Otavalo Area

  • Laguna de Cuicocha - © Flickr user - Antonio Bustamante
  • Pinan Hike - © Flickr user - Yohan Moucheboeuf
  • Imbabura from the Panamerican Highway - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • Laguna de Mojanda  - © Flickr User - Natalia Cartolini
  • View to the Laguna de Mojanda  - © Flickr user- Jean-Francois Renaud
  • Imbabura Crater - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • Laguna de Cuicocha - © Flickr user - Antonio Bustamante
  • Lagunas de Mojanda  - © Flickr User - m e a n d r e a
  • Imbabura at sunset - © Flickr User - Jean-Francois Renaud
  • Laguna de Cuicocha - © Flickr user - Antonio Bustamante

Key information: Otavalo Area

  • This pleasing town, with its important and fascinating market, is a fine place to base yourself for several day's exploration, and for walking in particular.
  • There is a plethora of great walks around Otavalo, from short explorations to multi-dayers. Mellow to thoroughly demanding, but always beautiful and interesting.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: High, but your choice
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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Pinan Hike - © Flickr user - Yohan Moucheboeuf

WALK SUMMARY

This pleasing town, with its important and fascinating market, is a fine place to base yourself for several day's exploration, and for walking in particular. (Otavalo is popular with tourists but don't be put off.)

There is a plethora of great walks around Otavalo, from short explorations to multi-dayers. Mellow to thoroughly demanding, but always beautiful and interesting.

Cerro Imbabura: This exceptionally dramatic heavily eroded stump of ancient volcano makes for a superb but long, strenuous and quite difficult day walk (you don't have to climb the whole way!). Also consider the delightful and interesting 2 day circuit.

Pinan Lakes/ Yana-urco de Pinan: These lovely lakes sit on high paramo in the western Cordillera, below the superb Yana-urcu de Pinan volcano. This is a remote and beautiful area, which is worth taking time to explore and enjoy. You can circuit or climb Yana-urcu de Pinan.

Cuicocha Lake: A four hour trek around this deep blue crater lake on the southern slopes of Mount Cotatachi. A pair of youthful islands in its centre. An amazing area, surrounded by volcanoes: Cayambe, Imbabura and Cotatachi. Exciting wildlife. The views from high above are exceptional, even by the standards of this exceptional area.

Cerro Cotatachi: Make the challenging 2 day climb of this superb eroded former volcano.

Lagunas de Mojanda to the south. Three lakes set high in the paramo grassland under Cerro Fuya Fuya, a dramatic, broken former volcano south of Otavalo. Superb views of the surrounding mountains. Plenty of pick-your-own-trails from the lakes. Or trek across wild paramo to Esperanza or to Cochasqui, an archaeological site.

Loma Cubilice: Any recommendations?

Roads and tracks: Octavalo is one of those areas where heading off on backroads and farm tracks will be hugely rewarding.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!


Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Laguna de Mojanda  - © Flickr User - Natalia Cartolini

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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View to the Laguna de Mojanda  - © Flickr user- Jean-Francois Renaud...
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