Visit Pleasant Laguna de Yahuarcocha and pleasant Otavalo, especially if your passing this way
Dist: 47 km; Date: Feb 2014
We crossed into Ecuador from Colombia at the Ipiales-Tulcan border and made it as far as Ibarra. Fortunately, rather than settle for a hotel within Ibarra proper, we detoured onto the road around nearby Laguna de Yahuarcocha where we found camping at moto-friendly Finca Sommerwind. Above Sommerwind there is a network of dirt roads through the hills that are worth exploring (I’ve placed Hacienda Yuracruz on the map just as a reference point). Once you’ve had your fill, find your way back to Ibarra and take Carretera 35 about 25 km south to Otavalo. This is a surprisingly pleasant town with a number of hotels, hostels, and cafés.