Quilotoa Loop

A favorite among travelers from around the world who love hiking is Ecuador’s Quilotoa loop. Here a group of towns high in the Andes sit close enough together that a person can hike from town to town and stay in hostals each night where they can shower, eat, sleep and take off refreshed on the next day’s journey. Since we were driving we visited two of the four towns and did loop hikes back to the town from which we started. The favorite Hostal, Llullu Llama (you-you-yama) is owned by a Belgium expat who built an unusual lodging combination of bunkhouse beds, private rooms with shared baths and individual cabinas with private baths. The rooms included breakfast and dinner and people ate family style with fixed menus that are out of this world. Mealtime was a great mixture of travelers from a variety of countries of all budget levels and the conversation was lively and lasted well beyond dinner. We met people from the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.

20160722_172444

DSC02791

20160725_082301

20160725_080805
Balue is the hostels eager greater.
20160723_100637
Isinlivi has very talented wood carvers.
20160723_100819
The Baptism of Christ carved on the door of the church.
20160723_101046
Cutest house in Isinlivi

Our loop hike from Isinlivi wound through areas where farmers tend crops and raise animals on impossibly steep slopes. We passed short hearty women on the trail carrying heavy bags of who-knows-what and wearing plastic shoes made for children. They all had big smiles on their faces and a warm greeting. The hike down to the river was steep and the hike back up taxed our lungs in this high altitude.

20160722_170132

DSC02786
A couple of guides helped us out along the way.

DSC02788

20160724_092218
We took a sunny day off for spring cleaning and reorganization.

The next town Quilotoa sits adjacent to the stunningly beautiful Quilatoa Crater Lake. This is a very high altitude volcanic caldera rimmed by jagged mountains which has a hiking path all the way around it essentially following the ridgeline. We were told that the hike could take three to six hours and figured we could knock it off in about four. Of course it took the full six and we were sore puppies at dinner that night.

20160726_100729

DSC02815

DSC02805
The coolest lookout we’ve ever seen.
DSC02809
This enterprising young man set up a high altitude tienda (store) for weary hikers.

DSC02812

20160726_122303

DSC02825

DSC02818

DSC02822

DSC02820
A fabulous hike all the way around the crater!

6 thoughts on “Quilotoa Loop

  1. Beautiful! Mike and I just returned from a trip to Oregon where we visited Crater Lake – looks very similar! The water was an amazing blue. Are you homesick at all? Safe travels! XOXO

    Like

  2. Love the little videos do fun…the lake is such a brilliant blue…what a view!!! I spotted you Ann before Jay zoomed in… I saw a dot of bright yellow and knew it was you… wonderful picture of you two by the lake… I would like one framed

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s