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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