Cotacachi is a canton of Imbabura province of Ecuador. The name also refers to the town which is the seat of that canton, one of Ecuador's leading artisanal manufacturers of leather goods, and to the dormant Volcan Cotacachi which overlooks the canton.
The name Cotacachi has many meanings. In "Cara" it means "lake with women breast" which refers to the general shape of the island in Laguna Cuicocha; in Quichua it means powder salt. The ecosystems of the area and the native flora and fauna makes this canton one of the ecologically richest zones in South America. The area is valuable to tourists for bird watching, camping and fly fishing.
The weather in the area ranges from 9 to 25 degrees celsius and is cooler in the evenings.
In the last decade Cotacachi has implemented a new system of local development by creating a city council. All the sectors of the society, from children to the ancient, rural and urban representantives participate in the council. Cotacachi is an example of development and progress.
Ascendant Corporation plans to raze to the ground the villages of Junin, Cerro Pelado and El Triunfon order to make ground for copper mining. However, since the complete moratorium passed on all mining in Ecuador (as of May 2008) this has been delayed if not completely halted.
Pachakutik, a party of the indigenous population gained 4 of 5 seats in the area at the 2004 local elections.
In 2000 Cotacachi was declared the first ecological county of South America.