Travel article: Otavalo & Laguna Cuicocha

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: 3 months in South America!

Image for blog article: Otavalo & Laguna Cuicocha

Otavalo, Ecuador

Ecuador 2 days - February 2019






We reach a new region of Ecuador- 2 hours by bus from Quito: Otavalo.

The city has developed around the craft market that is held every day on the Plaza de los Ponchos and on Saturdays in all the streets of the city.

Artisanal we thought: everything is made in China unfortunately.

We still appreciate all the local clothes which are different from those of the region of Quito. For Otavalo women: thick gold necklaces, blouse with puff sleeves and long black skirt. No hat, however!

The men here have more than a hat to show their origins, they have a complete outfit also: pants and white shirt, white open sandals and hat (I let you guess the color;)) Without forgetting braids for everyone!

Very elegant.


We unfortunately missed the animals market. We arrived quite late in the city (midday) and the place changed so we got to the wrong place!

We caught up a few days later on the road :)

The next day - after going to church, it's Sunday after all! - Cuicocha lagoon hike - literally meaning "lake of guinea pigs" in Kichwa - located in the crater of a volcano.

We hopped on a bus and then a pick-up that took us to the national park.

Unfortunately we left with the rain and it followed us for 3 hours! The fog certainly gave a mystical atmosphere but what we will remember is that we did not see anything!

We go totally soaked :)

Some recommendations:

# from Quito it is very easy to reach Otavalo. First you have to go to the North Terminal (Carcelen) and from there buses run every 15min. 1h30-2h drive for $ 3 USD per person.

# We stayed at the El Andariego Hostel. Very good value for money. $ 19 USD per night.

# to get to Laguna Cuicocha: bus from Otavalo Terminal to Quiroga ($ 1.5 per person) and pick-up for $ 5 USD (for pickup not per person). Everything is very fast and well connected.

# to go around the crater 4-5h. We stopped on the way because the weather did not get better.

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