The most important town in this region, SANGOLQUÍ, 15km southeast of the capital, has an impressive church with an imposing facade and grand bell tower. Yet it’s much better known for its market, which runs all week, but on Sundays (and to a lesser extent, Thursdays) expands from its three dedicated market squares to fill much of the town. It’s a hard-edged and busy affair, perhaps lacking the charm of a highland-village market, but the energy of the local commerce is compelling, and being so close to Quito it makes an easy day-trip for those with limited time. Buses leave regularly from Plaza Marín in the old town (25min).

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