Quilotoa, crystalline lagoon

Quilotoa is an Ecuadorian volcano whose crater depths of over 200 meters, is a large crystal clear water lagoon. All at 3900 meters.

2 hours from Latacunga

The driveway is absolutely beautiful. The bus slalom among the green mountains of sight. The shadow of clouds scrolls on the flanks.

We meet the locals in traditional dress on the side of the road and I even saw some Lamas (or their cousin, the Alpacas) from here and there.

Right now, it is the regional elections and Ecuador are apparently very committed. That morning, they block streets before Quilotoa (Zumbahua). We can not continue further.

It’s in the back of a pickup truck with three other backpackers that we have made the last kilometers, tossed in the turns, nice!

Lake Quilotoa, easy down …!

When we arrive, the lake is just ahead. The crystal clear water reflects the clouds, it’s amazing! Mountains surround the crater. It takes about six hours to walk all around.

Quilotoa et son cratère, lagune cristalline

Second alternative for those who, like me, decided to visit the place in one day; down by the lake and then back … There are 400 vertical meters. Easy ? Yes, on the way down, but to go back! It’s not the same thing, especially at 4000 meters altitude. Lung, head, calves, thighs, everything goes. It hurts, but the scenery is so beautiful, that we forget in all!

We meet other tourists who go down and laugh at those who go up, all red and completely out of breath !! They know what to expect in return, hehe!

Once come back around 3 o’clock, the mist has risen all around us. We are squarely in the clouds! We do not see anything in the distance.

So high, always on earth and so near the clouds that can touch them.

My efforts in video, hehe !!

My little recommendations

  • There are two buses from Latacunga. One at 9 am and the other at 11am. I suggest you take the 9am as this will arrive at 11am. The best time for light and sunshine.
  • Pack a picnic you will eat at the foot of the crater.
  • Do not forget the sunscreen! (otherwise you will peel like me for 1 week) and a hat will prevent sunstroke! Do not mess !
  • $10 rise in the mules if you fail to do by walking. But consider that even blowing like an ox, hearing your muscles scream, you’ll be really happy when you reach the top!

When you can’t come back

On return, still no bus because of protest. So I hitchhiked and this is an Ecuadorian family who kindly bring me back to Latacunga, an hour away by car!

Amazing day between transport, landscapes, lake and my cheeks who literally burned to 4000 meters!

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