When I arrived in Ecuador, one of the places I was looking forward the most to visit was Quilotoa for several reasons. Now that I visited it, I can say that it is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. I had always heard a lot about it and seen a lot of pictures but seeing it with my own eyes hit me differently. The colours of the lagoon are unbelievable, as they change depending on the time of day and sunlight. When I was there, the water had so many different shades, I could have stayed watching for hours. I had the chance to see it change from dull blue to turquoise and green in a short amount of time.
I visited the crater as part of a group in a day tour that started in Quito, it was a great opportunity to see this breath-taking lagoon and to meet other travellers. There were very few visitors this day and we were only a small group of six, so I was lucky.
It was an incredible and exhaustive experience as it did not confine us just to the lagoon but offered us the opportunity to discover the local market of Saquisilí before reaching the crater lake. This colourful market was such a change of scenery for me as we do not have those kinds of markets in Europe, with sheep, pigs or huge eye-catching fruits and vegetables.
After that, we headed for the lagoon, and the road to reach the lake was very impressive as we were able to see the impact of the earthquake that split the ground in half: it was quite a shock!
Once we arrived at Laguna Quilotoa, we hiked down to the lake and explored the surroundings. The path was replete with beautiful and picturesque flowers, and the view was otherworldly.
I did not have time to do kayaking in the lake because I spent too much time hiking down and enjoying the view, but I hiked up with a mule accompanied by its native trainer, which was a funny experience!
The tour ended on a positive note with a delectable lunch with the rest of the group. We had a very resourceful tour guide who was able to provide us with information and answer all our questions, and above all to make sure we get the best from Quilotoa! I will never forget this trip!
Written by Florence Courtois