Our curiosity for new discoveries leads us into the northern highlands of the Andes, following the Ruta de los Lagos – Lake District route – passing small villages such as El Quinche and its fine white church with blue pinnacles and domes. The church is a pilgrimage destination for locals. The road takes us further north between the west and east cordilleras – high sierras – and every now and then we encounter numerous lakes where the road crosses the equator line. The picturesque mountain landscape features several volcanoes such as Cayambe, and Imbabura in front of which is the stunning San Pablo Lake.
After a short journey, we arrive in the town of leather goods, Cotacachi. A small town with small houses and a central plaza framed by palm trees and acacias, in addition to an imposing colonial church. The name of the town means “to grind salt”, which indicates that the working of leather has not always been the main business here. In this peaceful town lives a mainly indigenous population that clings to its ancestral traditions and also have seen a good number of expats who have found a great place to retire. Just ten minutes away from town going constantly uphill we find the extinct Cotocachi Volcano and its Cuicocha Lake. The lake is one of the most beautiful crater lakes in Ecuador, with two small islands in the middle. Steep cliffs with highland vegetation stretch down to the banks that are covered with Totora reeds.
In this beautiful region, you can find the nicest and coziest cottages, colonial haciendas and country inns. All offering outstanding service and the best romantic retreats, giving you the opportunity to really spend some quality time together.
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