Two hours by car traveling north from Quito is the indigenous city of Otavalo. Its total population is approximately 110,000 inhabitants, of which 72% are indigenous, mainly from the Kiwcha Otavalos ethnic group.
The languages spoken in the area are Spanish and Kiwcha, the native language of the Otavalo people. Animal husbandry and handicraft production are the main economic activities of the community. Otavalo is considered the «Capital of Ecuadorian handicrafts» due to the great variety of crafts that are made, mainly poncho, anacos, scarves and artistic figures carved in wood.
The most visited place in Otavalo is «La Plaza del Poncho», this site is considered the largest in South America for the sale of indigenous handicrafts. Foreign tourists are fascinated by seeing miles and miles of local handcrafts. Near the poncho market is the weaving museum, here it is possible to appreciate the rudimentary first machines that were used to make the looms.
In the same city of Otavalo, 20 minutes from «La Plaza del Poncho», the Peguche waterfall is located, with a height of thirty meters and 6 meters wide, in this place there is a lot of vegetation, mainly sauco, cholán and blackberries. In the festivities of the Inty Raymi (festival of the sun) the waterfall is considered a sacred place to carry out purification rituals.