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“Beautiful, challenging hike!”
Review of Laguna Cuicocha

Laguna Cuicocha
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Private Full-Day Trip to Otavalo and Its Surroundings from Quito
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Otavalo Market and Cotacachi Volcano
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Otavalo, Cuicocha Lake and Cayambe Shared Day Tour from Quito
Ranked #1 of 33 things to do in Otavalo
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Owner description: Located west of the Chota River, this extinct eroded volcano is best known for its deep crater lake and two lava islands.
Austin, TX
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful, challenging hike!”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Especially on a nice day, this lake is incredible. Approximately one-third of the long route around is just road, and not as nice, so what we did was get our truck to drop us off where the road ends. From there we hiked around to the main entrance, which took about 2-3 hours. The hike was challenging, but totally doable, and really gorgeous. Afterwards, you can catch a taxi to Cotocachi for leather shopping and lunch.

Visited January 2013
Thank kjsharp83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rural Virginian
Level 6 Contributor
271 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Terrific Hike around a beautiful lake”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

We hiked the rim of this crater lake and had a great time. The views almost the whole way around are beautiful. We are fit hikers and it took us 4.5 hours to hike all around, including stops for lunch and plenty of photos. The last 1/4 of the hike you go away from the rim and some people apparently choose to have their driver pick them up there rather than back at the start. As that part is not very beautiful, that might be a good choice.

Even if you aren't a hiker there are great spots to overlook the lake, or you could just go to the start of the trail for a great view there, or there are boats that go around the lake throughout the day.

We saw pretty flowers and many lizards as we hiked.

Bring sunscreen and a wide brim hat --the sun is strong!

Visited December 2012
Thank schlegal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Powell River, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 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.
London UK
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 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 1 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.

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