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Cotacachi Leather Capital of Ecuador

Cotacachi Leather Capital of Ecuador

Take a 25 minute drive north from Otavalo on the Panamerican highway and you will come to the town of Cotacachi, renowned as the leather capital of Ecuador. While you will find only a few leather items for sale in the Otavalo  Plaza de Ponchos, in Cotacachi there are  approximately 80 shops selling vast quantities of  high quality leather jackets, hats, luggage, handbags, wallets, belts, boots, shoes and even saddles.


Typical Cotatachi architecture and a Leather Boutique

Most of the shops are located on one avenue, 10 de Agosto street.  What you will find in this charming town are quality handmade leather items at bargain prices. Most leather items here are hand made. You can have items custom made if you come with a photo or can sketch out your design.

 Cotacachi Leather Jackets and Chaps

Leather Jackets and Chaps

Internationally recognized, this small town, self-proclaimed as an “eco-city”,  won the Participative Democracy, Dubai 2000 award for its for sound social, environmental and economic policies, and Unesco honored it with the City of Peace prize for its culture of dialogue and democracy. Indigenous mayor Auki Tituaña has held office for ten years (democratically re-elected), and has worked hard to bring many improvements to the town.

Cotacachi purse and briefcase

Leather Purses and Briefcases

Clean streets, investments in education and social benefits combined with respect for the environment makes Cotacachi the best small town in Ecuador, and a favorite retirement center for foreigners. A writer from Quito remarked to me that there was “a bloody American invasion occurring in Cotacachi.” He was referring to the approximately 200 Americans living there, who love the small town ambiance.

Stylish Leather Jackets of All Types

Stylish Leather Jackets of All Types

A museum in Cotacachi states that the first leather working association was formed in 1864, the first activity being the tanning of hides. That has changed, for now with a high regard for protecting the environment,  tanning is no longer performed within the town, and leather workers only use environmentally friendly products when dyeing and finishing. There is no toxic waste dump or chemicals from the leather industry being dumped into the river.

Boots and Leather Bags

Boots and Bags and there's lots of small items, too.

Coctacachi’s stylish leather boutiques offer something for everyone. If high quality leather items at a bargain price are high on your shopping list, then Cotacachi is a must see in Ecuador.

Author: Henry

57 Comments to “Cotacachi Leather Capital of Ecuador”
  1. once again henry fine job done. FAB leather goods can’t wait to get there and spend money and eat fruit play with you dog and your chickens. love to both .kiss kiss.

  2. micky enright says:

    Hi Henry and Elena Your sight looks good – some interesting information. It was nice seeing you last weekend with the little grandchild. Stay in touch – see you when I get back from FL. fondly M

  3. lysoubhaa duckeens says:

    i want to upgrad the site add more option more pictures of cotacachi leather market please i love everithing about ecuador

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