Peguche: a perfect getaway in beautiful natural surroundings
What better way to recharge your energy than spending the day in Peguche, enjoying outdoors, surrounded by gorgeous vistas?
Ecuador despite its small size is known for all its natural beauty. When it comes to hikes and activities near Otavalo, a visit to Peguche is one of my top recommendations.
Peguche is a cozy peaceful village nestled in the heart of the Andes cordillera, only 5 minutes away from Otavalo. The village is well-known not only for its natural attractions but also for its skilled weavers and well-preserved millenary traditions.
How to get there:
You can either make this a day trip from Quito, or start from Otavalo or Ibarra. There are plenty lovely cozy haciendas, hostels and hotels to chose from at any of these cities, and you can find some great options of places to stay in Quito here.
From Quito the trip to Otavalo will take approximately 2 hours. The bus departs from the bus station in Carcelen and will bring you to the city center or it will stop along the highway, 10 minutes walking distance from the city.
Once in Otavalo, you can book a night´s stay in Otavalo to really experience in depth this indigenous culture. I love Hacienda Pinsaquí, a charming quiet hideaway located 5km from town, offering history, spacious rooms and excellent service
If you want to stay in a bigger city, here are some great options of places to stay in the charming city of Ibarra. The town is just 3km north of Otavalo and you can hire a taxi for less than 4 USD to take you there or take a bus.
Once in Peguche
The access to the parking lot and departing point for the hike is easy to reach and it will only take a short walk for you to reach the main falls.
There is a small area with souvenirs at the start of the hiking trail or walking path that will take you to the waterfalls where you find local handmade traditional handcrafts. Another nice feature of the highlands of Ecuador and specially of this area is that you will find friendly locals wearing their traditional costume offering their gorgeous handicrafts and who will be glad to meet all visitors that want to enjoy the beauty that this place has to offer.
About Peguche and its inhabitants
The inhabitants of Peguche have a wide range of skills: weaving, farming and music are some of them. There is a well-known group or band from Peguche “Ñanda Mañachi”.
Its main attraction, is the 18 m waterfall “Peguche waterfall” formed by river San Pablo. One of the most visited attractions for visitors to the area.
The relationship of the inhabitants of the Andes and specially from this culture is very special. They see it as sacred, especially with regards to mountains, water and trees which are for them sources of life and energy. From the place where the waterfall ends, it changes its name to “Jatun Yacu” which is quechua for “Big Water”
This is why this is also a hotspot for meditation and spirituality. As a matter of fact, the Inca culture viewed this spot as sacred and used it before participating in the Inti Raymi Festival (Annual Festival of the Sun).
More things to experience:
The scenery is awe-inspiring and there are postal vistas all around the area of Peguche. There is also a spectacular eucalyptus forest with a wide range of birds species which attracts birdwatchers from all over the world.
If you are looking for a gorgeous peaceful place to spend the day or weekend in beautiful surroundings or if you just happen to be in the area, Peguche is the place to visit.
Have you been to Peguche? What are your impressions of the place?
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If you want more in-depth information and also a guide that you can bring along during your trip, I recommend the travel guide Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.
This is a great source of information and tips, maps and all you need if you plan on visiting Ecuador. I personally like the option of having a hard copy version where I can take notes and have at hand.
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