Lots of people go to Quilotoa to do the loop to acclimatise for Cotopaxi but we were travelling south and had already done Cotopaxi and we were running out of time so we did Quilotoa as a day tour which in fact I preferred.
We went on a Thursday so the tour started with a trip to Saquisili market which is fantastic and is made up of an animal market, craft market and local food market.
We then went on to see an artisan at work which was really nice and also stopped off at a local indigenous persons home which was really interesting.
Finally we went to the lake. Our guide asked us if we wanted to climb down to the lake but as they were doing repair works to the normal route down it was a really steep climb down another path. As we arrived a bunch of 7 year old local kids were just coming back up from their walk down and were panting and sweating and struggling! My view was that if the local kids were struggling then I would really struggle so we said no! We walked instead around some of the rim of the lake up at the top and it was really stunning to look out at the countryside and down to the lake.
We then had lunch in a local restaurant which was lovely and headed back to Latacunga where we were staying.
There were a lot of hostels by the lake and they are building a lot more but there is little to do there and once you've seen the lake, you've seen the lake! I was glad we weren't staying to be honest.
It is a lovely thing to see and very unusual but I am not sure it's worth going to the massive effort it takes to get there unless on a day tour - we paid $40 for our tour and booked it through the hostel.
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