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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
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
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.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.