WHERE'S MY BAG: SAQUISILI

Saquisili

The “Where’s My Bag?” series highlights Clark & Mayfield bags in interesting locations around the world. This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com. Michelle and her husband are "digital nomads," running their business online as they travel. As a proud owner of our Morrison laptop bag, Michelle shares about some of the destinations she's visited with this Clark & Mayfield bag in tow.

Saquisili, Ecuador

Most travelers want to go to Ecuador in order to see the Galapagos Islands - or maybe touch the equator in Quito, or venture into the Amazon jungle. Saquisili, on the other hand, is a town that remains relatively unknown to most foreigners. On most days, this town in the Andes, not too far South from the capital, is pretty unremarkable. Every Thursdays, however, it's a different story.

Saquisili chicken

Thursday is Saquisili's market day, and it's the largest market in Ecuador that is still predominantly for the local indigenous people. Eight plazas in town become bustling centers for produce, grains, livestock, furniture, textiles, or cook shops. The streets between these plazas are also lined with vendors.

These busy Thursday marketplaces are quite a fascinating sight. While few tourists make it this far off the beaten path, those that do are rewarded with an unforgettable, rich glimpse into Andean culture.  

Why We Went

After staying and working about six weeks in the UNESCO designated center of Cuenca, Ecuador, we took our last week in the country to explore other areas of the Andes Mountains. We were able to pass through Saquisili on market day before catching a bus out toward Quilatoa - a gorgeous, mountainous region known for its hiking and volcanic crater lake.

There were only two buses per day going to the tiny town of Isinlivi, where we stayed, and our bus was full of folks bringing back supplies and furniture to their remote homesteads in the highlands. After a month and a half in the city, exploring the Quilatoa region brought a welcome change of scenery and a unique exposure to the life of indigenous Ecuadorians.