In the middle of the Ecuadorian Andes we can find a fascinating place where nature show its maximum splendour. In the volcanoes avenue we can find the “Quilotoa”, an inactive volcano, where in the middle of itself, a blue water lagoon is located.
Quilotoa is a peculiar Volcano which meaning, translated from Quichua language, is: the tooth of the princess or Queen Toa. There is a legend about Toa that explains that she was taking care of her sheep and suddenly she found a condor that fascinated by her beauty wanted to help her in her task. At first she rejected him, but the condor continued courting her until she finally fall down in love with him, became also a condor and decided to left together the place.
In this guide you are going to find the best tips to organize an unforgettable trip to Quilotoa.
-Plan your trip.
First of all we recommend you to make a research about the site you’ve planned to visit, about the peoples’ culture who live there, and how to get there. We know that being a bit far away from the main city is not easy, so we recommend you to investigate how far away is Quilotoa from Quito, and which buses companies can take you there.
– Keep the weather in mind
The Quilotoa lagoon is located 180 km away from Quito, so we recommend you to travel to Quilotoa early in the morning, in order to visit the lagoon at mid-day. Please wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes, because usually the weather there is very cold in the day, and it can rise up to 15 degrees, but in the night it tends to descend.
– Have an adventurous spirit
The best part of knowing the Quilotoa is to descend towards the crater of the volcano, where the blue water lagoon is located. The descent will take about 40 minutes and it will be done through a small track made of dirt and rocks. At the crater’s bottom you will see the lagoon and have the option to rent small boats to those who live around the zone. You can also make an excursion, that takes about three hours, to get around the edge of the crater and reach a viewpoint where you can see the lagoon at its best. If you want to camp around the Quilotoa, you can do it in the camping area.
– Learn about the original community.
The lagoon is located in a region where a big number of indigenous people live, who have maintained their traditions and customs through the time. In the small town of Zumbahua, a few kilometers from Quilotoa, you will find an indigenous market and several handicrafts, among which the Tigua paintings are highlighted. These paints are made on sheep’s skin and represents, in a very colorful and special way, the everydayness of the Andes.
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