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Quilotoa volcano Andes Ecuador

Villages and Volcanoes – Quilotoa Loop

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
    Quilotoa
  • Duration:
    3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    From £ 385.- per person (excluding flights)
Lace up your walking boots and set off along the Quilotoa Loop (or part of it, at least). Along with a local guide, you’ll pass through tiny villages and meet local Kichwa-speaking people, all against a backdrop of steep gorges, green hills and snow-capped volcanoes. On your final day you’ll visit the beautiful Laguna Quilotoa - crater lake of the Quilotoa Volcano.

The hike on the second day has some steep parts, so you’ll need a moderate level of fitness.
Ecuador Local children Andes Mountains
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Day 1 – Drive through the Quilotoa region to Islinlivi

We’ll arrange your transport to the mountain village of Isinlivi, where you’ll be spending the evening before your hike tomorrow. The journey to get here is an experience in itself, with views stretching across the mountainous landscape. Your driver will make a few stops along the way so you can admire the view. Arriving in the afternoon, you’ll have time to relax at your simple, comfortable lodge, before a traditional dinner is prepared for you as evening draws in and the stars come out.

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Day 2 – Hike from Isinlivi to Chugchilan

After breakfast this morning it’s time to set off. You can just take a small day pack as your driver will take your main luggage to your next lodge, and a packed lunch will be provided. You’ll meet your local guide who’ll be there to ensure you don’t get lost along the 5-7 hour trail. (They won’t speak great English, but they know the area like the back of their hand).

The route takes you along deep gorges and through lush green landscapes as you pass villages and farms where you can see daily life unfold. The region has remained largely unchanged over the years, and many people still speak the indigenous Kichwa language. The hike is fairly gentle for the most part, but there are some steep parts, especially towards the end so you’ll be relieved to collapse into a hammock at your lodge in Chugchilan. In the evening you can relax, recharge and enjoy a freshly cooked dinner.

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Day 3 – Visit the Quilotoa crater lake

Your driver will pick you up after breakfast, ready for the 1 hour journey to the huge Quilotoa crater lake – a result of the eruption in 1797. The water is an unusual colour due to the algae which lives there, and changes with the sunlight. It’s a peaceful spot to sit and take it all in or if you’re feeling energetic you can take a stroll around the crater rim. After a couple of hours, you’ll leave the volcano and head to a local hacienda for a home-cooked lunch, before continuing on to your next destination.

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Accommodation

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Villages and Volcanoes – Quilotoa Loop

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