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.
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 dont 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.