"Quilotoa and Laguna Quilotoa" Top 5 Page for this destination Laguna Quilotoa by MalenaN
Laguna Quilotoa Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 415 photos
Quilotoa is a small village by the beautiful volcanic crater lake Laguna Quilotoa. The village is situated high in the Andes at an altitude of 3900 metres. Many tourists come here to see the crater lake and for the good hiking possibilities. So, in the village, even if it is small with only 150 inhabitants, there are several places for accommodation, restaurants and a few small stores. Because of the altitude it can be very cold, especially during the night. The village is also very exposed and it ca be windy. I heard that the days before I came it had been very, very windy, but luckily it wasn’t when I visited.
In the village you can stand on the rim of the crater and watch the stunning view over the lagoon with its steep surrounding cliffs. The walls of the caldera drops 400 metres down to the lake and across the diameter of the caldera is about 3km. The colour of the lake changes depending on how cloudy it is but the colour is often greenish and that is because of high content of dissolved minerals. It is still an active volcano, but it has passed over 850 years since the last eruption. You can at some places see bubbles in the lake coming from fumaroles.
Many people only visit Quilotoa on an organised daytrip from Latacunga, Baños, Quito or another city. Some people arrive by bus from Latacunga, but on weekdays there is only one bus a day in both directions. On Sundays there are three buses though. You can also take a pick-up truck from Zumbahua or Chugchilan. Others arrive by foot like me. I hiked from Chugchilan to Quilotoa and also when I left Quilotoa I did it by foot and hiked to Tigua. I stayed two nights in Quilotoa which I think is good because it gave me time to both hike down the crater and one day around it. The hikes were all beautiful!
Update 2012: I visited Quilotoa in July 2011 and then again in July 2012. When I visited in 2012 it was very windy and cold. There was no electricity, which in Quilotoa also meant no water, so unfortunately no hot showers (nor cold). I had planned to stay for two nights but because of the strong wind it was too dangerous to walk around the crater rim this year, so I hiked back to Chugchilán after one night instead.
A legend says that once upon a time the god of volcanoes, Quilotoa, lived at the surface of the lake and the Pacific god... more travel advice
On some Tigua paintings I have seen the Laguna Quilotoa depicted with Volcán Cotopaxi in the background. Well, from the... more travel advice
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