Quilotoa lagoon is a water fill crater in Ecuador, considered one of the most beautiful lagoon in the Andes. It is a perfect natural setting to admire and photograph. The turquoise color of its waters offer a spectacular view of this millenary volcanic complex. See many volcanoes and understand why this region was named "The Avenue of the Volcanoes" by the German naturalist scientific Alexander von Humboldt. Mountains and green pastures are your companions on this journey. Observe indigenous people who were descendants of the panzaleos, one of the first ethnic groups that inhabited this place between 500 BC and 1500 AC. Dare to taste on the way up a guinea pig that is roasted above hot charcoal, this meat is considered a delicacy to people who are living in the rural areas. Finally find the mystical lagoon of the gods
Depart from Quito and cross over one of the most commercial and cow-farm towns of Ecuador. This inter-Andean valley known as Machachi houses more than one economic activity.
Machachi (farming town)
Machachi is surrounding by rose plantations, natural water factories and dairy shops. In July, an indigenous festival is celebrated each year. The festival is called “El Paseo del Chagra” or the Andean Cowboy Festival which was considered an intangible cultural heritage of Ecuador. On the road trip, there is a view point to observe the mountains and some volcanoes which are part of the Andes mountain range.
Pujili (indigenous town of the Andes)
On specific days of the week, you can see how sellers and buyers coming down to the Pujili indigenous market from different points. The market starts its activity early in the morning and is filled with colors either by the variety of products or by the typical dress of their natives who work in the market. The bargaining is part of the everyday of local people and makes you in a few seconds a good businessman.
The Pujili market is open on Wednesday and Sunday. Zumbahua market is open on Saturdays (oldest indigenous market in Ecuador)
Tigua (community of artisans and farmers)
Tigua community is one hour far away from Latacunga city, on on the highland-coast road, in the Province of Cotopaxi. This community for several years has combined farming and craftsmanship labors. In this place, we make an stop to observe a large part of the artistry work carried out by its natives. In a small gallery paintings in acrylic or watercolor are displayed where the main scenes about the “Pachamama” (Mother earth) and local characters of the old Spanish haciendas are reflected. A guinea pig can be seen while it is circling in the roasting as well.
Quilotoa is a water-fill caldera that tops out at 3800 meters or 12467 feet above sea level. The lagoon shows up different colors, it depends if the day is sunny or cloudy. You can be as active or relaxed as you like in the lagoon. Quilotoa offers a wide range of activities which to choose from: hiking, kayaking, photography or just enjoy this peaceful place from the look-out point. The activity that travelers enjoy the most is to walk down at the bottom of the crater to look at the lagoon and return. if your physical condition is not the best one, the return could be assisted by a local man who rent mules to come back to the viewpoint. Afterwards a long walk a pause is necessary to taste typical food in one of the community restaurants of Quilotoa. After a wonderful day is time to come back to Quito.
Total price for 4 participants is $340 (Bank fees do not include)
Total price for 3 participants is $270 (Bank fees do not include)
Total price for 2 participants is $196 USD (Bank fees do not include)
(Bank fees do not include)