Things to Do in Cotopaxi Province

Laguna Quilotoa, Cotopaxi Province: Address, Laguna Quilotoa Reviews: 5/5

Laguna Quilotoa
5
About
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Laguna Quilotoa
Popular mentions

5.0
1,202 reviews
Excellent
961
Very good
206
Average
27
Poor
4
Terrible
4

Margarita S
Atuntaqui, Ecuador5 contributions
Quilotoa Lagoon
Sep 2020
The Quilotoa Lagoon is a beautiful place on the equator where you can share with your family and admire the beauty of nature, you can perform various activities such as camping, walking, sharing and spending some pleasant days with the best company that is your family.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jolka27
Houston, TX57 contributions
wonderful place
Jul 2021
recently local indigenous community made a big effort to make Quilotoa even more attractive. Everything is clean and renovated,
Written August 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zaida Q
Houston, TX20 contributions
Pointers!
Jul 2021
This was such a worthwhile experience personally. Let me just let you all know, as a southerner from Florida…altitude is to be taken seriously. We were at around more than 3,500 meters above sea level and living in FL and TX that is about 32 meters above sea level. THAT’S A LOT. However, if you love nature, hiking, scenic views, and a challenge I recommend this tour for sure. We started off with many side trips leading up to the way of the lagoon, although we ran out of time in our day as there were some bus issues happening when we were hiking and some of my friends who had asthma could not make it all the way up the hike. Always take your time!

One thing I believe is IMPORTANT that was not thoroughly explained in reviews, is the mule/horses. GUYS, you are hiking up quilatoa whether you like it or not. The mules and horses are up the hike first in order to take you down and back up to the shore of the lagoon. Many thought they’d be readily available from the start and it wasn’t and I was hoping for my friend they would, given she has asthma and has not hiked before. So keep that in mind. You need to be physically active and fit for the hike. To me, it’s worth it, I couldn’t make it all the way though :D. TOTALLY OkAY WITH IT.

Second: BRING TREKKING SHOES or HIKING SHOES. You will dirty, tear, or hurt your shoes and feet otherwise. NO CONVERSE or NEW SPORTS SHOES. Bring Water. Bring Protein snacks. Bring CASH for locals who sell water and chocolate. Bring sunglasses! Bring a windbreaker only! And I recommend a rash guard shirt or long sleeve swim shirt for sun protection and getting wet! It’s so easy to wear that and not overpack for this hike. Extra socks perhaps?
Written July 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim B
Parker, CO114 contributions
Pretty View but a Looong Day Trip
Jun 2021
We made this trek as a day-trip from Quito. Frankly, our side trips along the way to a rose plantation and an indigeous household were more satisfying than the crater visit. The view was awesome but not awesome enough to justify a three-hour car ride from Quito. I would only recommend this site to someone already in the immediate area who could enjoy a longer hike down or around the crater. However, please note if you hike down and plan to ride a horse or donkey back up, the animals only move as fast as the handler walking with them.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CJC
Brentwood, TN112 contributions
Beautiful - Go See It
Feb 2020
After reading a bit, we wanted to hike from the lake rim to Chugchilan. This direction is easier due to its more downhill than the reverse. We made the mistake of getting started after lunch, so by the time we were 1/2 way, it was late afternoon and it was raining, so we caught a ride back to our hotel. The trail itself was great, although the clouds and fog rolled in around 2pm so our visibility was compromised but not to the point of being unsafe. We still loved the 3.5 hrs to get 1/2 way to Chugchilan, but it would been even more amazing if we’d started earlier in the day. If you’ve been to Crater a Lake in Oregon, Quilotoa is very similar. We enjoyed Quilotoa more than Cotopaxi.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sol L
Tel Aviv, Israel116 contributions
Stand at the door of a volcano and see exceptional beauty
Feb 2020
The reserve is held by a community of indigenous people that allows to enjoy the scenery, expose the community's culture. If you did not get used to the high altitude issue then the descent to the lagoon rim would not be difficult. Its owners will lack oxygen. So don't despair there is a horse volcano at the bottom that you can take for an amount and climb up.
The place captivates the heart
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

