Quilotoa Lagoon

Carved out by a powerful volcanic eruption over 800 years ago, this azure jewel cradled within the crater’s embrace captivates all who behold its beauty.

Laguna Quilotoa hike is considered one of the best day hikes in Ecuador.  Guests generally hire a truck to make the 35 minute drive up to the lake, and then follow a mostly downhill course from the lake back to the Black Sheep Inn.

This route takes about 4 to 6 hours, starting at an altitude of 3800 meters, traveling about a quarter of the rim around the lake, then down off the crater to the town of Guayama.  From Guayama the trail leads to the top of dramatic cliffs above Rio Sihui.  You then take a trail down to the river (altitude 2800 meters), and up the other side of the canyon, eventually climbing to Chugchilán and Black Sheep Inn at 3200 meters elevation.

Going the other way (from the inn to the crater lake) is certainly possible, but because the hike is mostly uphill, you should budget a couple of extra hours.

We recommend taking a local native guide for this hike, which we can arrange for you at the inn.

If you are not in the mood for a big hike, you can also arrange for a truck to bring you to the lake, wait for you, and bring you back.  The first hour of crater rim walk is quite gentle, and affords plenty of spectacular views of the lake.

Hiking down from the crater rim to the lakeside is also an option.  Descent takes 30 minutes, an climbing back up takes about an hour.  Yes, you can swim in the lake, but the water is very cold (5° celcius).  Coming back up from the lake, you can hire a mule to ride for about $10 dollars.

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Quilotoa Lagoon Ecuador Trekking

Quilotoa Lagoon

Carved out by a powerful volcanic eruption over 800 years ago, this azure jewel cradled within the crater’s embrace captivates all who behold its beauty.