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Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve

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Esmeraldas region, Ecuador
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This large reserve extends from the Sierra Mountains to the western edge of the rainforest in the Esmeraldas region and features a crater lake that is located more than 3,000 meters in elevation.
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good25%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“rim” (2 reviews)
“nature” (2 reviews)
“altitude” (3 reviews)
Esmeraldas region, Ecuador
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Reviews (32)
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1 - 10 of 13 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2017

This is an amazing and beautiful location. It is moderate to difficult walk depending on you ability, it is undulating with some steep but not lengthy up hills. Worth it as the views all around and over the lake are excellent. The paths are very...More

Thank jennywinter23
Reviewed 27 February 2017 via mobile

A wonderful site out in nature surrounded by beauty. The trail up and up around the rim of the former volcano overlooks a stunning lake and has many beautiful flowers. The views across the plains also very fine.

1  Thank Fred B
Reviewed 11 January 2016

Amazing views but a reasonably difficult trek - we did it all in about 5 hours walking fairly quickly. Last bit of the trek bizarrely takes you on to a main road, which was a bit less enjoyable but don't think you are lost -...More

Thank JoshandCharlotte
Reviewed 19 November 2015

This is a lake created in the second crater of an active volcano. Apparently, on some days you can see the water bubbling. Entry to the national park is free but you can take a boat for $3.25 that goes into the lake where you...More

Thank MaryG_from_Toronto
Reviewed 5 October 2015

Our visit to the crater lake on a bright sunny day was nature perfectly in harmony with itself as we strolled along the banks attempting to take in the enormity of the scene.

Thank Peter B
Reviewed 6 January 2015

The trail starts with an uphill climb. Take it slowly to acclimate to the altitude. The lake view and volcano view are amazing. Very rewarding. However, the hike takes you to a road at the end which is very far from the starting place. It...More

1  Thank AuroraB431
Reviewed 13 November 2014

Laguna de Quicocha is one of my favorite places to visit in Ecuador. My mom is from the small town of Cotacachi nearby. I've never hiked around the laguna before but do love to go and take a a little boat ride around the laguna....More

Thank PnRoyce
Reviewed 27 June 2014

It isn't everyday you get to walk around the rim of a volcano crater, filled with water at just under 15,000 feet elevation. It may not be a bucket list item, but if you are in Cotacachi this is definitely worth the side trip. There...More

Thank rogerjm
Reviewed 20 June 2014

My GF and a friend wanted to hike around Quicocha, so we waited for a nice day and caught a truck in Quiroga to take us to Los Pinos and to start the hike from the high side and work our way down, around the...More

1  Thank Reardan
Reviewed 2 December 2013

Our group took a short but steep hike around the crater of this extinct volcano. Crystal clear water and a beautiful view. But very high altitude! Start the hike at 9000 ft and climb to over 10000 feet! Take your time and enjoy the view...More

Thank Rhonda A
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