Laguna De Quilotoa – alogn the rim of the crater lagoon
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Quilotoa – a brilliant turquoise water-filled volcano crater with diameter 3 kilometers and depth around 300 meters that formed at elevation 3500 meters above the sea level.
You may get to Quilotoa by a bus or hired truck from the nearby town of Zumbahua, or by bus from Latacunga that may also be a good departure point for a trip to volcano Cotopaxi.
You may either use a direct bus line that departs early morning or lines through Zumbahua that depart several times a day.
If you choose to visit the Quilotoa site, the best way to view the lake is a hike around its rim. The trail is in the altitude 3518m – 3930m. It is around 10 – 12 kilometers long and may take 4.5 – 5.5 hours. The highest point of the trail offers beautiful view of the whole crater and another Andean mountain peaks, however the view of the lake is beautiful from any place of this trail. It’s a 40 minutes hike from the main peak viewpoint down to the base of the crater (and around 2 hour back up the 350-meter vertical ascent).
It is highly recommended to have good trekking shoes and gear, because the trail is sandy, steep and narrow in places, with ravines on both sides, and the weather changes fast and often.
Also, there are many very poorly marked paths lading different directions, some are even bypassing the main peak, the best is to keep on the most trampled trail directly on the rim (see map).