Ecuador is the perfect location for acclimatization tours. After leaving Quito we head north to Otavalo, where acclimatization continues: a visit to the market and the lagoon Cuicocha. It takes us approximately 3 hours to get from Quito to Otavalo. We first check in at our hotel and afterwards it’s market time.
We are very lucky it’s Saturday, because that is THE market day in Otavalo. There are sooo many lovely things at the numerous stands and as a result, this the afternoon passes quickly. We were wandering around the market place with the name “plaza de los ponchos”.
On the second day we go for the lagoon Cuicocha, which is an approximately 30 min drive from Otavalo. Cuicocha is a crater lake in an extinct volcano. Its name comes from the 2 islands which are in the middle of the lake. Due to their shape , which lookes like the back of a guinea pig (cuy). The walk around the lake is probably the best and a perfect acclimatization tour as preparation for higher mountains.
The walk around the lagoon takes about 3 to 4 hours. Hence, it offers good acclimatization and a great variety of plants and animals which can be observed.
Seems like it’s time for summits in Ecuador again! We go south, after having explored Otavalo and its surroundings. The national reserve ILINIZAS is our next target. First the ascent to Corazón summit: Corazón is one of the popular acclimatization peaks. First it’s a pleasant walk through the “páramo” grassland and the last part is a bit rocky.
And after having completed the mission Corazón, Iliniza Norte is finally on our list. The tour is scheduled for 2 days. Therefore we can enjoy the advantage of sleeping a night at high altitude. Unfortunately altitude sickness also affected our guests, so only Lukas was able to ascent to the summit. As a result, the rest of the group stayed at the refugio Nuevos Horizontes.
Up to now, the weather treated us not too bad, but also not really good … we stayed mainly dry but the views could have been a lot better. Mainly we had cloudy days … which is for hiking often better than hot and sunny days.
Climbs in Ecuador:
Checking our schedule we note that Chimborazo National Park is our next mile stone … let’s go for it. Some last acclimatization and then the attack of Chimborazo.
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