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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 Sun 18 Nov 2012 13:00 Archived in Ecuador

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