Trek the incredible Quilotoa crater lake on a day trip from Quito!
At around 7 am you will be picked up from the Magic Bean restaurant along Juan Leon Mera and Mariscal Foch. Further pick-ups happen straight after, at Plaza San Blas.
Depending on the day you have booked the tour, you will visit one of two indigenous markets. On Thursdays, you will head to Saquisili market and on Sunday, the trip will stop at Pujili market. You will have some time here to explore, buy snacks or gifts for the local family you will be going to visit. This is not expected but always received gratefully.
Once you arrive at the native family house you will have some time to look around and speak to them about their lives in Ecuador. During this section of the tour, you will learn why guinea pigs have also been so traditionally important to those living in the Andes. At around 10.45, your transport will depart ready to take you to Quilotoa Lake.
The weather in the area around Quilotoa can be unpredictable so you are advised to wear warm layers and also a waterproof jacket. Sturdy footwear will be needed for the hike. Quilotoa crater lake is located at 3,800 m above sea level so you are always advised to allow at least one day to acclimatise. Once you arrive, you will hike down to the bottom, this is estimated to take around half-hour.
Once you reach the bottom, there is the option to rent kayaks ($3USD pp, not included). The walk back up can be tough and lasts around an hour. Those who are finding the altitude tough or don’t fancy the hike up, can rent a mule for $10USD (not included).
After you have hiked the Quilotoa crater, lunch will be provided. Please let the operator know of any dietary requirements. The final part of the day will be a visit to the Toachi Canyon Crater, an impressive viewpoint over the surrounding landscape. You will return to Quito to arrive around 6.15 pm, however, all times are approximate (except start time).