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Quilotoa Lake

Quilotoa Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

1. Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

Drive south from Quito to the Quilotoa area and visit its famous lagoon. Along the way, you'll admire the beautiful Andean landscape and stop at the Shalala viewpoint. Next, you'll visit the community viewpoint and descend to the lagoon. Once there, you'll have free time to hike and explore the area. You'll return on a path that connects the lagoon to the community viewpoint. It's an intense walk, so if you're not in good shape, simply climb on a mule that will pack you back to the viewpoint. After a lunch break, you'll also stop at a Tigua craft workshop, famous for its colorful products, and visit the Toachi's Canon.

From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

2. From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

Depart Quito early in the morning and drive along the scenic Avenue of the Volcanoes, spotting various mountains including, el Corazon, Rumiñahui, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Atacazo. Arrive at the national park surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano, which stands as the highest active volcano in the world at 5,897 meters. Start by hiking around the lake at the foot of the volcano. Then drive up the volcano to reach 4,500 meters. If weather permits and park regulations allow, climb to reach the refuge at 4,800 meters and from there continue up to the glaciers. Your time on the peak will also include a visit to the Interpretation Center to learn about the flora and the fauna of the park. Stay overnight in Cotopaxi. On day two, head to the Quilotoa volcano, stopping along the way in a traditional indigenous village. Visit with the locals in a typical indigenous house made of straw learning about their way of life and agricultural practices. Then make another stop in the town of Tigua, famous for its naive paintings. Continue on to reach Quilotoa. Choose to descend to the reach the shore of the lake located in the mountain crater or just walk around the crater. Then go on a mule ride around the mountain, taking in the incredible highland landscapes. Afterwards return to Quito.

2-Day Private Tour from Quito:Baños and Quilotoa Lagoon

3. 2-Day Private Tour from Quito:Baños and Quilotoa Lagoon

DAY 1- Andes Landscape – Hike – Local Natives – Lake Your day tour starts by heading south of Quito and driving through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, passing through the towns of Latacunga and Pujilí. On the way to Quilotoa, stop to visit an indigenous local house from the “Paramos.” You will observe their clothes and customs and visit them in a typical indigenous house made of straw. Have a chat and learn from about their lives and how they prepare to sow the soil.    Visit the town of Tigua, famous for its native paintings. Continue up to the Quilotoa Volcano, where you will be able to descend to the lake located inside the crater or just walk around the crater. Prepare to enjoy an unforgettable experience riding a mule! Take in the most beautiful landscapes of the highlands and see traditional indigenous villages. Stay overnight in Baños. DAY 2 - Adventure Activities – Baños Waterfalls – Quito After breakfast, we’ll take a walk to Agoyan Pailón del Diablo and Manto de la Novia Waterfalls, where it is possible to take a cable car close to the waterfall and Casa del Árbol to enjoy a spectacular view of Baños. Have lunch and then return to Quito.

From Cuenca: 4-Day Ecuador Exploration Tour

4. From Cuenca: 4-Day Ecuador Exploration Tour

Day 1: After getting picked up from your hotel in Cuenca, travel to Alausi, where you will have a litlle city tour and also you will admire beautiful Andean landscapes and watch an Andean music performance along the way. Afterward, break for lunch before beginning the journey to Riobamba. Stop along the way to visit Ecuador's oldest church and the beautiful Colta Lagoon, then you will visit the highest peak of Ecuador " Chimborazo 6300 meters". Spend the night at a hotel in Riobamba. Day 2: After breakfast, head to the charming city of Baños to admire a spectacular waterfall. Afterward, hop on a cable car and ride towards a viewpoint where you can enjoy a ride on the "swing at the end of the world". Return to Baños after your swing ride and get a good night's sleep before tomorrow's activities. Day 3: Today, visit Pujili and do a spot of shopping at the town's indigenous market, where you'll find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to clothing. Later, visit Tigua, where a small indigenous community lives. Immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of this community before heading to Quilotoa Lake, which is often referred to as the most beautiful place in Ecuador. Here, enjoy a stroll around the edges of the lake or even take an optional donkey ride. Spend the night at a hotel in Quilotoa. Day 4: Rise early to travel to the Cotopaxi National Park, where you can go for a walk around the Limpiopungo Lake. If the weather is clear, admire panoramic views of one of the world's most active volcanoes. Afterward, travel to Quito where you will say goodbye to your guide and spend the evening exploring the city at your leisure. 

