Quilotoa Crater Lake

There is a massive crater lake in one of the volcanoes in the Andes Mountains near Quito that I have been meaning to get to. Finally, last weekend, I was able to go with some friends to check it out! We stayed at the Black Sheep Inn, and used that as a base to go to Quilotoa crater lake. I was sick, sadly, so I didn't get to do the big hike from Quilotoa, through the valley and back to the hostel, but I was able to accompany the group to the lake for the views, and then ride back to the hostel in a camioneta (truck for hire).

Laura and I riding in a camioneta to the crater lake

 Some of our group on top of the camioneta

We picked a perfect day to go to Quilotoa! Blue skies, green water, fresh air. When you hike over the little hill to the view point, everyone starts 'ooooh'ing and 'aaahh'ing because the view is so freaking unbelievable. I have seen some beautiful things in my travels, but Quilotoa might just be the prettiest scenery I have ever seen. The lake is about 830 feet deep, and is at 12,800 feet elevation in the mountains.

Picture perfect Quilotoa crater lake

Testing out my camera's panorama function 

Horses and mules going up and down the path to the water

There are lots activities at Quilotoa. You can rent mules or horses to ride up and down the path to the water, you can go kayaking, hiking, check out the small artisan markets that have sprung up in the area, or eat lunch at a little almuerzo place. My friends chose to do a 5 hour hike from the crater lake, through a valley, and up to the hostel we were staying at. Because I was sick, I opted out of the hike and went back to the hostel to lay in a hammock all day.

They even sort trash in rural Ecuador!

My friends on their hike from Quilotoa to the hostel

Me, sadly trying to sleep on the camioneta ride home from Quilotoa
Why did I have to be sick that weekend?!


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