Quilotoa – My Last Volcano Before Leaving Ecuador

Quilotoa – More Hiking

I didn’t plan on hiking Quilotoa. But when I met Becs in Quito and she told me how much she loved hiking Quilotoa, I decided last minute to do the same. After doing 2 days Chimborazo and 2 days Cotopaxi, I did on my 5th day Quilotoa.

Quilotoa volcano
Met someone while I hiked down to the volcano lake

I must be a crazy girl not to take a break..And well here I am. And now I could feel that my legs are boycotting my brain’s idea of Quilotoa. They were screaming for a break. Really, I thought everything was fine except for my legs.

Quilotoa, Latacunga, Ecuador
Quilotoa View

Facts And How To Get There

Quilotoa is the name of a caldera and its crater lake in the Ecuadorian Andes. The highest point is 3914m. The diameter of the caldera is 3 km. Maybe you would think now ‘Oh she did already Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, it shouldn’t be a problem by now to hike Quilotoa.’ But let me tell you that you are wrong. Quilotoa was the most exhausting one out of the 3 volcanoes to me because I was too stubborn to take a proper break in between.

Quilotoa Ecuador

To get to Quilotoa, it is better to stay one night in Latacunga. In the morning, go to the bus terminal and take a bus to Quilotoa at 8am. The ride cost only 2 US-Dollars. In comparison: Agencies in Banos are offering a day trip to Quilotoa for 90 US-Dollars. As soon as you get off the bus, you can start the trek. There are two hikes: up and down the crater and around the crater.

Hiking Quilotoa

I first hiked up and down. You only need 30 minutes to get down to the crater with its turquoise water. There, you have the opportunity to do kayaking. I met on my way down a sweet family from Guayaquil, and their 2 girls liked me so much they invited me to kayak with the family on the lake.

quilotoa crater hike
One round around the crater (12km)

I said yes and had for one hour a great time kayaking in the crater lake. Come on- who can say that they kayaked in a volcanic crater lake? I just try to be open to this world and I have a humongous belief in humanity.

quilotoa lake kayaking
This is the family who invited me to kayaking on the lake

Sometimes I do get disappointed but most of the time there are more good than bad people in this world.

hiking around Quilotoa
Reaching after 2 hours hike the highest point of Quilotoa

After that, I hiked the complete circumference of the caldera (12km), which took me 4 hours. It was not even difficult and such a frigging beautiful hike. But I have to admit, I was out of breath many times.

quilotoa ecuador hike
The view while I hiked around Quilotoa

I wanted to complete the round so badly that I missed the return bus. At the end, it was getting dark and I decided to hitchhike back to Latacunga.

An indigenous couple took me and since I couldn’t speak Quechua we smiled at each other all the way back to Latacunga (2 hours).


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