Chugchilan Travel Blog› entry 7 of 48 › view all entries
The Rough Guide says give the Quilotoa Loop 3 days, the locals in Latacunga say just do the day trip to the Quilotoa Laguna crater and come back on the same day. We decided to try and do the full loop in 2 days.
To get to Quilotoa, we needed to get a bus from Latacunga to Zumbahua and then get a truck to drive us to the crater. We hadn´t expected such an amazing bus journey. On a gorgeous clear morning the route gave us clear views of Cotopaxi, our 1st view of the even bigger Volcan Chimborazo and the ever smoking Volcan Tumguruhua not to mention some stunning local hills with sheer cliff peaks including one that looked like a mini Macchu Pichu.
Quilotoa Laguna didnt disappoint with the crater towering 400m above an bright green lake. The lake itself is self contained with no outlet. Unlike Cuicocha, the walk allowed you to walk down to the lake which was a nice 40 minute walk. Chilled out lakeside for 45 minutes with some friendly llamas and mules. The walk back up was an entirely different prospect and was equivalent to clambering up a 400m sand dune. I ran ahead and ordered lunch but still not in time to get only bus to overnight stop in Chugchilan.
Cloud desceds pretty predictably in this area and as we left Quilotoa, we were surrounded by cloud, which is probably a good thing given the speed the truck driver drove around the hairpin bends with steep drops off the side of the road.
The Cloud Forest Inn could not be challenged on trade description as on arrival we could not see a thing ! However hostel was lovely and had a communal room where everyone could share travel stories and advise on future destinations. We had finally hit the gringo trail as the hostel was really busy (with Germans equalling the Canadians and Brits). Its a small world as one traveller (Rachel) had lived on Thompson Road 11 years ago before moving to London !!
On our 2nd day of the loop, we got up for breakfast to a deserted hostel.