Lake Cuicocha

After a few days in Quito we headed out for acclimatisation walks and Lake Cuicocha was a beautiful place to have on the list.

We’d spent the night in Otavalo, a nearby town which was very friendly and laid back. After a morning wandering round the market and having coffee in a cafe we drove to Lake Cuicocha.

Lake Cuicocha is a 3 km wide caldera lake at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano. The name comes from the Kichwa, a variety of Quechua language and means lake of the guinea pigs – referring to the two humped islands.

The walk around the lake was only 12.5km but as we climbed 600m to reach over 3600m in altitude, it felt like a lung buster. The trail however is easy under foot, it’s basically a nature trail round a lake.

The area must be incredibly beautiful in spring/summer with wild flowers. Even in autumn there were enough still around to impress. I even saw hummingbirds but didn’t get a photo of one.

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