The Quilotoa Lake is a water-filled crater lake located around 3 hours from Quito, a perfect destination for a day tour to escape the capital city and get a taste of the Andes!
I decided to join a group tour so as to get the most out of the trip without worrying about anything! Our little group left Quito at around 7 in the morning and our guide, Daniel, explained to us everything we would be doing during the day. The clear sky and good weather put us all in a very good mood from the start as it promised to give us a lot of wonderful views.
Soon after departing from Quito, we were already able to stop a few times to admire the beautiful landscape and the view of some of the volcanoes surrounding the capital city. The more we drove away from Quito, the larger the Cotopaxi volcano became; it was the first time I'd seen it up close, and it was a stunning sight!
We then stopped at an indigenous house where we got to discover more about the indigenous way of life. Afterwards, we reached the Toachi River Canyon. We got an impressive view of the canyon!
Going up higher and higher between the mountains, the view just kept getting better, until we finally arrived at our destination at 3,900 meters of altitude.
Time for the grand reveal! After buying some locally made chocolate for energy and walking up a few stairs, we got to the mirador platform and were amazed by the great view on Quilotoa Lake. It looked even better in real life than in the pictures!
We then started a 45-min walk around the rim of the crater to reach the second mirador. At first, I was a bit scared at the idea of hiking at such a high altitude, but our guide really did a good job preparing us, giving us tips on breathing and allowing us to take regular breaks to enjoy the view and catch our breath. The outstanding view along the way made this short hike totally worth it and I felt proud of my achievement by the end of the walk!
Overall, if you are staying in Quito and feel like you've already seen everything there is to see in the city and are looking for more, don't hesitate and join a day tour to Quilotoa! What made this day memorable was all the places we stopped at on the way. We didn't just go to Quilotoa Lake, we took time to experience the beauties of the landscapes leading to it and got to learn more about the Ecuadorian culture as well!
Check out our Quilotoa day tour here!
Written by Lucille Thorel-Delille