Contrasting two of Ecuador’s rural weekly markets: A grand market at Otavalo and a smaller market at Saquisili. What’s the test for authenticity? Join me as I examine some clues from Saquisili market that may help answer the question.
Hiking to Quilotoa’s spectacular emerald green volcanic caldera lake
One can never get tired of seeing soaring snowcapped peaks at the horizon under deep blue sky with wisps of white clouds and noisy streams of water flowing through a lush green mountain valley next to the hiking trail. That pretty much summarises the scenic four to six hour trek between the villages Isinlivi and Chugchilan.
Quilotoa loop is a circular route that explores remote villages, mountains and river canyons to the west of Latacunga, with Lake Quilota as its principal attraction. Starting from the small town of Latacunga, I headed north-west to a village called Isinlivi on the first day. On the second day, along with some random travellers, I hiked from Isinlivi to Chugchilan and continued onwards to Quilotoa lake. After trekking around it on the third day, in what was one of the most beautiful treks I ever did, we returned back to Latacunga at the back of a pickup truck