Getting There & Away

Otavalo is well connected to Quito, as well as being a major transport hub for smaller towns and villages in the northern highlands. The busy bus terminal, basically a parking lot, is on Atahualpa and Ordóñez, conveniently located only a few blocks from the Plaza de Ponchos.

To get to Tulcán and the Colombian border, travel to Ibarra and change buses there.

Old local buses, with fares of roughly $1 per hour of travel, go south to San Pablo del Lago (20 minutes) and Araque (30 minutes). Cooperativa Imbaburapac has buses to Ilumán (30 minutes), Agato (one hour) and San Pablo del Lago (15 minutes). Transportes Otavalo has 7:30am, 10:30am and 2pm departures for Intag (bus sign will read 'Santa Rosa de Pucara'). Buses for destinations except Quito leave roughly every 15 to 20 minutes.

Taxis are cheap, plentiful and easy to flag down. Any in-town trip is $1.50. The following are a few sample fares: Apuela ($50), Ambuqui ($25), Cayambe ($12), Ibarra ($10), Quinchuqui ($4), Tulcán ($50); haciendas around Laguna de San Pablo ($6). To the Mariscal Sucre airport outside Quito, it's $55 to $60, and $70 to anywhere in downtown Quito.