OTAVALO AND MOJANDA LAKES
In the province of Imbabura a few hours away North from Quito it is located Mojanda. Which is a complex of three lakes Caricocha (male lake) or big lake, Huarmicocha (female lake) or small lake and Yanacocha or black lake. The three of them are connected by different paramo paths and defended by two mountains the Fuya-Fuya 4263mt. to the East and the Yanahurco or Black Mountain to the west. Both are easy to climb, actually they are considered as altitude hikes, therefore recommended for soft trekkers and acclimatization for higher altitudes. A visit to the famous Otavalo Market is included. Around the Mojanda Lakes there is a lot of paramo (grasslands) vegetation and a native Andean forest which is of a volcanic origin.
OTAVALO MOJANDA LAKES SUMMARY
The Fuya-Fuya is climbed by the inside of a Mojanda crater, It has two principal peaks Fuya Fuya 4263mt. and Cerro Negro 4260mt. There are three main crater lakes and several trails that will lead you up to its summit, perfect natural look out and from there to see the surrounded volcanoes: Imbabura, Cotacachi and Cayambe. It takes around 2 or 3 hours to get to Fuya Fuya summit which is rather and easy and very scenic hike. The representative vegetation is the Paramo (grassland) beside some native threes such as Polylepis and altitude flora, like the chuquiraguas (the flower of the Paramo ), frailejones, fungus, etc. Andean Birds like eagles and owls could also be observed.
Day 1 – Quito – Otavalo and Mojanda Lakes
Early morning and depart in direction North towards Cayambe and Otavalo cities, we will stop in Otavalo to experience the famous and colorful market. Thereafter, we will head up to Mojanda Lakes at 3700mt. where you will star a short and gentle hike around the main lake named Kari Kocha (male lake) part the trail is trackless and still conserve its native forest of Polylepis, Chuquiragua. Late afternoon you will be back in the cozy lodge for dinner and relax. (BL-D)
Day 2 – Fuya Fuya 4263mt. – Quito
After breakfast, we will drive back to the Mojanda lake and hike up on a scenic trail towards Fuya Fuya summit and enjoy the fantastic Paramo scenery of this area, In fact neighboring summits such as Cotacachi, Imabaura and Cayambe volcanoes will be observed. After lunch brake on top of the peak, we will follow another trail in direction to Warmi Kocha (The female lake ) where our vehicle will be waiting for us to drive back to Otavalo and later in Quito. (B/BL).