Join me at Quilotoa, a 2-mile wide lagoon in Ecuador formed after a volcano eruption 738 years ago, that has transformed itself into a major tourist attraction for outdoor enthusiasts who visit Ecuador. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.

BONUS: You get to watch my friend Liz's epic hiking fail! 🤣

I've spent the past 6 weeks in Quito Ecuador and during that time, my friends and I took a day trip to Quilotoa, which is about a 3 hour drive south of Quito. We only had time for a day trip to hike down and back up the lagoon, but you can also opt for the 5-day hike around Quilotoa like my friends Bonnie and Trinity did last year. Whichever you have time for, Quilotoa is definitely a destination worth visiting in Ecuador, perhaps on your way south from Quito to Baños or Cuenca.

Quilotoa Ecuador Panorama View

While Quilotoa itself has been around for several hundred years, the area is just recently developing into a popular tourist destination. So if you're looking for a place in Ecuador that not EVERYONE has seen yet, now's your chance.

Paul ❤️'s Ecuador

I love Ecuador, especially Quito, and this is my third time returning. Read more about what I Loved / Hated About Quito As Digital Nomad from the first 5 months I spent here.

Also check out the other videos I made while in Quito:

  • Coffee, Tea, Puppy – about a cafe in Quito that fosters dogs!
  • La Casa de Rafa – about a restaurant in Quito that employs blind servers where visitors eat underground in a cave in complete darkness!
  • Feliz Navidog – about the world's greatest dog who followed me home from the park so it became my mission to find her a home.
  • If She Can Do It – about a school teacher who's traveled to 72 countries and counting on a teacher's salary!
  • They Use Our Money – about why Ecuador switched from using their own currency to using the USD!
  • Or check out all my videos here.

Video Transcript & Sources

PAUL: This is difficult for my comrades as you can tell because they are not in the best physical shape of their life like me. Where I am in just the peak of…

[Liz's epic fall.]

LIZ: I'm fine! Thank you for asking.

Welcome to Quilotoa a 2-mile wide lagoon in in Ecuador formed after a catastrophic volcano eruption 738 years ago. And like the locations of many catastrophic events in history, Quilotoa has transformed itself into a major tourist attraction for outdoor enthusiasts who visit Ecuador.

The word Quilotoa comes from the local Quechua language and combines two old Quechua words: “quiru” meaning “tooth” and toa meaning “queen”. The queen’s tooth. But for you, it translates into about 30 minutes down and 2 hours back up!

You start at the summit and work your way down the windy and sandy pathway, avoiding the horse poop as best you can along the way. While it's not a difficult hike down, you've got to be careful because the steep decline on sand can be a bit too overwhelming for some people.

[Liz;s epic fall.]

The view from the bottom is as beautiful as the view from the top, but the actual decline is deceptive. Since most people stop and take photos along the way, you don't realize just how fast and steep you're descending. It's a 280-meter vertical decent that you've got to take back up! So don't wear yourself out on the way down and be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get back up — because that's the real challenge. That is, unless you decide to take the horses back up.

So come visit Quilotoa. The village at one point comprised of just a few homes and a single hostel – but is now developing into a destination in Ecuador worth spending a night or two.

Just remember, that what goes down, must come back up again…

Sources:

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilotoa
  • atlasobscura.com/places/laguna-quilotoa
  • volcanodiscovery.com/quilotoa.html
  • practicalwanderlust.com/2016/09/hiking-the-quilotoa-loop-ecuador.html
  • en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Laguna_Quilotoa
  • alongdustyroads.com/posts/2015/6/11/ten-things-to-know-before-hiking-the-quilotoa-loop-guide
  • alwaystheadventure.com/blog/quilotoa

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Paul @ Travel is Life

Hey it's Paul Drecksler the founder of Travel is Life. Thank you for being here (wherever you are). Be sure to join my Friends List for some exciting things coming soon on this website. If you're a travel blogger, join our Travel is Life Tribe. Happy travels!