The 3 Mojanda laggons located 2 hour away Quito, are a splendid landscape into Ecuador Andes Highlands, surrounded by two ancient volcano peaks. Cari, Huarmi and Yana Cocha lagoons are a good option to make a camping in highlands, read more about Mojanda Lagoons.

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Mojanda Lakes near Otavalo


In the province of Imbabura a few hours away North from Quito it is located Mojanda. Mojanda 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 to the East and the Yanahurco or Black Mountain to the west. Everything is around the 3 714 meters.

Around the Mojanda Lakes there is a lot of paramo vegetation and a native forest which is of a volcanic origin.

Climbing the Fuya-Fuya

The Fuya-Fuya is a mountain of 4 263 meters that many hikers like. There are three paths that will take you up to its summit and from there it is easily to see the following volcanoes: Imbabura, Cotacachi and Cayambe. It takes around 2 hours to get to its summit and it is not so difficult.

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Flora and Fauna at Mojanda Lagoons

The representative vegetation of the paramo is find in Mojanda, like the chuquiraguas (flower of paramo), frailejones and other flowers and fungus. Andean Birds like eagles and owls could also be observed.

The most common activities made by tourists are trout fishing, hiking, camping and mountain biking. Local tour operators in Otavalo organize all these activities.

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What to do at Mojanda Lagoons

In Mojanda laggons you can stay one night doing camping, but carry on a good highlands tent, because 3.000 meters is not normal for a visitor, always try to go with a travel guide and in a 4 or 6 travelers group.

Other very nice activity for the bikers and adventure lovers is to climb from Tabacundo or Otavalo in mountain bike, it's a hard effort not recommended for novices and must start at 5 or 6 am. to reach the Caricocha laggon at 12 or 1 o'clock depending your altitude adaptation. We strongly recommend to go with a mountain biking tour operator, the nicest part of this adventure is the rest and eat some lunch at the top near a nice lagoon and the downhill, you can reach 80 km per hour in downhill in some good stages of the road.

Finally for the hiking lovers and camping is a very nice trip to walk and find the 3 lakes, this trip takes almost two days minimun, but the landscape and quiet nature are the most peaceful moment you can enjoy in life, we recomend to go with a mountain climbing tour operator from Quito.

How to get the Mojanda Lagoons

To go to the Mojanda Lakes from Quito, take the Highway Panamericana Norte in direction to Otavalo. In Otavalo take left from the Panamericana it will take around 30 to 40 minutes get to Mojanda from Otavalo. Another way is to take a detour from Tabacundo but you will need a jeep.

Recomended Lodge

Casa Mojanda
Apartado 160, Otavalo, Ecuador
Phone: (09) 9 731 737/ 9 720 890/ 9 703 843/ (02) 2 465 745

La Luna
Phone: (09) 973 7415/ 9 816 145
Km 4.5. via Mojanda © 2009 Posicionamiento Web Ecuador
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