We can travel to the Cochasquí Ruins (driving time is 1 hour 30 minutes), where llamas and alpacas graze the green lands, and ancient pyramids stand as evidence of a complex Pre-Columbian culture.
During the drive we will see amazing landscapes and also the Cayambe volcano (if the sky is clear)! Before arriving at Cochasquí, we can stop in Cayambe to visit a cookie factory and treat ourselves to traditional cookies and coffee.
ABOUT THE SITE
Cochasquí is the largest Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Ecuador. With it's unique view, Cochasquí was a significant site for astronomic observations. The purpose of the entire structure is not absolutely clear, but it is obvious that specific pyramids served as an astronomic observatory. The area is also believed to have served as a ceremonial center for the ancient Quito culture.
Fifteen pyramids and a minimum of 14 tombs are located on a roughly 200-acre (81 ha) area. Nine of the pyramids include ramps of up to 290 yards of length. Pyramid #5, of which the base was excavated, reaches a height of 16 yards. Most pyramids are completely covered with vegetation. Pyramid #9 displays a wall built in Cangahua rock.
The entrance fee to the site includes a guided tour and visit to a small museum. We can eat lunch in Cochasquí (on weekends only) or when we return to Otavalo.
Total Duration: One full day (approximately 7 hours)