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The Stunning Cuicocha Lake

Hiking the crater lake

As part of the side trip to Otavalo from Quito, Danny and I visited Cuicocha Lake (which was less than an hour from Otavalo). We were told to take a bus towards Cotacachi Village, get off at Quiroga and then take a taxi to the Lake. Apparently in Ecuador, a taxi does not necessarily mean inside a car. In this particular case, it meant riding in the back of an open truck. Danny was having the time of his life, while I was trying hard to keep my breakfast down :s

DSC00761.jpg DSC00755.jpg
Danny: "Isn't this awesome?!?"
Me *nervous smile*: "Um yea...so awesome"

The crater lake is 3km wide and 148 meters deep, located at the foot of Cotocachi Volcano. In the middle of the lake are 2 forested islands: Yerovi and Teodoro Wolf. The water is highly alkaline and contains very little life.

Once at the Lake, there is the option of hiking around/parts of the crater or simply staying at the bottom and renting a boat out to the islands. Of course, we (and by we, I mean Danny) thought it would be fun to hike the entire crater. After negotiating a time with the taxi/truck driver to pick us up, we started the hike. The entire hike was only about 20 kms but took us 5 hrs (because let's face it, I'm not the speediest hiker). I started out strong, but 10 mins into the hike, I was already exhausted haha.

Going strong....

...10 mins later haha

However, I sucked it up, and trekked on. The view at the top of the crater was definitely worth the effort in getting there - the views were amazing!

Us and the mountains nearby

Us and the lake

Clouds sitting on volcano

Panoramic view

Seeing as how it was almost time to meet our taxi/truck driver, we picked up the pace (well, I picked up the pace, Danny just went on as per normal) so we would not miss our ride back. As we were half running/half speed walking back to the meeting point, a bus full of Germans were kind enough to stop and offer us a ride back. We got dropped off with 2 mins to spare! Unfortunately, our taxi/truck driver did not share our view in keeping promises and never showed up (and to think we declined a free ride back into town just to keep our word). Luckily, we were able to grab another taxi and headed back into town.

Posted by TravellingFries 13:00 Archived in Ecuador

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