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COTACAHI CAYAPAS NATIONAL RESERVE
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WILD LIFE WATCHING
CHILDREN - FAMILIES - SENIORS - PETS
Natural National Heritage by the Ecuadorian Government.
National protected area.
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Monday to Sunday 07:00 - 19:00
Cuicocha lagoon, also called “Lagoon of the Gods” or “Tsui Cocha”, is located in the Cotacachi-Cayapas natural reserve, 13 km from Cotacachi canton, province of Imbabura, northern of Ecuador. It originated from the Cotacachi volcano implosion and has 2 islets in its center. The translation of its name would be “Lagoon of Guinea Pigs” because of the presence of these animals in its islets.
Its most representative plant is the totora “typha” and its waters are translucent and bluish. The visitors can take boat trips through the islets Yerovi and Teodoro Wolf and the “Dreamy Canal”; they can also practice diving, kayaking or trekking along the path that surrounds it.
A legend tells that Cotacachi volcano was the son of the “Rucu Pichincha” (old man) and of the Cotacachi or “Huarmi Huasi” (female hill), and one day the two mountains argued and the father took the son (the “Guagua Pichincha”, a mountain located next to the city of Quito). In the site there was a hole which later became a lagoon because of the mother’s tears.
Cuicocha has the form of an enclosed bowl between mountains. By visiting the islets it is possible to observe bubbles in the water, which emerge from the depths in gushes. Supposedly, the lagoon has no bottom. Several people have testified that they saw a mermaid or an ancient city on its vicinity.
Here, mysterious phenomena happen, such as the sudden change of the wind’s direction, it is said that this happens when Cuicocha is angry with the visitors and there also are disappearances, screams and weird sounds.
The water’s mirror is attractive for its color, but it also frightens, shudders. There is the legend of the gild guinea pig; the first person in seeing it becomes rich, and the second one changes into a duck.
ADDRESS OR VENUE
Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve, km 13 from the Cotacahi City, Province of Imbabura, Ecuador