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“A Not-so-minor Attraction”
Review of Laguna Cuicocha

Laguna Cuicocha
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Otavalo Market and Laguna Cuicocha Full-Day Tour from Quito
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Otavalo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located west of the Chota River, this extinct eroded volcano is best known for its deep crater lake and two lava islands.
Powell River, Canada
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A Not-so-minor Attraction”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We thought we'd be back in Cotacachi in two or three hours--hah! I've been to many volcanoes and their lagoons but never a caldera like Cuicocha with those crazy domes in the middle of the water. The three "islotas", the product of a second explosion after the core of the volcano had imploded, may be unique on the planet. It's fascinating to see, from the "lancha", how plant life is invading the lava and clothing the intriguing little islands in deep green. The tour around the lake costs $2.50 per adult and is safe, interesting and fairly brief. A free drink of "canazuela" is offered the adults on their return, to combat the cold, say the locals, who find the weather a little frisky at 3,000-some meters.
But then the question of lunch arises and it's easy to be seduced by the excellent, if somewhat pricey, restaurant that shares the premises. We took our guide to lunch and feasted on trout, guinea pig, "carne colorado" (pork in achiote), a corn dish called "mote", fried plantains, potatoes, magnificent avocados, and guanabana juice for $33 plus tip.
Foregoing dessert, we waddled over to the museum just above, and spent the better part of another hour viewing the well-thought-out displays, learning a lot about Ecuador's ecology, georaphy and geology--in Spanish. No charge for the museum.
We spent six hours on this jaunt only a few miles out of Cotacachi. Worth every minute. Visit the website for pictures.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Eva v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“All about Ecuador”
Reviewed December 14, 2012

We did a great days trek with this tour company. Husband had salmonella so was not 100% and the guide even took us to the chemist and spoke to the pharmacist for us. Really wonderful. Also did 2 day 2 peak trek with them, can't recommend enough.

Visited December 2012
Thank Redscooby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penticton, BC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful pristine lake only a short distance from Cotacachi”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

This is simply a beautiful little lake with visitors' centre and excellent viewing spots. Walking paths easily accessible, and a boat tour of the lake is also available. You should not miss seeing this special location.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank bcflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banff, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good place for hiking”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

It is a really nice friendly hike, good for acclimatization. If the weather is clear the views are beautiful The weather can be tricky so make sure to go prepared with raining gear.

Visited November 2012
Thank intlalberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
226 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Beautiful Lake with two islands”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

This is a lovely walk round the crater not too strenuous but a good four hour workout. You can also take a boat trip round the islands. You need to take a bus from Otovalo and then a taxi or a small van to take you up. Getting back is not so easy if lucky you might get a small van or hitch a lift. There are very few taxis so some poeple might prefer to organise a taxi back on the way out.

Visited November 2012
Thank JosephineSalvador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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