Cascada de Peguche – Otavalo – Ecuador

I finally managed to extract myself from Quito after 3 months of living there and becoming very comfortable indeed!  Given that I hadn’t done much hiking for quite a while, I decided to base myself in Otavalo for a week to do at least 2 of the hikes around that area – the Laguna de Cuicocha and Volcán Fuya Fuya.

It turns out that Kryštof, a Czech guy I’d met in Quito several weeks earlier, was also in Otavalo, so we caught up for drinks and then managed to go for an afternoon hike together the next day.   

We caught the local bus (eventually – it was quite a wait) out to the trail that led to the Cascada de Peguche – one of the key attractions that is close to Otavalo

Hiking to Cascada de Peguche

It was a lovely short walk through the trees to reach the campground, where the idea of these pyramidal tent platforms really grabbed me 🙂  I can imagine pitching my tent on top of one, and they remind me of something out of the X-Files!

Campsite - Cascada de Peguche

Then down to the waterfall itself.  It is about 20m high and in a really beautiful spot – so definitely worth a visit if you have a spare hour or two.

Cascada de Peguche

From there our plan was to walk over to Parque Cóndor – which looked do-able according to the ever trusty Maps.Me.  But first we explored the hanging bridge and the Inca Pool.  This latter is theoretically a hot spring, but the finger test quickly dissipated any ideas we may have had about going in for a dip – it was not warm at all!

Hanging bridge and Inca Pool - Cascada de Peguche

Heading up the trail that climbed to the top of the waterfall, it seemed like it would continue in the direction we wanted to go.   And it did … kind of.

Kryštof leading the scramble up the cliff-face

It was a bit of a dodgy, almost vertical scramble, but we made it eventually and strolled along a very rural road on the way towards the park.

Hiking from Cascada de Peguche to Parque Condor

This is a really cool little hike that would have fantastic views of Volcán Imbabura and Volcán Cotocatchi if it were completely clear.  

Volcán Imbabura and Volcán Cotocatchi ' Cascada de Peguche

Volcán Imbabura (top) Volcán Cotocatchi (bottom)

We figured by this point that we were probably too late for the cóndors, so went and checked out the viewpoint at La Lechera instead (sunset would be incredible from here).  We came across this little old lady herding her cows and pigs (I couldn’t understand a word she said – I maintain she was speaking in Quechua), and then headed back down into Otavalo for dinner.  

Hiking from Cascada de Peguche to Parque Condor

Thank you for an awesome afternoon Kryštof!  

Kryštof and I - Cascada de Peguche

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