Heart of the Andes
85$ per person
1 Full Day
More than 1


A stunning spot in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes, from green to blue lake, and westernmost volcano in the western andean mountain range. Quilotoa crater lake should be in a must visit bucket list for every traveler.
  • Information
  • Tour Plan
  • Gallery
  • Additional Info
  • Similar Tours
Possibly one of the most important and beautiful natural attractions in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador. The Quilotoa crater lake is one of the most impressive natural wonders of this Province. A marvelous view to the lake from the lookout point located at the top of its rim will make you go WOW. This fantastic seven color turquoise toned lake is considered to be, one of the 13 most beautiful lakes around the globe. Not only the lake has an special beauty but also its local indigenous people and its surroundings makes this, an special place.

What's included

Highlands | La Sierra , Quilotoa Lagoon Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Return Location
Tour Start Date & Time
Price includes
  • A guided tour of important places
  • Entrance tickets to monuments and museums
  • Transportation
Price does not include
  • Meals, unless expressly states
Additional Prices
Solo Traveler Extra Fee: $60
quilotoa crater lake tour, quilotoa volcano tour, ecuatouring

A hidden ecological reserve

Quilotoa Crater lake belongs to the Ilinizas Ecological reserve, located on the norwest of the Cotopaxi province. Its a nicely hidden place of the Ecuadorian Andes, holding a beautiful lake whose water goes from dark blue to emerald green water, locals say it turns into seven different colors between dark blue to emerald green depending of its constant internal activity which expels different minerals. This lake always amazes with its beauty!

quilotoa crater lake tour, quilotoa volcano tour, ecuatouring
quilotoa crater lake tour, quilotoa volcano tour, ecuatouring

A peaceful caldera filled with water.

This Volcanic origin crater lake  takes us back to the earths formation history of impresive geological changes, as deep canyons and high mountains, reminding us that everything is in constant transformation in nature. Geography does not cease to change and amaze us with its majesty and grandeur, remainings of volcanic ash are found in every inch of the Quilotoa area.

Chilly and peaceful  with an unmeasurable beauty, Quilotoa crater lake is a huge caldera that holds a naturally formed impresive lake, as part of its volcanic activity centuries ago. Considered a dormant volcano but at the same time active, since from its center part is constantly sending out different minerals and bubbles come up to the surface, liberating pressure all the time.

quilotoa crater lake tour, quilotoa volcano tour, ecuatouring

Smile you are at the Quilotoa Crater

Several studies show that the Quilotoa´s last eruption took place about 738 (1280 confirmed last eruption source: Smithsonian Institution) years ago, its ash flew all the way to the Pacific Ocean (250km), and to the east reached the east side area of the Cotopaxi National Park and part of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

quilotoa crater lake tour, quilotoa volcano tour, ecuatouring

Quilotoas ecosystem is called

Páramo: chilly, mainly a dwarft forest and several tall trees as pine trees the “Paramo is similar to an “Alpine tundra”

What is the weather like at the Quilotoa?

The weather in the Andes is constantly changing, if you pay close attention to the climate you will be able to tell and feel this changes approximately every twenty to thirty minutes and the Quilotoa is not an exception. Due to the Quilotoa´s high elevation 3900 m (12792 ft) it can be cold and feel chilly when windy, but also  be very comfortable in a sunny day without wind.

It is very variable, so be prepared for sun and rain in the same day.

Quilotoa Maps

Quilotoa area map, ecuatouring
Quilotoa drive from Quito, EcuaTouring
Quilotoa hikes, Quilotoa treks, Ecuatouring
  • Day 1
Day 1

Quito & Quilotoa

Please remember all our tours are customizable.

You will start early morning for a drive to get out of the city, then, connect to the Panamerican Highway, heading south of Quito. This is a lovely drive since you will go across the place where mountains and volcanoes are one next to the other on top of a high plateu and are part of the Andes. (The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. S0urce:Wikipedia). So, depending if weather helps, you will be able to see the Andean mountain range as well as the endless farms, cows, llamas, sheeps and small towns along this drive. 

After more or less, 1hour 45 minute drive you will get off the Panamerican highway to inmerse to the heart of the Andes, towards the west and head to the furthermost andean lagoon,  Quilotoa!. Here, the most challenging part of this trip begins! A hike down into the Quilotoa, crater lake, is a 40 minute hike, and you have the option to go back up hiking or to go back up, on a mule ride!

As a second option, go for a one and a half hour hike to a close by comunity located on the craters rim called Shalalá, have a snack and hike back.  

As a third pption go for a 4 hour hike around the rim, for this option this trip starts at 6 am.

*Two day tour  options is to do a hike from Chucchilan to Quilotoa Lake or Viceversa, for this hike we need a two day tour, so please feel free to ask us about this avilable tour.

After the hoke you chose for a day trip, have lunch at a communitary restaurant to try a typical ecuadorian meal, and last visit the community market in search for the right handcrafts before returning to Quito.

More about this tour

Located north west of the Cotopaxi province is the Ecological reserve Ilinizas, were the Quilotoa crater lake is part of this Ecological reserve high in the Ecuadorin andes and well hidden in the mountains, its the westernmost andean area of Ecuador, due to its height above 3000 msnm this ecosystem is considered a "Paramo", wich is similar to an Alpine tundra.

On a day trip to Quilotoa Crater Lake from Quito, while riding towards que south of the capital city you will ride along the Panamerican highway and  along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes, this is the area of the andean mountain range that  Alexander Von Humbolt (1802) called Avenue of the volcanoes, where one mountain is right afer the next one, without  openings in between and are located on both sides of the Panamerican Highway. the drive on the Panamerican highway ends in Latacunga where you will start going up and towards the west side of Ecuador to enjoy  breathtaking landscapes of the Ecuadorian Andes. Every turn is an amazing and unique landscape, uncovering a different sight along this trip.




EcuaTouring is a womenmanaged company, we are planning your next vacation carefully behind the scenes, eiher with our fixed tours or taylor made itineraries we are happy to help!


1% of the tours you book with EcuaTouring, goes to feeding and neutering stray dogs which are a big issue in Ecuador and especially in the rural areas of Ecuador we find some hotspots


Quilotoa Crater Lake

85$ per person
1 Full Day
More than 1

    If having trouble with our contact form please write to us: [email protected]

    Once you submit this form, you will recieve a payment link to your email, within a few minutes, please check your spam folder

      Enquiry about the tour availability or any other info. Required fields are marked *
      If having trouble with our contact form please contact us to: [email protected]