Hiking Day-Trip to Quilotoa Lagoon from Quito

Quito, Ecuador

Experience Rating
    
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Overview

Hike to the spectacular Quilotao Lagoon on a full-day, guided hiking trip from Quito that includes transport, a market visit, and lunch at a local restaurant. You’ll encounter vibrant Andean cultures, trek into a collapsed volcanic caldera, and visit a mountain village known for traditional artwork. This small-group tour is limited to 12 people for personal service from the guides.
  • Quilotoa Lagoon hiking trip from Quito
  • Visit an indigenous market
  • Hike into a volcanic crater
  • Eat lunch at a local restaurant
  • Tour a traditional arts village
  • Pickup and drop-off from a central location in Quito

Transportation from Quito to Quilotoa and back (hotels within the urban perimeter ONLY)
Bilingual Guide
Guided Hike in Quilotoa Lagoon and visit to a local market (market place depends on day of the week)
Lunch
Entry fee to Quilotoa Lagoon USD $2 per person
Items/ activities not mentioned on the itinerary
Breakfast or other meals aside form Lunch
Gratuities

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Departure Point: Thursdays & Sundays: (Meeting Point)
Barrio Mariscal in Quito - Ecuador ( Magic Bean Restaurant or Q Restaurant, both located at Barrio Mariscal at Mariscal Foch y Juan León Mera).

Note: The exact point of departure will be informed upon confirmation.

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat:
Your hotel in Quito - Please inform us of your hotel of stay (hotels within the urban perimeter ONLY).
Address: Thursdays & Sundays: (Meeting Point)
Barrio Mariscal in Quito - Ecuador (Magic Bean Restaurant or Q Restaurant, both located at Barrio Mariscal at Mariscal Foch y Juan León Mera).

Note: The exact point of departure will be informed upon confirmation.

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat:
Your hotel in Quito - Please inform us of your hotel of stay (hotels within the urban perimeter ONLY).
Directions: Magic Bean Restaurant located at Barrio Mariscal at Mariscal Foch E5-08 y Juan León Mera

Dates: THURSDAY & SUNDAY
Return point: Original departure point

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat: (your hotel in Quito)
8h00 - 9h00am. Starting time may change. Pick-up time will be confirmed in the Service Voucher send by the Tour Operator through the Viator platform. 

Note: Please be ready at your hotel lobby 10 min before departure time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A voucher will be sent with the exact place and time to start the tour

Meet a guide and a group of hikers at a central location in Quito, arriving at 6:45 with warm and weatherproof clothing for a 7am departure. Leave the city on the Pan-American Highway, stopping in Latacunga City on your way to the Andean village of Quilotoa.

You’ll get a firsthand experience of the Andes’ indigenous culture at a local market—depending on the day, you’ll visit a Saquisil, Pujili, or Zimbahua market—then continue to the town of Zimbahua to start the hike, a total of 103 miles (166 km) from Quito. Descend towards the edge of the Quilotoa Lagoon, which has pooled in the crater of a collapsed volcano, and enjoy views across the dramatic mountain landscape.

Most visitors make the hike from the viewing platform to the water in 30 minutes, and the uphill hike in 1 to 2 hours, climbing 919 feet (280 meters) along the way. If desired, you may hire a mule or horse for the return trip, making only the hike to the lake on foot.

Refuel with a hearty lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the town of Tigua, a community known for paintings made with chicken feather brushes on sheep hide canvases, depicting scenes of mountain life and culture. In the late afternoon, begin the return trip to Quito, where this tour concludes with drop-off at the original departure point.

Please Note: Quilotoa is located at 12,467 feet (3,800 meters), so guests should plan to allow at least one day to acclimatize in Ecuador before booking this trip.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Nature Galapagos & Ecuador
Early in the morning, the trip starts by driving 89 km south from Quito through the Panamericana Hwy. aka “The Avenue of the Volcanoes”. The first stop will be Latacunga City at Cotopaxi Province. From this point, head west for a 1-hour drive through the unforgettable Andean scenery towards the village of Quilotoa. Visit a local town and get in contact with the Andean culture (either Saquisilí or Pujilí). Get the chance to mix with the rich Andean culture of the local community that inhabits the surrounding area by visiting either Saquisil, Pujili or Zimbahua Indian markets (depends on the day). The lovely town of Zimbahua comes right before we start hiking down towards the turquoise colored Quilotoa Lagoon. Trek around this natural wonder of water holding strong minerals, formed by the collapsed volcanic caldera. From the rim hike down towards the banks of the lagoon and then climb back up. Have lunch at a local restaurant and then stop at the small town Tigua (famous for the Tigua art - paintings made with chicken feather brushes over sheep hide canvas - a celebration of the mountain life, the festivals, the legends, and traditions of the area). In the late afternoon, head back to Quito. Climate The weather in the area of the Quilotoa Lagoon is unpredictable so please bring warm and waterproof clothing. Quilotoa is located at 3,800 masl and the temperatures usually hovers around the 12°so we recommend acclimatizing at least one day prior to this trip. Please don’t make this excursion you first right after arriving Ecuador. The hike is easy and you need no climbing expertise, however, we do recommend to climb back up from the lagoon on a mule or horse (cost not included in the price of the tour). Swimming in the lagoon is not recommended. * IMPORTANT NOTE: For Thursdays and Sundays (open departures), meet wtih your guide and fellow travellers at 6:45am at the centrally located meeting point at Mariscal Barrio. For Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat departures, the guide will pick you up at the your hotel in Quito around 8:00 - 8:30am.
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • What to bring: Warm clothes, eaterproof jacket, gloves, sunscreen, hat, hiking shoes, extra pair of socks, extra pants
  • Clothing Suggestions: Comfortable and warm clothes (appropriate for location). Comfortable hiking shoes, walking stick
  • Note: The tour is not private. Travelers will share services with a group. Maximum people per tour is 12
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

Cancellation policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.
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