Cotocachi is a small town in the Andes with a Native American name no one longer knows what mean. Geographically it is located in the Imbabura province north of Quito, not far from Otavalo with its famous Indian market.

Cotacachi is one of the preferred locations for aging North Americans (gringos) to retire, like Cuenca and Vilcabamba, in the south. If they asked about what attracts them, they mention the good climate, spectacular scenery and the quiet village life. In addition they can socialize with other North Americans.

Cotocachi with its colonial features have an old history. It is stated that it was founded by the friar Pedro de la Peña in 1544. But when there already lived some somebody here .

But what make a call of the tourists, is the city’s selection of leather. It Otavalo there are alpaca products, in Cotacachi there are leather. Anything that can be made of the material can be purchased here. Shops are as pearls on a string along the main street, together with occasional eating places. The prices are low and the quality is high. In fact it is exactly the same items that are offered as brands at shopping centers in Quito and other major cities. People from all over the north of Ecuador come here to stock shoes or buy a leather jacket.

Tour buses from Quito gladly visit the city on their way home from Otavalo.

In the picture: The city’s great church seen from the beautiful park.