Exploring the Ecuadorian highlands
The Andes mountains run from north to south through the center of Ecuador, defining the country’s highlands region — known locally as la sierra. The map on this page shows the locations of three important cities for traditional Ecuadorian weavers.
Quito, in the northern central part of the country, is Ecuador’s capital. As the transportation and commercial center of the nation, Quito’s markets provide a vibrant outlet for craftspeople to sell their woven goods. The town of Otavalo, northeast of Quito, is situated in a valley known world-wide for the skill and artistry of its indigenous weavers. As a result, Otavalo’s open-air market has become a major tourist destination. Saquisilí, southwest of Quito, has one of the largest daily markets in Ecuador, drawing large numbers of both Ecuadorian shoppers and international tourists.