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  • Excellent60%
  • Very good32%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“boat ride”(49 reviews)
“crater lake”(46 reviews)
“great hike”(18 reviews)
Located west of the Chota River, this extinct eroded volcano is best known for its deep crater lake and two lava islands.
Cotacachi 100450, Ecuador
+593 6-301-7219
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All reviews boat ride crater lake great hike hour hike taxi driver visitor center nice view counter clockwise guinea pigs short hike hiking trail cotacachi volcano nice lake park entrance easy hike otavalo market cuy
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1 - 10 of 402 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Wonderful views, super well maintained trail. Easy access and great map. The flowers and trees along the trail are a constant surprise.

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank conniet164
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The views of this volcanic crater are amazing! We climbed to the top of the crater edge for an awesome view of the volcanic crater. We also took the boat ride to the center of the crater where the water is said to be 600...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Kidsaregone65
Reviewed January 15, 2019

A beautiful lake on volcano Cotacachi in the Imbabura province of Ecuador. Approximately a 4.5 hour hike for most, although several of us made the hike in just under 4 hours. The lake is visible throughout much of the hike, offering stunning views and photos...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank susanbussey
Reviewed January 9, 2019

Beautiful views of this volcanic crater lake abound. The hike around is only moderately difficult if you are in condition and prepared for the altitude. You get different views of the two islands as you hike around the lake. There was minimal hiking traffic on...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Robert S
Reviewed December 31, 2018

This place is absolutely must-see. The lake that is in the volcano crater is huge and has absolutely transparent water. The boat trip which is take about 30 minutes and cost only USD 3.50 is worth to try. Important: take care about you trip back...More

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank DmitriiLobanov
Reviewed November 25, 2018

Very beautiful place, the lake with the two islands is charming. Easy hike around the lake, planty of flowers. Don't hurry just enjoy the place.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank barbara_uNovaGorica
Reviewed November 7, 2018

With an easy walk you can reach the lagoon with magnificent views on the surrounding mountains. You can choose a big hike around or spending some time with a small hike to get a good impression of the surrounded landscapes. The location is really fabulous...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Karine V
Reviewed October 14, 2018

A very nice day trip from Otovalo. The hike is exhausting, especially if you're not used to the hight, but it's very beautiful. The trail is very well signposted, so you can't get lost. Getting there was the most difficult or most annoying thing. We...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank 254vanessah
Reviewed October 3, 2018

From Otavalo or Ibarra city you can get a taxi, it takes around 35 min to arrive at lake. This lake is part of Cotacachi-Cayapas Echologic Reserve, then at entry you need register your dates in the office. You can ask for some information to...More

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank salinasdeguaranda
Reviewed September 20, 2018 via mobile

We took a bus from Otavalo to Cuicocha (0,35 pp) and a taxi from there (5,- total). Easy peasy! Then we hiked for about 5 hours clockwise, and it was awesome. Beautifull lake, nice path, not to challenging though there is some climbing to be...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank erwinb101
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Questions & Answers
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July 6, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from michaelayala | Reviewed this property |
I have seen egrets over there
July 2, 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ThatAneAdventure2017 | Reviewed this property |
I'm not sure the best way to hike it since I took the boat, but you are hiking around the crater rim and arrive at the same spot so you would have similar elevation differences either way. As far as getting there I'm... More
January 13, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from michaelayala | Reviewed this property |
i´ve done it with either running shoes or hiking shoes. Not an issue
Travel Forum Posts
Michelle B
A few days in Quito...what should we do? (8 Replies)
Hi everyone, My friend and I have a tripped plan (for October) through a travel company that involves hiking based out of Quito before going on to the Galapagos. During the 3 days that we are hiking, we will be visiting Laguna Cuicocha and the Papallacta Hot Springs. We were thinking of flying into Quito a few days prior to see the city. What would be some must-sees for this time? I know little about Quito and don't even know where to begin. Thanks in advance for any advice! Michelle
May 29, 2010|
Response from|
Michelle; Quito is the first UNESCO site on earth (1978) Is a treasure of colonial spanish art and ecuadorian republican art. You should definetely see: Old Town with churches and President's Palace Inti Nan in situ Museum ( Real Equator) do not go to the fake Equator which is the typical stuff that is set in th "touristic brochures" Teleferico (tram) that takes you up to 13700 ft from wher you can watch amazing landscapes from Quito and the Andes. Make sure you go with a proper...More
Lexington, Kentucky
Laguna Cuicocha (2 Replies)
Hello. We are planning our first trip to Ecuador. We would like to see Laguna Cuicocha and maybe take the boat ride there. Not really interested in an old day hike. Wouldn't mind going to Coatachi but don't have a lot of interest in visiting Otalavo and I don't think we will be in the area on a Saturday anyway. Looking for suggestions on if this is a day trip worth doing and if so, should we consider a private driver or using buses? Thanks!
August 04, 2016|
Response fromcandygirlky418|
Thank you!
Montville, New Jersey
laguna Cuicocha or Quilotoa (4 Replies)
We will stay in historical center of Quito and the departure flight is midnight(11:59pm) the next day. Debating to go to see either lake Cuiccocha or Quilotoa before heading to the airport. We are not big fun of hiking and enjoys looking at good views. Ideally is to take time in the morning and head out of city around 10am , but the concern is that the fog in the lake area in the afternoon. Here are the questions: 1. When the fog really starts every day at each lake area(I am travelling on...More
April 15, 2018|
Response fromMooreUSA|
Does the fog have a big impact on the view? Um, yes. It can easily be a difference between seeing an amazing view and seeing nothing but clouds. Regardless of which site you choose, I'd recommend a much earlier start than 10am. When we were at Quilotoa, clouds started rolling in right after your lunch, which would mean you'd potentially see nothing if you weren't arriving until then.