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Cotopaxi or Otovalo....?

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50 posts
13 reviews
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Cotopaxi or Otovalo....?

Would really appreciate some advice. I have scoured the reviews etc but can't decide where to go for 2 night/2 day trip after Galapagos -

Cotopaxi and the Quilotoa loop or head up to Otovalo?. Slightly concerned about altitude sickness at Cotopaxi and a lot of driving. We do want to hike, maybe ride or cycle and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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10,023 posts
95 reviews
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1. Re: Cotopaxi or Otovalo....?

They are such different experiences it's hard to recommend one over the other. Otavalo of course is most famous for its Saturday market; many people seem unaware that the area can also be an active destination as well. There are some lovely hikes in the hills above the town around the lakes. There is also a day hike around the crater lake in Cuicocha. Don't know about bike riding in the area.

It is possible to rent bikes at the lodge near Cotopaxi. Many people go there and survive the altitude; it's highly unlikely you will get truly sick, but have a headache and shortness of breath. If you spend a few days in Quito that will help you acclimatize a bit. You don't have to summit; most hikers just go to the climbers' hut and then down.

Both areas have lots of scenery but are not really known for wildlife viewing.

2. Re: Cotopaxi or Otovalo....?

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