From the Amazon to the mountains in mere hours, we managed to survive the extremely packed Quito buses (prime for pick pocketing, have your bag in front of you and nothing in your pockets) at only 25 cents a trip, to get to the south bus terminal (bus C4 to the end).
One way to Latacunga then a change for Quilotoa on a local bus, both trips took two hours. We arrived at Quilotoa which is a small village on the top of the crater. A town with half built buildings and average $30 total per night accommodation but priced per person. Our accommodation included dinner and breakfast.
At 3900 masl, the temperature was quite cold so having layers is necessary. We spent a very cold night in our room covered in three blankets.
The aim was to get up early and walk the craters edge. It took us 6.5 hours of some quite precarious ridge walking and ups and downs with some strong winds at times.
We were foolish not to have put sunscreen as we got quite sunburnt by the end.
We only came across a handful of people along the trail until 3/4 of the way in
to the walk. We did it anti clockwise and left at 8 am, that way the sun followed us for optimum lighting to view the colours of the lake.
We ordered some food to take for the trip and stocked up on plenty of water. There are some little shelters at times in case the weather turns sour.
It was a fantastic walk but quite challenging. The path is well defined but at times quite close to the edge so its necessary to be careful.
Buses from Quilotoa to Latacunga run frequently until 5 pm. We headed back to Quito that same night accompanied by the movie Taken dubbed in Spanish.
Quilotoa is well worth a visit. Much cheaper to do by yourself than in a tour and we would recommend doing the crater walk as opposed to going to the bottom.
Not only were the lake views beautiful but also by walking the crater you get fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.
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