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Hike the Quilotoa Loop
Get stuck into Ecuador's beautiful highland scenery and traditional markets on this rewarding circuit.
Venture off the beaten track for a quintessentially South American experience, coupling jaw-dropping natural scenery with the authentic culture of small highland communities.
The crater lake of Quilotoa lies within untouched countryside, a dramatic eruption of turquoise in a verdant and serene landscape. This is Andean Ecuador at its most beguiling, and a peppering of tiny villages huddled beneath jutting mountain peaks lends additional colour to the scene. Many host traditional early-morning markets where indigenous villagers from across the surrounding area congregate to catch up on all the latest gossip and trade at stalls piled high with fruit, livestock and textiles.
After visiting one of these markets, you'll visit the magnificent crater lake, 3914m, with the opportunity to walk the full circuit around its crumpled volcanic edges. Stay in the archetypal highland town of Chugchilán, from where with an optional extra day's hiking it's possible to walk back down to Quilotoa on one of the country's most scenic trails.
Activity Rating: easy
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
Avenue of the Volcanoes
Holidays Hike the Quilotoa Loop
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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Ben Line - Travel Consultant
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.