Day trip from Quito: Quilotoa Crater

This former volcano is nowadays known as a great day trip destination and for its beautiful crystal clear lake.

Quilotoa Crater is a nice escape from the smoggy Ecuadorian capital Quito. It’s a few hours drive to the south and most easily done by a day tour but public transport is an option as well if you are not in a hurry.

Crab a tent and spend a night at the bottom of the crater or lodge in one of the near by hostels (very basic accommodation only).

The crater is located in a high altitude of nearly 4000 m asl. Good news is that you don’t need to climb to the top, you are already there. But hiking down the lake is definitely worth it so that’s the sweaty part. I spend about half an hour to go down but coming up took over an hour.

On the way drop by at the local Saturday market in the nearby town of Zumbahua and stop on the countryside to meet the local farmers who are still living the way of their ancestors.

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