When I arrived in Ecuador, one of the places I was looking forward to visiting the most was Quilotoa. Now that I visited it, I can say that it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever 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 colors 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 shift from dull blue to turquoise and green in a short amount of time.
I visited the crater as part of a group day tour that started in Quito, so it was a great opportunity to meet other travelers while admiring this breath-taking lagoon. 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 local market was such a change of scenery for me as we do not have those kinds of markets in Europe. There were sheeps, pigs, huge eye-catching fruits and vegetables as well as people cooking on the spot.
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 kayak 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, who made sure we get the best from Quilotoa! I will never forget this trip!
Written by Florence Courtois