One of the best ways to get to know a country, a city, a neighborhood, is to go the market. There you'll see what's fresh, what's seasonal, how people shop and eat, and have the opportunity to chat with vendors, farmers, artisans, chefs, and hungry locals. So while in Ecuador, make sure to hit up the Otavalo Market (in the town of Otavalo), the largest in the country. It is also the one most visited by tourists, largely thanks to its enormous selection of handicrafts such as ponchos, sweaters, hammocks and hats.
Enjoy strolling around the plaza, wriggling your way through alleys crowded with stalls selling sombreros, shoes and belts, and you might also want to take a look at the animal market. Don’t worry about getting hungry or thirsty: stalls, vendors with carts and shops around the market sell all kinds of snacks, meals and fresh, healthy juices.