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"OTAVALO: LAGO DE SAN PABLO" Ecuador Things to Do Tip by swesn

Ecuador Things to Do: 371 reviews and 740 photos

Lago de San Pablo is so-so. The nicer lake I believe is Laguna Cuicocha. To go there, you need to hire a taxi (rather expensive) and this is more economical if you are in a group.

If you are alone and have a day to spare, you can try this little day-trip to Lago de San Pablo.

Take the local bus to San Pablo. It is right at the east end of the lake. Once at the town, ask around for a path that leads to the lake. It is generall heading west back towards Otavalo.

You will be walking along the old road running through the north of the lake that was used before the Pan American Highway was built along the south of the lake. Soon, you can see the lake in the distance.

At the next tiny village, Aragua, there is a semi-path that leads right to the lake. Well, it looks like a normal lake, with many Otavaleños doing their laundry along the river leading to it. Apparently, Lago de San Pablo is stated as the largest lake in Ecuador or something.

Along the way, to be honest, I felt a little nervous at first, having read that the guidebook said not to walk alone due to armed robberies but as nothing bad had happened recently, just be brave. Oftentimes, the locals were staring at me really hard and many vehicles which passed by gave me little beeps on their horns. I always wondered what that was for.

In general, I guess the locals are just curious and mildly harmless. Just enjoy the country-side, the little houses and farms along the road, the cows, pigs, dogs and even a dead mouse or two… and of course, the misty view of Volcano Imbabura nearby.

And there are many lovely smells to enjoy. Eucalyptus trees!! They are found along the sides of the mountains and at one point, right by the old road. This is also your only chance for a pee-break as you can try and hide behind the trees, for the rest of the way, you are really quite exposed along the road or in front of someone's yard. Sometimes, I can also smell the aroma of 'palo santo' which are holy sticks that guys use to burn for religious practices.

[to be continued]

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  • Written Dec 24, 2007
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