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Around Otavalo

Although many travelers come to Otavalo just for the market, there’s plenty more to do outside of town. Otavalo is surrounded by extinct volcanoes, rugged Andean peaks and fertile highlands, as well as an abundance of lakes and waterfalls. Getting around is fairly easy; the combination of ancient Inca trails, cobbled roads and tracks make the possibilities for walking and cycling almost unlimited.

There are a couple of tour agencies in the town that can arrange trips from Otavalo; the most popular tours are visits to local villages where you can visit indigenous residents in their homes, watch carpets being woven the traditional way, and learn about the weaving process. Hiking, cycling and horse-riding trips are also available.

If you're going hiking, the area around Lagunas de Mojanda is an excellent spot–beautiful, yet not at all crowded. The high páramo land, just 17 kilometers (10.56 mi) south of Otavalo, has numerous trails, lasting from just a few hours to a whole day. There are a few hotels along the road that provide easy access to this area and both can recommend good routes (see Lodging Around Otavalo for more information).

Laguna de San Pablo, southeast of Otavalo, is another good choice, with several places to eat fresh fish, get involved in water sports, or stay the night. There’s a paved road encircling the lake, and you can walk around it in a day; the views are beautiful.

Another good excursion is to the gorgeous Laguna de Cuicocha, a volcanic crater lake which is a haven for wildlife. There’s a trail around the lake, but the path very eroded in places and can be difficult to follow. On a clear day the views are stunning. You can also take a boat trip around the lake.

A popular walking or cycling trip from Otavalo is to the waterfall at Cascada de Peguche. Follow the railway tracks north to the town of Peguche (about 3 km/1.86 mi), where you may be lucky enough to see weavers at work. Keep going another 2 kilometers (1.24 mi) along a trail southwest to reach the waterfall. The area can be fairly busy with locals during the weekend, but is quieter during the week.

Other neighborhoods in Otavalo: Iruguincho, Around Otavalo, Iluman, Cuicocha Lake and Cultural Tours In Ecuador.

30 Oct 2012

Things to do in Around Otavalo

Hiking around Cuicocha Lake

The hike around Cuicocha Lake can be completed anywhere between 3.5 and 5 hours, depending on your general level of fitness. Most people head off around the lake anticlockwise from the restaurant. Be ...
Cuicocha Lake, Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador

Fuya Fuya

Fuya Fuya is located 20 kilometers (12.4 mi) south of Otavalo. Trails on the mountain offer straightforward climbs with spectacular views of the Lagunas de Mojanda, three pristine lakes located at ...
Hiking, National Park
Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador

Peguche Waterfall

114089If you\'re staying the night in Peguche, it\'s worth it to take the 20 minute walk to the town\'s sacred waterfall. About 2 kilometers (1 mi) long, the trail has an array of sellers, hoping that you ...
Other Activity
Peguche, Around Otavalo, Otavalo, Ecuador
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