Cuicocha Crater Lake

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We were engulfed in rain and mist as we walked the crater. Locals talk about four seasons in a day

We took a local bus from Otavalo to Cotacachi and then a taxi to reach this volcanic crater in the Andean Highlands.

The 3 km wide caldera (large cauldron-like depression) was created by a massive eruption about 3100 years ago. Four lava domes form two steep forested islands in the lake which is alkaline and contains little life.

It felt good to be hiking again but given the poor weather and the need to get back to Otavalo before dark, we only did about a quarter of the circuit; about two hours of walking. It’s tougher than normal due to the 3,000 m plus altitude.

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