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Quilotoa Things to See and Do

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Quilotoa activities center-of course-around its dazzling crater lake. The first thing many people do is to head straight down to it: from the village, walk up the hill and to the row of artisan stalls, from where the steps down to the lake begin. In 30 minutes, you can climb down to the shore; the steep, literally breathtaking return trip takes at least two or three times as long, or for a few bucks you can hop on a donkey and save weary legs (be sure to contract the donkey above in the town before you leave). Take plenty of water with you. This is an extremely environmentally sensitive location: take great care to not contaminate the lake in any way.

Kayaks are available for rent at the end of the trail, though the lake has no outlet and you shouldn't swim or drink from the stagnant alkaline waters. Paddling five minutes to the east (towards the right from the shore) reveals hot springs and fumaroles bubbling up from the lake bottom. Hiking inside the crater is somewhat limited due to the steep terrain, but up at the top of the rim, relatively fit hikers can make the four to five-hour trek around the entire circumference of the crater.

Another popular activity is to hike or horse-ride a third of the way around the lake and then on to Chugchilán.

By Martha Crowley

I work as an Editor/Writer at Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador. I first came to Latin America five years ago to escape rainy...

12 Sep 2012

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Hiking From Quilotoa To Chugchilán

This 12 kilometer (7.5 mi) mile trek is one of the most astonishingly beautiful day hikes in Ecuador. Depending on fitness levels, the hike takes...

Quilotoa, Ecuador
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