NOTE: If you are able to visit on a Saturday, I HIGHLY recommend arriving Friday night if possible so you can catch the animal market before 9am on Saturday morning.
Depart Quito at 7am and transfer approximately 2 hours north. Begin your day with a visit the artisan market (every day of the week) and practice your haggling skills for the perfect souvenir. After lunch in town, you have several options for your afternoon:
Hike to the Peguche Waterfall, a spiritually significant space for the surrounding communities and an area used frequently for cleansing rituals with local shamans.
You might also enjoy a 30 minute drive to Cuicocha volcanic crater lake. Here, you can choose to hike a bit around the rim or simply enjoy the view from the lookout, take a short boat ride, and enjoy a warm mug of canelazo. On your way back from Cuicocha, stop by the town of Cotacachi famous for its hand crafted leather goods.
Parque Condor is a bird rescue center located on a gorgeous hilltop outside the city. Most afternoons, they do a flight demonstration and talk a bit about the birds as they soar through the valley. They also have a pair of condors that you can see up close and personal.
Depart Otavalo by 4pm