Most visitors to Ecuador spend the majority of their time in Quito and the Galapagos Islands, but if you’re already in the capital city, set aside a day or more to explore the nearby highlands accessible via the Pan-American Highway.
Latacunga is a great place to start. Located about 60 miles south of Quito, the town is well known for its authentic and less-touristy markets that offer a glimpse into life in the shadows of the Cotopaxi volcano.
Live chickens, whole fried “cuy” (guinea pig) and handmade corn cakes stuffed with cheese make the busy Tuesday and Saturday markets a photographer’s delight. Freshly picked fruits and veggies and piles of fish, rice and beans are equally worthy subjects — for eating.