This water-filled caldera, named Cuicocha Lake, is just a taxi ride away from Cotacachi. On the weekends boat rides are available to the lava domes and thru the Channel of Enchantment. For the more adventurous, an 8.4 mile hiking trail goes around the entire lake, where the views are simply stunning. Enough words, here are pictures.
Our starting point around Cuicocha Lake-8.4 miles
We’ve only just begun. This hike took us 5 to 5 1/2 hours
The water-filled caldera, Cuicocha Lake
Looking back on our trail behind us
one of many steps on the trail
On the trail
Smaller Island named Yerovi, and the larger, Teodoro Wolf
Midway point on the trail
Teodoro Wolf Island, one of the lava domes
Another view of Teodoro Wolf Island
The usual fog is rolling in on Mt. Cotacachi
That fog rolls in quickly
Mt. Cotacachi as seen from the trail. The fog has lifted.
There are beautiful flowers all over the trail.
Mt. Imbabura from the trail between the rolling fog
The lake water, for the most part, comes from underneath, and not from rain. This is an active crater. The boats stop at a certain point on the lake for visitors to have a closeup look at where the gases bubble on up from the bottom to the surface..
The boats run on the weekends, but weekends can be busy. A Friday morning worked best for one couplet.
There is wild life on the lava domes, and not just birds
The boats take tourists between the two lava domes, it’s called the Channel of Enchantment
Cotacachi is a small Quichuan community, as well as, a popular retirement community for expats. This cute little town is known for it’s beautiful leather work and it’s many leather boutiques. It is also known for it’s mountain music, it’s plethora of Gringos, and of course, the mountain that bears it’s name. Here are a few images.
A statue in one of the parks indicating what Cotacachi is known for–it’s music and leather work.
One of the parks or plazas — Parque Matrix
I love these streets
Some of the town.
With the gringos, come many Gringo hangouts along with some good old American-style food. These are only a few.
The restaurant Serendipity
The coffee roaster in Cotacachi
His coffee roaster
A Gringo hangout called the Coo Coo’s Nest or The Solid Rock Cafe
La Fontana Italian Restaurant (closed) but in Parque Francisco try his place called Casa Vieja for pizza.
So, another fun day, or two, to be had in Imbabura.