Quilatoa with a twist

It was definitely the beginning of a grande adventure when we arrived in Sigchos off the local bus and the clouds yet again rolled in, rain beginning to fall in big heavy droplets…. not a vehicle in site! 

We hoped to make it to the Quilatoa crater lake by trekking a section of the well-walked and breathtakingly beautiful loop. Opting out of the first section due to poor weather and a late start, we managed to negotiate a ride to Isinlivi and set up camp in the backyard of Llullu Llama hostel (a cozy and inviting home away from home), sharing our space with a llama and a beautiful big dog. 


Camping was fun, but I would strongly suggest those who plan to do the loop carry as little as possible, sleep in the beds at the hostels, save yourself the pain and breathlessness experienced on some of the hills along the way! 

Mulled wine, card games, good chatter and a warm fire kept us all up until late, forming friendships with fellow travellers. 

Hiking from Isinlivi to Chúgchillan was beautiful and exciting, but beware of two barking dogs, and children asking for lollies. Seeing as pictures speak louder then wor I will continue this post with a few images. All in all the hike was amazing! And we managed to beat the mountain weather that rolls in every afternoon (yay)! 


We stayed at the Cloud Forest hostal in town, which was lovely too. Though nothing like Llullu Llama, it had its own unique charms and a few cosy hammocks to nap in. 

The following day we opted out of hiking and decided instead to catch a taxi to Quilatoa and spend the day horse riding, kayaking, swimming and exploring the lake. 

Even though the taxi was 2 hours late, we had a beautiful day by the crater lake (see pictures below) 


We caught the mules up the steep track, which was a smart idea, though those animals work mighty hard to get up that hill, I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty. 

We enjoyed a meal of (yep, you guessed it, a reliable and common meal for Ecuador)…. chicken and rice. A delicious hot chocolate and we were on our way back to Latacunga where we had stored our luggage at Hostal Tiana. 

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