Study Abroad in Otavalo
Otavalo, located in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador, is a vibrant indigenous market town known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and traditional arts and crafts. Situated in the heart of the Andes Mountains, Otavalo offers American college students a unique and immersive experience in indigenous culture and natural beauty.
The Otavalo indigenous people, known as the Otavalos, have a long history of craftsmanship and trade, and their famous handicraft market is a major attraction. Students can explore the bustling Plaza de los Ponchos, where vendors display a colorful array of textiles, handmade jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, and other traditional crafts. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about the region's indigenous culture, interact with artisans, and acquire unique souvenirs.
Beyond the market, the surrounding landscapes of Otavalo are breathtaking. The town is nestled between mountains, valleys, and lakes, offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. Students can hike to the Cuicocha Crater Lake, surrounded by scenic trails and stunning views, or venture to the Peguche Waterfall, a sacred site for the local community. The nearby Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve is a haven for nature lovers, with diverse flora and fauna, including rare bird species.
Immersing oneself in the local culture is an essential part of the Otavalo experience. Students can visit indigenous communities, such as Peguche or San Pablo, and participate in community projects or cultural workshops, including traditional music and dance. The Inti Raymi festival, a celebration of the summer solstice, showcases vibrant parades, music, and traditional rituals, offering a unique glimpse into indigenous traditions and customs.
Otavalo is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, but it is always advisable to take necessary precautions and be mindful of personal belongings. The cost of living in Otavalo is relatively affordable, allowing students to find reasonably priced accommodations, local eateries serving traditional cuisine, and transportation options.
Access to Otavalo is facilitated by Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. From Quito, students can reach Otavalo by bus or private transportation, enjoying scenic views of the Andean landscape along the way.
Below you will find our list of Study Abroad and Volunteer programs in Otavalo, Ecuador. This index provides American college and university students with a comprehensive resource for discovering study abroad, internship, and volunteer opportunities in Otavalo. By exploring program details, student reviews, and ratings, you can choose the perfect program to enhance your educational journey and immerse yourself in the vibrant indigenous culture and natural wonders of this captivating town.
Study Abroad in Otavalo - Featured Programs
Start any Monday and study from two weeks to a whole year. See the world, experience a new culture, make friends from 100 countries – and prepare for your global future. University Credit is available for all Intensive Courses at EF.
Study Abroad in Otavalo - All Programs
Find your dream Study Abroad Program in Ecuador at Abroad101 and this directory of Study Abroad Programs, Rankings and Reviews. Future students are drawn to Abroad101 for...
A YFU exchange program is the learning adventure of a lifetime. YFU is a homestay experience where you will live with a carefully selected host family who has agreed to op...
Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines rugged international travel, inter-cultural exchange, home stays with local families, volunteer commu...