nowshiva
Lismore, Australia24 contributions
Must visit - long but rewarding hike around.
Feb 2020
We hired a car, from Quito. Much better than dealing with buses etc. The roads are really good. Signs are non-existent - have your maps on your phone to guide you. Also, a tip, download a map from Maps.me for offline use, of Quilotoa.
Ok, so you arrive in the town, park, and then you have some choices. You can wander around a little, you can go down to the water - hire a kayak, or just hang out. Its a steep walk back up that hill, but I believe you may be able to hire a donkey to take you back up.
We chose to hike around the crater. 11km. Its almost 4,000m, so be aware thats its really hard work. Worth carrying a cannister of oxygen, which you can buy in Quito for $30. The winds are REALLY strong. So you need something to cover your ears. Hiking we warmed up, but you need clothes at the ready. It took us 6 hours, with some breaks and lunch. Bring your food and water - nothing on the route.
We took the advice and went counter clockwise. There some hills to climb - a lot, and one is up and up. The path is dusty, scrabble. Very narrow in places (like, 1m), with steep cliffs falling steeply away on either side. Not for the faint hearted!
It was a fantastic experience. But extremely tiring - its like walking twice the distance at sea level. Worth doing, but be prepared for an intense time. The wind was very strong, the whole day.
There are some choices - at times, you can go exactly up the ride. Other times, you can go around the sides of the hills, either on the outside or inside. We started at 10am. You wouldnt want to start much later than that, if you are going to do the whole loop. We met one guy who does it regularly, who claims he can do it in 4 hours, but thats serious power walking, and knowing what you are doing.
The alternative is that you might walk for say 2 hours, and then retrace your steps.
I am quite fit, but by the end, I felt a little dizzy. Very satsifying though.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kerttu2015
Helsinki, Finland178 contributions
Beautiful view!
Jan 2020 • Solo
A must do in Ecuador, beautiful volcano lake. Be aware, the hike is quite tough, especially if you are not used to the elevation. But absolutely worth visiting!
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John K
Quito, Ecuador32 contributions
Hike around crater rim information
Feb 2020
I went with my slightly fitter wife and my much fitter son. I'm 66 and enjoy a walk but this one tested me due to the steep sections (although I only had to use my hands once or twice) and the altitude. The whole circuit took us 5h 20m, but that probably included 30 minutes where we got lost and included some pauses. I wouldn't budget less than 4 hours unless you are a real athlete. You can do it clockwise or anticlockwise - we went to the right from the (only) car park/ mirador so anti-clockwise. We met an experienced walker half-way around who said he preferred the clockwise route. About two-thirds of the anticlockwise way around there is a shack selling drinks and crisps. That's where we got lost. Immediately after the shack there is a choice of paths with no signs. You can go up (another!) peak, or down. I made the mistake of choosing down. That's where things got funny. 20 minutes later we heard a local lady shouting down to us (in Spanish) - "You're going the wrong way, its dangerous", and at the same time met 2 hikers returning saying they had come up against a ravine that was too dangerous to cross. The local very friendly lady, let's call her Maria, was more than keen to help us find our way back to the right path, which involved a steep climb with a bit of scrambling. Though she was 60 she went up like a mountain goat. When we were back safely on the path, we were about to give Maria a small tip for helping when she announced that the fee for rescuing us was 20 USD for the party of 5. After a bit of a laugh and a standard semi-good-humoured Ecuadorean negotiation, I gave her 10. It became clear that Maria is a semi-professional rescuer of lost sheep. I am left wondering if there used to be a sign telling people which way to go, and if there was one, then who took it away ! 3 final tips: 1. Don't go without sun cream on - we all got burned to varying degrees - the altitude is the key. 2. take something to drink 3. take food if you might get hungry, my son was starving half-way around. The weather and visibility can vary massively. Our day was clear with great visibility, other days are cloud/misty and thus rainy. I'm really glad I did it - harder than the walk around lake Cuicocha (see my review). Good luck !
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DisgruntledScotLass
Edinburgh, UK111 contributions
Beautiful spot
Jan 2020 • Couples
Truly wonderful and beautiful spot but can get really windy and cold. I would suggest wrapping up properly. Can get quite busy at the main viewing points.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 461
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing