Quilotoa Loop Hike - 5 Days

Journey Through the Andean Highlands: Exploring the Quilotoa Loop

Quilotoa Loop Hike - 5 Days

Journey Through the Andean Highlands: Exploring the Quilotoa Loop

Explore an enchanting journey through the Ecuadorian Andes on the Quilotoa loop 5-day trek, where every step unveils breathtaking vistas and rich cultural encounters. Traverse winding mountain paths that lead you into the soul of Andean tradition, revealing the majestic presence of Ecuador's renowned volcanoes. This immersive trek offers a splendid opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene countryside of the Andes, weaving through quaint villages, cascading waterfalls, rugged canyons, and expansive paramo highlands. Your adventure culminates at the awe-inspiring Quilotoa volcano, home to one of the world's most spectacular crater lakes.


  • Stunning landscapes showcasing majestic volcanoes, picturesque villages, cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, and expansive paramo highlands.
  • Cultural immersion in Andean communities, offering insights into local traditions, customs, and way of life.
  • Quilotoa volcano, featuring one of the world's most impressive crater lakes with stunning turquoise waters and panoramic views.
  • Diverse terrain including rugged mountain paths, lush valleys, and high-altitude paramo ecosystems.
  • Authentic experiences staying in traditional villages, interacting with locals, and enjoying Andean cuisine.
  • Adventure and exploration uncovering hidden gems and natural wonders of the Ecuadorian Andes.

5-Day/4-Night Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Explore the Route of the Waterfalls.
  • Day 2: Trek from Sigchos to Insivili.
  • Day 3: Journey through Chugchilan.
  • Day 4: Trek to Quilotoa.
  • Day 5: Discover Cotopaxi National Park.
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Exploring the Route of the Waterfalls

Begin your journey as we depart from Quito in the early morning for a scenic 1.5-hour drive to our starting point near Pasochoa Volcano, situated at an altitude of 3,200 meters (10,499 ft). Our guided hike along the picturesque Pita River unveils stunning waterfalls and lush landscapes, offering opportunities for a refreshing splash amidst the verdant vegetation. After a 3-4 hour trek, we'll enjoy a replenishing box lunch before embarking on a 45-minute hike through fields adorned with high straw, boasting panoramic views of neighboring snow-capped peaks such as Antisana and Cayambe. Conclude the day's adventures at El Porvenir, where a warm canelazo awaits by the cozy fire.

  • Total elevation change: 681 m (2237 ft)
  • Total distance: 9.4 km (5.8 miles)

Overnight: Hacienda El Porvenir.

Meals: (Packed lunch provided)

Day 2: Sigchos- Insivili Trek

Start the day early with a transfer to Sigchos, the starting point for a 4-5 hour hike. Descend to an altitude of 2560 meters before ascending to Isinlivi, a quaint village offering breathtaking views of the snowcapped peaks of the Ilinizas on clear days. Traverse through fields adorned with corn and vibrant lupine flowers, locally known as chocho.

  • Total elevation change: 428 m (1409 ft)
  • Total distance: 10.7 km (6.7 miles)

Accommodation: Llullu Llama Mountain Lodge (or similar) - Private Room

Meals: (Breakfast/Packed Lunch provided)

Day 3: Chugchilan Trek

After breakfast, embark on a 5-hour hike to Chugchilan, passing through the Río Toachi Canyon and encountering small settlements along the way. Marvel at the picturesque views of the canyon and experience life in the Andean countryside. Arrive in Chugchilan and settle into a charming lodge surrounded by gardens.

  • Total elevation change: 1126 m (3692 ft)
  • Total distance: 12.4 km (7.7 miles)

Accommodation: Mama Hilda Lodge (or similar) - Private Room

Meals: (Breakfast/Packed Lunch provided)

Day 4: Quilotoa Trek

Today's adventure leads us to the breathtaking Quilotoa crater. Trek for 5-6 hours, descending from 3200 meters to 2993 meters before ascending to the crater rim at 3900 meters. Witness the mesmerizing colors of the crater lake and enjoy a box lunch with panoramic views. Conclude the hike in the village of Quilotoa, where our driver awaits to transfer us back to Hacienda El Porvenir.

  • Total elevation change: 649 m (2132 ft)
  • Total distance: 12 km (7.5 miles)

Overnight: Hacienda El Porvenir.

Meals: (Breakfast/Packed Lunch provided)

Day 5: Exploration of Cotopaxi National Park

Depart from Hacienda El Porvenir after breakfast for Cotopaxi National Park. Traverse through páramo plains until reaching the car park below the climbing hut. Embark on a hike up to the refugio at 4,800 meters, encountering the imposing Cotopaxi volcano along the way. Descend to Limpiopungo Lake for a delicious packed lunch before continuing the journey to Pucará del Salitre, an ancient Inca fortress. Return to Quito after this scenic drive.

  • Total elevation change: 650 m (2132 ft)
  • Total distance: 2 km (1.2 miles)

Meals: (Breakfast/Packed Lunch provided)

Additional Trip Info

  • Lodging (double occupancy)
  • Meals as listed
  • Outlined activities
  • English-speaking guides
  • Access to APU Mountain Spa at El Porvenir
  • Transportation to and from Quito
  • Admission to Santa Rita Ecological Reserve

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