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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
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
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.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
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 Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
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.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
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.