Hiking in the Laguna Quilotoa area

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The bus winds its way up through the valleys to 3800 m of altitude towards the Laguna Quilotoa. In contrast to the weather prognosis we got from several people, the sky is still fairly blue when we arrive at the small village of Quilotoa. We quickly check into a hotel and make our way to the turquoise blue crater lake before the daily afternoon rains set in. The Laguna Quilotoa is said to be one of the most scenic spots in Ecuador. But as soon as we start our descent towards the Laguna, thick fog and clouds drift over the rim and quickly fall into the crater.

Within minutes, the Laguna disappears and heavy raindrops splash onto the already muddy path. Unimpressed, the construction workers in charge of preparing a tourist-friendly concrete footpath down to the lake change into sturdy yellow rain-gear, huddle at the side of the path and do not move anymore until the rain stops again. Only one of the men asks us whether we really want to walk down to the lake. A few minutes later, a red and a blue tent-shape materialize out of the fog: Two Germans in rain ponchos hiking back up. „Very slippery and nothing to see,“ they confirm. We half-heartedly continue for another 50 meters or so, catching glimpses of water and coast before we also turn back. When we reach the rim again, the sun is also out again and the Laguna Quilotoa lies calmly and beautifully blue at the bottom of the crater. The workers are taking off their oilskins and reach for the wheelbarrows.

A three day hike in the Laguna Quilotoa area

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The afternoon rains stay with us for the rest of our three-day-hike through the area: We start early in the morning, arrive around 2 pm at a hostel and stare out into the grey foggy rain for the rest of the afternoon. But by the evening, the sky clears up, and so does our mood: The hostels along the way serve very good food…

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We walked from Quilotoa to Sigchos in 2 ½ days.
Day 1 Quilotoa – Chugchillan
Day 2 Chugchillan – Isinlivi
Day 3 Isinlivi – Sigchos, from where we took a bus back to Latacunga.

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