Adventure in Imbabura
here’s something in the air My SachaJi that fills you with energy and leaves you hungry for adventure, from horse-back riding and cycling to hiking and kayaking. Read on to discover the best activities in Otavalo and surrounding the ecolodge.
When you want to feel closer to nature, there’s no better way than to explore than on horseback, the noble beasts becoming your guides to the wild surroundings. My SachaJi can arrange for expeditions in the area surrounding the ecolodge: the forests and hillsides, streams and volcanos, lakes and crevices. You’ll be matched with a steed according to your experience (it’s fine if you’re a complete beginner) and will go at a pace that suits you and your group. And you needn’t be worried about sore legs after a day’s ride: a soak in the hot tub will sort that out in no time at all!
While gazing out of your bedroom window or eating breakfast in the dining room during your stay at My SachaJi you will not fail to be struck by Imbabura, the imposing volcano overlooking the lake that infuses the ecolodge with energy. If you’re naturally drawn to adventure, you might start to wonder what the view looks like from up there…
Scaling the volcano is challenging but do-able for the moderately fit, rising before sunrise and returning early afternoon. You’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide (and maybe a rescued dog or two) as you ascend the peak, privy to extraordinary Andean views and the healing power of Taita Imbabura.
Cuicocha, or Guinea Pig volcano crater lake (the Kichwa word ‘cuy’ means guinea pig, and ‘cocha’, lake), is a spiritual sanctuary dating back to pre-Columbian times. Within its ultramarine waters sit two verdant islets, the stretch of water that divides them is called the Channel of Dreams. It’s a five-hour, stunning trek around the lake, exposing you to glorious Andean skyline. But the real fun comes when you descend the slopes and enter the water on kayak, gliding peacefully along the surface. From you can explore the mysterious crater, feeling for yourself its healing powers.
Water-ski on Lago San Pablo
If it’s the lake, rather than the volcano, that catches your eye (and imagination) make your way down to Lago San Pablo. Here, you’ll encounter a range of watersports on offer, the most glamourous of which is waterskiing. Make like James Bond and discover the four corners of the lake while skimming over the surface, attached to a whippy speedboat. The calm waters are ideal for trying out the sport, if a little chilly. For a somewhat surreal experience of the lake, hire a zorb – a large inflatable ball with a small hole that allows you to enter – and bounce and float your way across the water.
Discover the ancient pyramids of Cochasqui
To indulge your Indiana Jones sensibilities, head to Cochasqui, where ancient pyramids have stood for hundreds of years. Mysterious knolls mark the places where 15 of these structures were erected between 1250 and 1550, as well as 21 funeral circular funeral mounds. As well as exploring the site’s museums where ceramics and other objects were recovered in archeological digs, you can experience the mystical atmosphere and even practice yoga or meditation surrounded by Cochasqui’s resident herd of llamas.
The volcanic geography of the region surrounding My SachaJi, with its slopes and inclines and trails through forests and around crater lakes, makes it ideal for mountain biking. For a smoother ride, take the asphalt road to Hacienda Zuleta, a route that passes through stunning countryside. All your hard work will be more than rewarded with spectacular views, pure mountain air, and a life-affirming connection to nature and sense of achievement.