The Otavalo Lake is one of the outdoor draws that bring visitors to this region of Ecuador. Travelers from all over the world come to Otavalo to experience one of the most famous markets in all of South America, but what they may not expect to find in this destination two hours from Quito is a wide range of activities that will make them want to stay a few extra days. The most popular market day is on Saturday, and many visitors arrive on Friday.
While it is possible to stay in Otavalo or in one of the nearby eco lodges such as Casa Mojanda, another option is staying at the lake itself. San Pablo del Lago is one of the most beautiful features of Otavalo, and many visitors choose to stay in one of the affordable hotels and inns along its banks. Here it is possible to spend a few days relaxing on the shores or enjoying water sports. After a day spend horseback riding or hiking in the mountains, there is nothing as refreshing as a swim in the lake.
To reach the Otavalo Lake, you don’t have to be staying overnight there. The hike between Otavalo and San Pablo del Lago is a popular one for travelers looking for a bit of easy exercise. A number of paths lead from Otavalo southeast towards San Pablo del Lago. A quick few miles makes this an easy stroll for all types of travelers, families included.
Head out in the morning and plan on having lunch along the lake, or better yet, bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the shores. The lake, surrounding volcanoes, and lush flora all make for a beautiful backdrop to a family picnic. After a relaxing afternoon you might be enticed to stay in one of the haciendas or country inns along the lake, and why not? You can always return to Otavalo the following day.