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Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

New England
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51 reviews
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Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

We have 3 days starting from Quito and wanting the last day in Otavalo for the saturday market. Our tour person has suggested either the area around Cuicocha lake or the Quilotoa loop. Does anyone have advice about which one might be better? We want to get in some hiking. It is hard to figure out so any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks

Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

Cuicocha is not far from Otavalo; how about staying a night or two in Otavalo for the hike one day, and the market another? The scenery in the area is gorgeous, and there are other opportunities to hike as well as shop for more weavings and wood carvings.

New England
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2. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

Thanks, we were considering that. Could we also do these as day trips from Quito??

Berlin
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3. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

Hi there, you have two different scenes here. Otavalo is a very nice indigenous town well developed into tourism. The hike around Quicocha takes about 3 hours on a grassy andean moorland environment where you can find many types of orchids. There is a restaurant there and some companies provide boat rides inside the lake crater around the islets.

In Quilotoa you have a more rural feeling, it is a developing community and tourism is starting to bloom here. All the hostels are family owned and its more "local", sort to speak than Otavalo. But of course it has no market, water is scarce and there are no restaurants except for a community run restaurant that goes for $17 USD a meal.

The hike here is more strenghtous (also more elevated) than Cuicocha, it takes about 5 hours on rocky, sand and andean moorland areas. You can also hike down to the crater (a beautiful turqouise water lake) and take a boat ride but schedules are more disorganized.

Both incredible things to do in Ecuador, and yes, both you can do as 1 day.

Pat

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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4. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

We took a taxi to Otavalo, early on Saturday morning, directly to Las Palmeras (hacienda) where we were spending the night. We dropped our stuff and got a taxi into the heart of town (take lots and lots of $1.00 bills). After spending our time at the market, we simply flagged a taxi to take us back to LP, taxi rides are about $2 in Otavalo.

After spending the night, the next morning we took a taxi to San Pablo (the lake area) to the Hacienda Cusin for lunch and a horseback ride. Back to Quito late Sunday afternoon.

Great trip, loved the people and the atmosphere!!!

Bethpage, New York
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5. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

How much was the taxi rides? Did you have your rides pre-arranged? We are a family of four...would we fit?

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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6. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

Your hotel in Quito should be able help w/the taxi. Will probably run about $80 r/t. They are small, but you can fit 4 in.

PM me if you want more info on Las Palmeras.

7. Re: Quilotoa or Cuicocha?

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