It’s a volcanic lake and it is a peaceful place. Wild camping is accepted by the lake and at 13,000ft – we do very little exercise in order to adjust to the altitude. We spend two nights resting and taking in the views and it’s silence.
Quilotoa Laguna is one of those places that take your breath away. Hidden away in a small village near Quilotoa, it is one of those places you drive up to see and then all of a sudden it appears out of nowhere. On the second morning, we get up early and decide to do the hike around the entire creator. At 13,000ft, we knew it was going to be difficult but the blue skies really forced our hand.
We are camping at a viewpoint where cars can drive up using 4×4 (the sand will not be kind to those without it), but you can also access it from the other side where you just drive right up to a different viewing point.
It takes us 4.5 hours to do the whole hike and most of the time – we are out of breath (except Zoe), but it is 100% worth it. The vastness of the lake and it’s emerald colors aren’t just something you see every day. Steve goes on record to say this is his favorite hike… EVER.
The hike is steep and you are teetertottering on top of a crater with no guardrails or trees to stop your fall and for someone with a fear of heights, this was definitely a challenge. But, it was absolutely memorable. You can stop every 20 steps and admire the changing landscape and the fact that it’s a dog-friendly hike really is the cherry on top.
We are so so lucky to have the clouds part for an evening and we finally see some stars. Also, at one point the clouds are below us and it covers the village, yet gives us stars for us to see above the laguna. Whoa.