Quilotoa is one of the many volcanoes you can visit in Ecuador. It is located about 3 hours south from Quito, at an altitude of 3500m.
It is possible to go there for just a day, so we left early-ish (8 am) and drove South. Our first stop was to visit a little native house and then we drove on to stop in a village where there was a local market. We strolled around the market where there were various items to purchase (from fruits and food to clothes, pans and so on !). We then drove right up to the rim of Quilotoa’s volcano.
The weather was very sunny, but also very windy and cold. We started our descent to the lake through rock walls and hadn’t yet had a glimpse of the view. After walking 3 minutes downhill, there it was……a stupendous view. The water is a turquoise blue and the clouds floating over it create darker shades of blue. With the steep crater walls surrounding the lagoon, the view is simply breathtaking.
After about half an hour hiking down, we could finally dip our feet in the lake (and even swim for the braver amongst us!). The atmosphere down there is very soothing and calm. Some rented kayak boats and enjoyed a paddle on the water.
Time to hike back up. Glups ! As we started going back up, I found it very difficult because of the sandy ground : you take a step up and your foot just slips down half of that every step, so it is quite tiresome. Some went back up on horses. But we decided to hike right the way up. It took us roughly one hour, but when we arrived at the top a nice warm meal was awaiting us in a local restaurant. After what we made our way back to Quito.
Visiting Quilotoa is one of the « must-do » things in Ecuador. It is perfect for just a day tour, but it is also possible to turn it into a-few-days tour, depending on how much you are into hiking ! Ecuatraveling offers an amazing day tour! Check it out.