Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador – well worth a visit

by on 9th October, 2015

Visit Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador

Our own Maria encourages everyone to visit Quilotoa lagoon on their Ecuador holiday.


She writes:

“Quilotoa crater lake is located 135 kms south-west of Quito and is a must-see in Ecuador! It is an enigmatic spot for visitors not only for the colourful lake deep inside the volcano’s crater, but also because of the authenticity of the indigenous communities living there who have numerous legends about Quilatoa.


Quilotoa is a must-see in Ecuador

The community receives visits from travellers of all nationalities and from all regions of Ecuador too. A visit can certainly be recommended for those seeking stunning landscapes or a little relief from the city rhythm.

From the view point, at a breath taking 4,000 metre above sea level, you can observe the impressive lake. This crater was formed by the collapse of the volcano about 800 years ago which made a hole of around 3 kilometres wide and 250 m deep. Since then, the crater has been accumulating water.

The colour of the water is striking. There are myriad of different colours: green, turquoise, blue, depending on how the sun reflects and where you look at the crater from.

There are fumaroles and there are hot springs on the east side of the volcano. Sulphurous water spurts confirming that Quilatoa is still very much an active volcano.


Views, activities and crafts

In Quilotoa the main attraction is the crater lake. If you dare, set your alarm at 05:30 am and slip in a thermos of hot tea, walk  to the edge of the crater and get the most amazing views of the Andean sunrise.

To appreciate the different colours why not walk the crater circumference. This takes 5 hours. You can also descend directly to the crater, which takes half an hour (coming up isn’t quite so easy – taking an hour and bringing you up through a vertical rise of 280 metres).

If walking isn’t enough why not try biking, horse riding or sailing or kayaking on the lake.

If you want to take back a souvenir from the area, you can easily support the community by shopping at the market. You can buy beautiful handicrafts, especially carved wooden masks and colourful Tigua paintings of rural life, done on sheepskin. They are also variety of products made in wool with Andean motifs.


Quilotoa responsible tourism

In the Quilotoa area we offer services locally provided by Maquita, a tourism community project that runs a restaurant, a hotel and some guided tours.

This project allows indigenous communities to lead the tourism activities in the area and offer the tourist a more enriching experience.

It’s a perfect way to get a deeper knowledge of the area, learn about its culture and get in touch with the fascinating traditions that surround this enigmatic place.

Contact us for more and visit Quilotoa!


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