Witness Nature's Wonders, Big and Small
The contrast of the vast striking landscape of Laguna de Cuicocha and its surrounding farm-dotted mountains, with the delicate yet vibrant flora and fauna, is proof of nature's magic. In March, when I hiked the 8.4-mile trail that circles the rim of this volcano crater lake, I was delightfully surprised to find petite yet brightly colored wildflowers of magenta, yellow, pink, purple, red, white and light turquoise, fresh blueberries safe to pick and eat, butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, beetles, bees and no doubt other hidden delights that will be discovered by other voyageurs. Cows, sheep and llamas dotted the fields in the distance and could be viewed up close along the last quarter of the trail. At the end is a lookout point and a restaurant to replenish the calories you burned with typical Ecuadorian cuisine and fresh juice, or a cold beer.
By Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
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