During the 18th and 19th century, many Otavalo locals worked their trade in textile factories and this tradition continues in weaving villages and workshops in the area. Some of these 18th century workshops are still standing although one of the most beautiful, the Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui, has been converted into a fabulous boutique hotel.
Simon Bolivar was a frequent guest at Hacienda Pinsaqui. The hacienda was also the site of the signing of the Treaty of Pinsaqui, an agreement that ended conflict with Colombia in 1863, and was carefully restored after a strong earthquake a few years later.
Given the rich history and success of this beautiful hacienda, it should come as no surprise that it showcases beautiful marble floors, antique chandeliers, beautiful antique wooden furniture from France and Spain, and other features from a bygone era. Big, cozy hearths are found in the living and dining rooms, and each of the 30 suites has its own fireplace.
There is also plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. The hacienda grounds feature extensive, 200 year old gardens planted with stately palms, a variety of plants, ponds, and the occasional llama, and the colorful market at Otavalo is just a short drive down the road.
The spectacular Imbabura volcano is always in view and excursions can be arranged to visit many sites in the nearby highlands such as the Mojanda lakes, San Pablo Lake, and the Peguche Waterfall.
The towns of San Antonio and Cotacachi are also near the lodge and are renowned for the quality of their hand-crafted wood and stone sculptures, and leatherwear.
Visitors flock here mainly to take in the markets, which are stocked with goods from some of the most respected craftspeople in the world. Many of the locals wear traditional clothing, and sell their leather-work, weaving and wood carvings at the daily markets. The horse riding is fantastic here, and the traditional haciendas are sublime places to dine and rest your head.