Quilotoa Lagoon


A turquoise lagoon, mountains and nature, all this is Quilotoa, a landscape that really looks like it comes from a movie. This volcano is located in the western part of the Ecuadorian Andes in the parish of Zumbahua in the province of Cotopaxi at an altitude of 3.814 meters above sea level. Within its crater, a caldera with a diameter of almost 9 km has been formed due to the collapse of the volcano estimated to have occurred 800 years ago. Some studies indicate that it produced a pyroclastic flow and lahars that managed to reach the Pacific Ocean.

In its caldera, you will find a 250 meters deep lagoon, which impresses with its unique beauty. Its turquoise color makes it the focus of all the photos of those who are visiting this place and, no matter if the day is sunny or clouded, a photo with the Quilotoa lagoon in the background is something worth posting on social networks. But the adventure does not end there, it is possible to descend to the edge of the lagoon where you can observe its intense color and perform different activities such as kayaking, rowing, hiking, and camping or just relax appreciating the panorama.

The explanation of its striking color is based on the fact that the minerals have given the surface a greenish emerald tone and bluish when the water is hit by sunlight. Even within the lagoon there are springs that can be perceived from the shore as bubbling traces that ascend to the surface.

In the area you can also see some plant species such as the famous chuquiragua, South American lupins, blueberries, and cortaderia. If you are lucky, you can also observe certain species of animals that live in the surroundings, such as wolves, foxes, rabbits, deer, little red brockets, hummingbirds, parrots and sparrows.

The Quilotoa is an ideal place for trekking. You can even plan your visit so that prior to arriving to the lagoon you visit towns like Saquisilí, Chugchilán, Zumbahua, Sigchos while staying in hostels that have a rustic charm and enjoy living with the communities and other visitors who each day come closer on their journey to the lagoon.

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