One of the most interesting features of Ecuador is the markets, especially in small highland towns where it seems that once a week, everybody from the local area descends on a few blocks in the centre to buy all their provisions, eat, socialise and be entertained.
You can find sections, or sometimes entire markets just dedicated to handicrafts, fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and live animals.
Note that while a market is fascinating the first or second time, to a foreigner they can seem quite similar. Therefore unless you really want to focus on the ethnic differences or forms of dress, or you want to buy something specific, it would be better for you to make an effort to visit one of the biggest and best markets during your visit rather than plan your itinerary around dropping into every town on your route on it´s market day.
Here is a selection of important markets that offer a rich cultural experience for visitors:
Latacunga (also Saturday)
Saquisili (also Weds and Sat)