Blogs from Quilotoa, Centre, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa February 17th 2020

The final push.Today was the day when we were either going to conquer the Quilotoa Loop or it was going to conquer us. Even chances, slightly weighted towards victory to the mountain if you were a betting man. We were on our way by 0800hrs with 980m to climb before we reached the marvellous spectacle that is the Quilotoa crater….an ancient volcano that lost its top in an explosion of massive proportions, leaving a crater that is 250m deep and filled with greeny blue water. We had seen photos and it did look amazing. But first there was the small matter of getting up there. The first hour and a half was spent on a descent into a river valley through beautiful farmlands where every inch was cultivated no matter how steep the slope. We promise ... read more
Our ploughing champion
We made it to the crater's edge
How beautiful is that?

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa February 16th 2020

Our move to the Quilota Loop didn’t start well, when the taxi that was meant to take us to the correct bit of the hard shoulder of the Pan American highway for the Latacunga bus, failed to arrive. We leapt on the local bus and sped down the hill to the town of Otavalo where we jumped into a taxi and arrived at the aforementioned hard shoulder spot in time to wait for an hour and and half until we could get onto the right bus. (There was an earlier bus and we had got there first but there was no point arguing with a group of Ecuadorians who felt they had a right to get on the bus rather than us.) Luckily we were able to leave our stuff that we didn't need for the ... read more
We had to get the other side of the valley by bed-time....
Contract lawn mowers, arriving at supper time
Dodgy or what?

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa July 8th 2018

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 ... read more
Surrounding Landscape

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa June 30th 2018

Day 1 Today (22/05/2018) we are setting off on a three day hike known as The Quilotoa Loop in the Andean mountains of Ecuador. It’s a self guided hike so we haven’t needed to pay for a guide and have just booked to stay in hostels along the way that provided breakfast, dinner and the option of a packed lunch. We found out about the hike from Mark, a Kiwi guy who we met all the way back in October last year in India and ever since then we’ve been really keen to do it. The information we've read suggests that the walk is anywhere between 30-40 km starting off at 2,600m above sea level in Sigchos and finishing at just under 4,000m at the 3 km wide crater of a volcano in Quilotoa that is ... read more
On our way
Logan the candy man
Hostel Cristobel

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa June 17th 2018

Dienstag, den 14. Juni bin ich um 5h30 aufgestanden um einen Bus zum Quitumbe Busterminal zu nehmen. Das Bussystem in Quito ist super, nicht zu kompliziert und die Busse sind ziemlich günstig (0,25$). Von Mariscal aus dauerte es ungefähr 1 Stunde bis zum Busterminal aber glücklicherweise war um diese Uhrzeit noch nicht viel los im Bus. :-) Von dort aus nahm ich einen Bus nach Latacunga. Dieser Bus kostet nur 2,5$ und braucht ungefähr 90 Minuten. Der Bus war sehr bequem und die Landschaft sehr schön. In Latacunga habe ich dann ein Taxi zum Hostel Tiana genommen. Dort haben sie eine sehr günstige Gepäckabgabe : nur 1$ pro Tag wenn man mindestens 1 Nacht dort schläft und am Tag der Übernachtung ist es gratis. So zählte ich nur 3$ und war mein ganzes schweres Gepäck los ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa June 17th 2018

On Thursday, June 14th, I got up at 5:30 to take a bus to the Quitumbe bus terminal. The bus system in Quito is great, not too difficult and buses are pretty cheap (0,25$). From Mariscal, it was a bit more than an hour to this bus terminal but so early it wasn't too crowded yet. :-) From there, I took a bus to Latacunga. It only cost 2,5$ and took about 90 minutes. The bus was very comfortable and the landscape pretty nice. In Latacunga, I took a taxi to the Hostel Tiana. They have very cheap luggage storage : only 1$ per day if you stay at least 1 night in this hostel and the day of your stay the storage is free. So I only paid 3$ and was rid of all my ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa March 3rd 2018

Latacunga is a base for hiking the Quilotoa Loop, so the following day we left our big backpacks at Hostel del Sendero and boarded a bus to the tiny village of Isinlivi. The hike is not actually a loop but instead a series of trails and dusty roads near the Quilotoa volcano crater. We opted for the two day hike from Isinlivi to Chugchilan to Quilotoa as it had the most interesting scenery and passed through some tiny villages. The hike (24 total kms and a total ascent of 1600 m) was also a head and fitness check for the upcoming Inca Trail. In Isinlivi we stayed at the posh Llullu Llamas hostal, complete with a spa and amazing 3 course dinner. We now understand why it's everyone's favourite hostal in South America. They have really ... read more
Quilotoa Trek
Quilotoa Trek
Quilotoa Trek

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa June 16th 2016

Ecuador has some breath-taking scenery and many hidden treasures, some completely overlooked as people head straight to countries like Peru or Colombia. However, a quick google search of Ecuador's highlights will bring up images of a turquoise coloured lake sat in the middle of a crater. A lake in a crater!? We didn't need to see any more pictures - we were sold. A week or so later... Clinging to a branch on a steep hill with one hand and the protruding root of a plant with the other, Chris managed to pull himself up onto the green land where the path continued. P behind him, heart pounding, couldn't bring herself to climb up this unsafe crumbling mud 'path' to get onto the upper part of the trek. We'd all agreed we needed to get higher ... read more
Lunch with a view
Ewe talking to me
On the edge

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa December 31st 2015

After an overnight bus ride from Guayquil to Latacunga, we arrived 04:30am. It was rather cold and the hotel we booked was closed until 7am. We curled up at the door step under a sleeping bag and wearing coats using our backpacks as pillow. After about 45 minutes Tommy decided to let Tuppence have the sleeping bag and pace the block instead, keeping close watch all the while. Thankfully at 6:30am the owner came out for a morning bike ride, upon seeing Tuppence curled up, he immediately invited us in organised our room and arranged breakfast to be ready at 8:00am giving us time to nap. Latacunga is a rather unremarkable city, still we both enjoyed wandering around the markets and parks. It is rather interesting to observe how people of different cultures live, despite the ... read more
Chugchilian Marching Band
Come and join the dance
the merry makers

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa December 11th 2015

The Quilotoa Loop is a circuit through the Andes in Ecuador, starting and ending in a town called Latacunga. We wanted to walk as much of it as possible, but this still involved a couple of busses – luckily these ended up being part of the adventure! The first stretch of the journey was from Quito to Latacunga. This meant an hour’s local bus journey - standing up with our bags - to Quito’s South bus terminal, on which a woman changed her 2 year old daughter’s nappy whilst standing up, impressive! Then it was 2 hours on to Latacunga, through stunning countryside. Latacunga itself is not an attractive place, and we came to hate the main bridge in town, on which the locals seemed to enjoy chatting whilst taking up the whole pavement and refusing ... read more
Lake Quilotoa
Post climb at the hostel (before it got FREEZING cold)!
Day 2, Lake Quilotoa

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