chugchilan (Sunday): While one of the smallest markets, it can be a great find to hikers who want to pick up some delicious fruit and snacks for their hike on to either Isinlivi or Quilotoa.