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Cotacachi is known for quality leather goods at bargain prices and just up the road from Cotacachi is the famous crater lake of Cuicocha, a great place to take in the breathtaking andean views.



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Andean myths and legends surrounding this place, ancestral stories, love the mountains, disappearances and natural phenomena that make it breath taking for anyone who comes to the Volcano, especially if the fog slow opens the road.

Visitors are attracted to this poignant volcano lagoon, with its beauty and mystery it calls travelers to feel the chilling atmosphere that makes one feel that time stopped.

Cotacachi is the northern highlands of Ecuador. On a road that winds the slopes of Cotacachi, the Andean highlands is drawn green and yellow, with crops, animals and mountains that are intertwined in this rugged Andean architecture. 

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Cotacachi means "Tsui-car" or lake of the gods, pre-Inca dialect, although it is popularly known as The Lake of guinea pigs by the similarity between one of its islands, and the shape of the Andean rodent.

  • When it is said that the summits were gods and goddesses, they sailed on great waters, endlessly. It was the way the earth was formed, a tangle of mist, water and giant creatures moved from one place to another.
  • The Taita (father) Imbabura, handsome young man, tall and strong, found on an altar of the majestic clouds Cotacachi, which led to flirtations that were seen among the clouds, as winds were launched .
  • The result of this intense love between mountains Yanaurco was born, who with his parents saw him pass the time and age his father, who covers her face, therefore, always within clouds.
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  • The lagoon is Cuicocha active volcanic caldera, formed about 3000 years ago after an eruption of Cotacachi. It has a diameter of 2.5 kilometers, and has two domes (islands), Yerovi and Wolf.
  • Cuicocha is at an altitude of 3060 meters above the sea, next to Cotacachi of 4939 meters, both connected by solid edges and slopes that rise to the top of the Ecological Reserve "Cotacachi-Cayapas" both are protected areas by the Ministry of Environment. The reserve covers the provinces of Imbabura and Esmeraldas.
  • Volcanic activity is perceived by the west bank of the lagoon through gases and sulfate waters with higher temperatures than the rest, gases  gush from the bottom of the volcano, located 200 meters under water.