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“The Ecuadorian Andes at its Finest”
Review of Laguna Quilotoa

Laguna Quilotoa
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US$98.00*
and up
Quilotoa Lagoon Day Trip from Quito
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Laguna Quilotoa is a must-see when visiting Ecuador.

Entrance fee: $2/person

Visitors to the Laguna have a few options of things to do. You can hike down to the Laguna itself for an up-close view of the strikingly turquoise water, kayak on the laguna and either hike back up or ride a horse for around $10.00.

The more adventurous can hike the rim of this volcanic lagoon. Elevation reaches up to approximately 13,000 so be sure you've been acclimated before attempting this hike. Most can finish in 5 hours. Trails are well-worn and easy to follow. A few side trails can give hikers the option to take an easier route. The trail is for the most part easy and not very technical. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks if you aren't accustomed to the altitude. Start your hike no later than 7:30am. Clouds and rain usually come in mid afternoon making visibility poor and temperatures quite cold. The trail is for the most part sandy which makes hiking the trail very easy after a rainy night.

The ultimate adventure would be to hike the "Quilotoa Loop" which starts in the town of Sigchos or the crater itself. This hike takes 3-4 days.

The "town" of Quilotoa is primarily hostels. Prices vary but most hostels cost around $10/night with dinner and breakfast at an additional cost.

Most visitors will only need 1-2 nights in Quilotoa.

From Quito take a bus to Latacunga from Terminal Quitumbe (2 hours). From Latacunga you can catch a bus from Cooperativa Vivero that either goes to Zumbahua or Quilotoa itself. Buses do not frequently go to Quilotoa, buses to Zumbahua leave approximately every 20 minutes. The ride to Zumbahua is about 1.5 hours. If you take the bus to Zumbahua simply grab a "camioneta" to Quilotoa (around $3-5/person).

Quilotoa is very cold at night so wear layers. It can also be quite rainy so bring a rain jacket. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen on exposed skin while hiking.

4  Thank Kristin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"crater lake"
in 30 reviews
"the loop"
in 10 reviews
"beautiful landscape"
in 6 reviews
"take pictures"
in 8 reviews
"direct bus"
in 6 reviews
"per person"
in 12 reviews
"walked down"
in 6 reviews
"day trip"
in 16 reviews
"mule ride"
in 5 reviews
"the black sheep inn"
in 4 reviews
"steep trail"
in 4 reviews
"local market"
in 4 reviews
"takes hours"
in 3 reviews
"stay overnight"
in 3 reviews
"buses leave"
in 3 reviews
"entire rim"
in 3 reviews
"amazing lake"
in 3 reviews
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171 - 175 of 585 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2014

Is beautiful but there is a hard cold and you have to go early because is cloudy an you need a long time to down into the crater.

Thank Ren_M2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

The Laguna is a huge crater filled up with water over the years creating a beautiful turquoise lake. The views from the top are just stupendous.

Take care when walking downhill - the path is quite washed up and rather slippery. By the lake there is a wooden shack that sells snacks and drinks. Take your time at the bottom and explore the area. You can hire a boat and allegedly even go for a quick swim - though I haven't seen any takers.

The walk back up will test your stamina but is a great exercise and eminently doable if actually safer than walking down. You will also look rather smug compared to the others torturing the poor donkeys. Go for that well-earned hot soup in the cafe opposite the entrance.

Thank Globetrotter008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

The lake is an incredible sight, and well worth going to see if you're in Ecuador. The village of Quilotoa is tiny and has very little aside from hotels. We arrived in the afternoon, walked down to the lake and hired kayaks - $2.50 for half an hour. The walk back up is hard work at that altitude (3900m), but we declined offers to ride horses since it seemed cruel to the horses. The next day we did the walk around the rim. The path is quite unclear in some places and it took us about 5 and a half hours - pretty gruelling but well worth it for the views.

Thank Sam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 April 2014

this is a great experience if you're looking for adventure, it's easy to forget about the world and just think about the nature and its peace. During the time I was there it was cold because it's rainy and foggy, actually this place is cold most of the time, so just make sure to bring warm clothes.

Thank Ivette I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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