Cotacachi tourism

City located on the slopes of the Cotacachi volcano in northern Ecuador in the province of Imbabura. It has impressive tourist places. Find out how to get there.


The city of Cotacachi is located on the slopes of the volcano with the same name, is in the northern part of the country. Its inhabitants are dedicated to the leather industry (processing and marketing)

Cotacachi meaning in Quichua is "The salt of dust".

How to get to Cotacachi?

  • Cotacachi location: It is located 80 km north of Quito and 25 km to the south of Ibarra in the province of Imbabura in northern Ecuador.
  • Cotacachi Climate: The climate is mild semi-dry or Andean valleys.
  •  Cotacachi Temperature: The average temperature is 16 ° C approximately.

Houses are made of adobe and tile roof and their balconies are made of wood, this is how the landscape is visible in Cotacachi.

One of its biggest attractions is leather, the city has tens of commercial stores that offer handicrafts, clothing and leather shoes. The city also has extensive agricultural production,

especially for dairy and flower export products and asparagus.

Cotocachi Culture

It has gastronomic traditions, fetivals, and they are specialists in making leather garments.

  • Cotacachi Typical Food

 Also, when you visit the canton do not forget to delight the exquisite red meat accompanied by a Chicha de Jora

Cotacachi Cantonization July 6, 1861

  • Easter, Corpus Cristi, Big Worship

Cotacachi tourist attractions

Cotacachi has interesting tourist attractions in the city and its surroundings as is the case of Salto del Bravo where you can go hiking, camping, excursions, etc.

Cotacachi lagoon: Cuicocha Lagoon is one of the main tourist attractions, which is located within the Ecological Reserve Cotacachi - Cayapas.

I undertake a short trip, but very rewarding, I move from the Quito city in less than three hours to Cotacachi, north of the country, in the Imbabura province. The road not only shows me the unique beauty of the so-called Indian ponchos (mountain tones), which as

guardians surround the North Pan American Highway; but they allow you to remember the wonderful moments of love that I have lived in Ecuador.

The route is filled with traffic signals and intermittent traffic lights that  change from red to green, which gives me time to think about incalculable periods I lived in this small country full of places that are magical and great, where without thinking I found love.

The first stop on the tour is the whereabouts called 'Mira Lago’, located in the canton Cayambe, province of Pichincha. It has a view matchless of a large lake, the aroma of coffee and biscuits prevails in the place, it is impossible not to perceive it. A detail that captures my attention is the Andean music that accompanies this space, it overwhelms me, while I look at the bottom of San Pablo  an imposing lake that impacts my senses, wishing to remain in that moment for eternity.

Among so many things that this country has, is the gastronomy, which fuses countless recipes, and one of them are the biscuits, characteristic of Cayambe canton. These delicacies from the Andean region are prepared with flour, margarine, water, salt and to finish its preparation they are cooked in traditional ovens, there is no doubt that this snack is a delight for the palate, if accompanied with cheese and milk delicacy, it complements the taste and experience of being there.

By continuing the journey, it is impossible to discard the love, which is breathed in each

corner of Ecuador, that love for life and nature. Just enough to observe the majesty of the Taita Imbabura hills (Manuel Imbabura) and Mama Cotacachi (María Cotacahi).

Legend Taita Imbabura and Mama Cotacachi

The story claims that Taita Imbabura was a young man who came out of his lodging at night. Once he met Mama Cotacachi they walked together until dawn.  At a certain time, Manuel decided declare his love to Mary, and she corresponded to that feeling and they had been silent for several years. A long time later they procreated a son, the hill Yanaurcu, located to the right of the hill Cotacachi.

According to legend, their souls live on these hills, which are important for the indigenous cultures of the area, for that they thank with rituals, customs, dances and offerings at the Inti Raymi festivities, held in the months of June, date of celebration for the goodness of the earth. They are protected by these two hills that take care of the place.

I continue the trip observing the Andean landscape, which wears huge hectares of forest, fruit and vegetable crops, several bird species that look for their nests in leafy trees, and the imposing mountains that are part of the Ecuadorian mountain range.

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