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Iruguincho is a small, poor, rural village close to the Cotocachi-Cayapas Reserve where people rely on subsistence agriculture. The community has become involved in eco-tourism around their area, and can provide visitors with local guides and horses. You can get to Iruguincho by catching a bus from Ibarra.

In the village you can arrange a day hike to Churo (Quechua meaning snail, or sea shell), one of the best preserved pre-columbian temples in the area (the trip takes three hours). Historians and locals believe that the form of the temple, which corresponds to the shape of a shell, suggests that the temple was used to worship the volcano, Cayambe.

The community also offers shorter walks to the nearby cloud forest and a beautiful local waterfall. You can even enjoy a dip in the Timbuyacu hot springs (a very basic facility that's owned by the community). Ask for Galo Vargas in the village. He can arrange horses for longer trips and can act as a guide for the Cotocachi-Cayapas Reserve (in Spanish only).

There are currently no accommodation option available in Iruguincho, but the community is planning to open their homes to visitors in the near future. In the meantime, you can camp near the village or stay in Tumbabiro.

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

18 Mar 2013

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