Quilotoa Travel Blog› entry 80 of 123 › view all entries
After we passed through the town of Latacunga (pretty ordinary looking) we started making our way round the famous "Quilotoa Loop", which is a stunning road that passes through indigenous villages, round mountains, hills and streams and up towards Volcan Quilotoa. Its believed that at one time Quilotoa could have been the biggest of all the volcanos in Ecuador (that honour is now held by the 6100m+ Volcan Chimborazo) but the last eruption (apx 1280) was so powerful that the top exploded and collapsed, meaning the glacial ice melted. This formed what is now the jaw-droppingly stunning Quilotoa crater lake.
We arrived at the lake about 4pm and checked in the little indenious house that we were staying at.
The chill set in, so we headed back to the house for dinner - a typical Ecuadorian almuerzo with soup to start and then rice, beans and meat.
We got up early at 6am for the sunrise the next day, but disappointingly it was cloudy, so the views were not great. You cant win ´em all as they say. Breakfast was pretty basic, but we were quite excited at the prospect of walking down into the crater and so we set off down the trail. Its pretty sandy most of the way and we thought then coming back up wouldn´t be quite as easy! It was great to be down the bottom at the lake edge, seeing the water bubble away (minerals etc, not heat). Walking back up was pretty tough as I reckon its about 1-2 km and all uphill (obviously!) - so we were knackered when we finished and then had the prospect of getting straight on the bikes afterwards.
We decided not to return to Quito with Alberto - we brought our backpacks with us and as we were all heading south, Alberto dropped us off at the bus stop in Latacunga so we could get the 2 hour bus to Banos ($2)....and have a little kip on the way to rest our weary bodies....zzzzz