You love hiking and trekking but don’t like guided tours since you are less free? You enjoy scenic views and being a little adventurous? Then you should totally do the Quilotoa Loop. There you will be able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Andean mountains combined with a thrilling hike up and down the hills and crossing natural rivers. Spending quiet nights in remote villages gives you the possibility to see an amazing night sky full of stars on clear days and maybe you even find yourself!
Please note that a night in the Hotel in Quito is included. You can take this night either before or after the trek.
Day 1 – Hotel, Quito – Transportation to Isinliví
If you choose to take your included night in the Hotel the day before the tour starts you begin your day with a tasty and filling breakfast of toast, eggs, jam, and juice. Afterward, you receive a small briefing by the hostel staff about your upcoming tour before you get picked up between 10-12 am directly at the hostel to start your adventure.
Your first stop is the small but picturesque village Isinliví in the middle of the Andean mountains. Upon arriving you will already get a taste of the stunning scenery that will accompany you during the following days. Due to its remote location, you can rest before starting the hike the following day. Walk around the lovely lanes, get to know the way of life of Andean Ecuador, or visit the viewing point on one end of the town.
You spend the night in the Taita Cristobal or similar.
Day 2 – Chugchilán
The next day you have breakfast and you receive a map. Don’t expect it to be in flawless English nor to be well described. But don’t let this piece of information discourage you! This is part of an adventure and you are an adventurer. Your next stop will be the village Chugchilán that is around 23km (14 miles) away from Isinliví. We recommend you start the hike around 8 am because it will take you between 5 and 6 hours of hiking to get to that town. Please be aware that the walk won’t lead through the flat area but you will have passages of hiking up and passages of hiking down again. During this hike, you will pass picturesque views of the Andean mountains, natural rivers, and beautiful sceneries.
Chugchilán is like Isinliví a small village on the Quilotoa Loop. Given that it is in the middle of the Loop it is a perfect spot for hiking towards Quilotoa. After a day full of hiking you are invited to rest in the hostel, eat dinner and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that surround Chugchilán. Maybe stroll a little through the rural lanes of this town.
You spend the night in the Cloud Forest Hostel or similar.
Day 3 – Quilotoa
On the third day, you start your last hike towards Quilotoa. After breakfast, we recommend you begin the hike again at around 8 am. This hike takes you between 5 to 7 hours and you will walk around 20km (12.4 miles). Like the other walks, you will follow a scenic path passing beautiful views and amazing landscapes.
But the highlight will be arriving in the Laguna Quilotoa. Going down the stairs and catching the first sight of the lake, you will stop instantly and hold your breath. You can expect a massive crater filled with blue water surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of the Andean mountains. This amazing view is indeed breathtaking. In Quilotoa you have different possibilities: You can either hike around the crater or walk down to the lagoon. Please be aware that it takes at least 5 hours to hike around the crater. Go kayaking or just enjoy the views and the rewarding feeling of having hiked two complete days and walked more than 40km (24.8 miles).
You spend the night at the Samay Kirutoa Hostel or similar.
Day 4 – return to Latacunga/Quito
We recommend you get up early to do a last hike in the Laguna. In that way, you get the most of the Laguna and on a clear day, you can enjoy a stunning sunrise above Quilotoa’s blue waters.
You get picked up at around 12noon and there you get either dropped off in Latacunga or in Quito depending on your further travels.
1 night in the Hotel in Quito
3 nights in different hostels in shared rooms*
transportation from Quito/ to Quito/Latacunga
*upgrade to private room optional
Note: All the hostel in the are pretty basic
guide (in with want a private tour please let us know.
*lunch boxes are available for purchase in the hostels
Recommended for adventurers and people who love to hike/trek
just take the necessary equipment for 3 days with you:
you can store your big luggage at the Hump Day Hostel