Quilotoa, the Kingdom of the Crystalline Lagoon

  • Post category:Travel

If you are planning to come to Ecuador or if you live in Ecuador and have not yet gone to Quilotoa, we recommend this amazing place, it’s well worth visiting. Here a small video so you don’t miss out!



3 hours south of Quito and 3915 m above sea level we find the Quilotoa lagoon resting on the crater of an ancient volcano. Its landscape is really unique and has become an emerging attraction. So go see her before she is full of people! If you go, it’s better during the week, fewer people, it’s even quieter.


  • Bus
    5 hours approximately
    Approx $ 8 for the entire trip
    Quito (Quitumbe Terminal) – Latacunga – Zumbahua – Quilotoa
  • Car
    3 hours and a half
    Quito – Zumbahua – Quilotoa

ACTIVITIES (see video)

  • Trails, hiking, viewpoints (A viewpoint won an architecture award)
  • Kayaking ($ 3 for 25 minutes),
  • Camping next to the crater.


  1. Trash bags. When you return from the crater put it in its respective category (we have found garbage in the trails)
  2. Go with comfortable clothes (no blue jean and converse shoes)
  3. A small backpack with: water, wool jacket, chips, something to snack on and sweater.
  4. If you are one of those who red, wear sunscreen because on a good day you will be under the sun for a long time.
  5. About $30 if you are going to eat and stay one night

If you go, take time in consideration: activities, descending and ascending from the lagoon may take a lot of time. Try no to use the donkeys for the journey as they may be injured or will have to endure too much weight, many times a day. Be kind. If you know you won’t be able to climb back, then better visit another site.



QUILOTOA arrival to the lagoon



There are several comfortable, clean hostels around the crater. You have restaurants and places for small shopping. There is also a hostel down in the lagoon next to the crater and many places to camp. There is a bathroom down there in the lagoon, and they clean it constantly.


The Quilotoa Loop is not the same as walking around the crater. The Quilotoa Loop is a 4-day trail that goes through several villages Latacunga> Isinlivi> Chugchilán> Quilotoa> Zumbahua> Latacunga. Several tours do it but they are expensive, you can go alone or in a group.


The king of eruptions of all volcanoes, a brave and violent god named Quilotoa, appeared on the surface of the lagoon a long time ago. He destroyed everything in his path. Several times he faced a god who hated him for reflecting the sky in its crystalline waters. This god resided beneath the surface of the lagoon, and when the volcano erupted the gods fought.

One day a man witnessed the fight between the two deities. He watched as they threw fire causing great disasters. It was then in the 18th century that they destroyed everything that existed around them and as a result of the epic battle the crater took its particular form. It is believed that the god fighting Quilotoa was Toachi. So far, the winner of the war is unknown.

Visiting Quilotoa is worth it, it is a great trip. We will continue visiting places to write about them. Until next time