From Quito: Quilotoa Lake Private Tour with Transfer & Lunch

5. From Quito: Quilotoa Lake Private Tour with Transfer & Lunch

This amazing and comfortable cultural private day trip starts at 8:00 a.m., from your hotel in Quito, driving through the "Avenue of the Volcanoes", and with a visit to the local indian Saquisili Market (Thursday)! The drive to Quilotoa Lake displays stunning views of the Andean mountains, passing the ancient canyon of the Toachi River, many indigenous communities and farmlands. Before lunch, in the location known as “Huayra Pungo”, we will visit a local indigenous hut, where you will have the opportunity to interact with the inhabitants of the hut and perhaps, to learn few Kichwa words, which is the native language of this region! After this especial life experience, sharing some minutes with local people, you'll have lunch at a local charming restaurant! Then we have the opportunity to visit the local and unique market of Zumbahua (Saturday), where we are able to see the ancestral trading system of exchanging goods without any currency, called trueque! The tour includes a steep hike down into Quilotoa Crater, where is a sparkling-emerald-lake inside the extinct volcano, located at 3.600 meters above sea level (11,811 ft). The way back to the top, where the parking area is located, takes about one hour, or there is an option of renting a mule or a horse, with a comfortable settle, for your way back!! It is going to be very helpful and comfortable being on a private tour, due to the high altitude, so you'll be assisted by your tour guide every moment, and especially you'll take your time in every activity to make this day trip the best lifetime experience! You will be back in Quito approximately at 5:00 p.m., after having enjoyed this exclusive and unforgettable tour!

Other Sightseeing Options in Quilotoa Lake

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What people are saying about Quilotoa Lake

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 15 reviews

A group tour (4 other parties joined us on a Thursday), the tour picked us up from our airbnb, and we made a couple of special stops along the way to Quilotoa (bathroom and breakfast break, fruit stands to purchase fruit for our lunch), and the views to Quilotoa were amazing. Quilotoa itself was gorgeous, but my party didn't venture down to the bottom because of concerns of elevation sickness, so we chose the hike around the rim (still a strenuous but rewarding experience, my dad slid and fell a couple of times, no major injuries other than his pride). The varieties of flowers and animals around made for excellent pictures. We ended the tour with a nice meal at a local hostel and then a quiet ride back. Carlos (our guide) and Hector (our driver, but also a guide for us while we hiked the rim) were fantastic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Much recommended!

The tour was very personal, which we liked. Our guide was David, and he made us feel very safe and at ease. We had an amazing day, David knows a lot about Quito, the area and whole Ecuador. He talks always on the good moments and also respects your space as well to enjoy. He gives a lot of opportunities to do, f.e. kayaking, having a break, stopping wherever you want to take a picture, ... He has lots of good ideas! We would recommend David & the company to all kind of travelers.

Awesome tour and Diana was a great guide. Beautiful views of the lake and we even enjoyed a quick boat ride around the lake. A great experience for my first time visiting Quito. The hike was challenging for me bc I’m a beginner but it was definitely worth it. You can rent donkeys to take you back up to the top.

Fantastic trip! Knowledgeable and friendly guides. Loved the stops along the way there- getting to learn more about the culture. This was one of the best parts of my Ecuador trip!

Polite and helpful guide and driver, they arrived punctually at the agreed time, everything right and very pleasant.