cuycocha laguna

Cuycocha is a 10,000′ high volcanic caldera containing a sublimely lovely lake, above Cotacachi.

cuycocha ecuadorRecently a U.S.  friend visiting Ecuador hired a driver, an Ecuadorian tour guide, and an Indigenous tour guide to take us up to the park for a hike around the caldera. 

For over a century, the lake has been called Cuicocha, or Cuycocha.  “Cocha” means lake and “Cuy” means guinea pig, which is a common food animal here. (We managed not to eat any “cuys” during our stay. )  Our indigenous guide, José Antonio, explained that the real name for this lake, in Quechua, is “Kuychikocha” (kwee-chi-ko-cha) which means “rainbow lake”.  As rainbows are not common in this region, a lake with rainbows is a sacred thing. The Spanish conquistadors apparently changed the name of the lake. 

Click here for more info:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuicocha

Continue reading “Hiking A Volcanic Caldera”

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On our last weekend in Ecuador, a “taxista”  drove us to the far side of Otavalo, to Lago San Pablo, a lake at the foot of the volcano Imbabura.

The original plan had been to take a bus. Gary and I and our friend were waiting with a dozen other people at the bus stop when a taxi driver pulled up.  He shouted out that he’d take anyone to Otavalo for 50 cents each.  We jumped in, and so did a teenage girl from the bus stop.  He explained that he lives in Otavalo and had to go home anyway, so he offered discount rides to us.

Continue reading “Lago San Pablo at the foot of Imbabura Volcano”

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