Hike around Cuicocha Crater Lake

Quito, Ecuador

17 reviews
Duration: 1 day
Group size: 1 - 10
Hike around Cuicocha Crater Lake
Quito, Ecuador

17 reviews

Duration: 1 day
Group size: 1 - 10

About this trip

About one and a half hours north of Quito, in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserva, is the Laguna de Cuicocha. It is a mystic crater lake with two islands in the middle. They seem to be shaped like a guinea pig’s back. In the kichwa language, the word ‘Cuicocha’ means “guinea pig lake”. Guinea pigs are important animals for Ecuadorians, as they need little attention, reproduce fast and make for a high protein meal. The hike around the lake takes approximately 4 hours. It shows you the great diversity of Ecuador’s precious flora including wonderful orchids.

The hike around Cuicocha Lagoon is a perfect way to get your acclimatization started for higher peaks in Ecuador.

Any questions? Reach out to our climbing experts on info@andeansummitadventure.com or +593968959533 (WhatsApp or call).

Included Services:

- see program / itinerary

- certified bi-lingual guide (NATIONAL GUIDE EC)

- transportation in private vehicle from / to Quito

- park entrance fees & formalities

- meals as specified (lunchbox)

Not included Services:

- cost for program changes

- tips & any other expenses not explicitly mentioned

Cancellation Conditions:

- 60 or more days prior to departure: the total amount paid will be refunded, minus handling & administrative charges (if any)

- 59 - 30 days prior to departure: 50% of the total amount paid will be forfeited 

- 29 and less days prior to departure: the total amount paid will be forfeited 

General Terms and Conditions:

With full payment or partial payment of the tour the climber accepts the latest version of andean summit adventure's terms and conditions, which can be downloaded HERE.

Available Packages

Private tour - 1 person

You are an individual hiker and want to book a private tour / guide.

Group of 2 hikers (private)

You are booking as a group of 2 persons.

Please note that in case you select this option as an individual climber, your booking might be subject to cancellation, as we do not offer open groups.

Group of 3 or more people (private)

Please note that in case you select this option as an individual climber or group of 2, your booking might be subject to cancellation, as we do not offer open groups. 



Cuicocha Crater Lake
hiking along the crater rim and enjoying wonderful nature

DAY 1 

Pick up in Quito at approx. 07.00 am, drive towards the North of Ecuador (approx. 2,5 hrs). Our target is the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve where we check in. Afterwards we start our hike around the CUICOCHA lagoon. On the way we enjoy a small picknick for lunch and breathtaking views. After completing the hike (approx. 4 hours), we start our journey back to Quito.

tech. data: ↑↓ 650 m  / 2130 ft | ↔ 12,5 km / 7.8 mi

catering: - / LB / -

Your Organizer

andean summit adventure
17 reviews
welcome to andean summit adventure, specialists when it comes to mountaineering in Ecuador and beyond. our certified guides and international team are your best choice for making your trip a lifetime experience! let's go for some climbs - cheers! our mountaineering experts are happy to assist with personalized attention to work out awesome climbing plans for you and your family and friends or answer any questions you might have regarding our programs - reach out, we speak English, German and Spanish: info@andeansummitadventure.com


I booked the Cotopaxi + Chimborazo package, and I had a really great time! Everything was very well organized, and everyone was always very helpful and responsive. With Diego's profound experience we summited Cotopaxi, sadly trying for the summit of Chimborazo was not possible due to bad snow conditions and high risk of avalanches. So we only went to the base camp, bit this was a very nice experience as well. I am still completed satisfied with everything, and I will surely never forget the Cotopaxi summit :)
By Alexander S for Climb Cotopaxi & Chimborazo Volcanos in 5 days (Alex) on 03 Aug, 2022
Our guides were the best we could’ve imagined. The hospitality, food, lodging was also all incredible. Thanks for the experience of a lifetime
By Nathan R for acclimatization & Cotopaxi Climb (5.897 m / 19,347 ft) - Alex on 19 Jan, 2022
I was looking to climb the maximum of the highest volcanoes in Ecuador, in order for training and get acclimatization for Everest. I contacted Andean Summits to organise this adventure, and they have set a perfect schedule for the time frame I have indicated. They are extremly professional and know very well all the nuances in climbing in Ecuador. Everything is possible with them, they can adapt the trip to any demands. I was very happy to climb with them. Everything was very well set. The guides are very high experience and know perfectly the mountains. The climbs are possible practically at any weather conditions. If travelling to Ecuador for climbing, I can only recomend to get in touch with Andean Summits to organise any of desired trip. Finally I have climbed all the 9 highest volcanoes of Ecuador ! What an adventure ! Thank you for that wunderful discovery and experience.
By Vassily V for 9 out of Ecuador's BIG 10 on 12 Apr, 2021
We had a terrific trip. The guides were capable, fun and knowledgeable. I would give more stars if I could.
By Tyler S for Cotopaxi Climb (5.897 m / 19,347 ft) on 08 Mar, 2021
The trip we booked included acclimatization and climbing of some of Ecuador's most beautiful mountains. Although my girlfriend did not feel a hundred per cent well, I think that we really enjoyed it. Guiding was very good and the program worked out perfectly fine. It was always possible to do adaptions and get in contact with guides and Elisabeth. We have a few mountains left and will for sure return :).
By Roman M for acclimatization and Cotopaxi (Roman & Karin) on 14 Mar, 2020
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