Photo of the Week: Quilotoa Lagoon

Quilotoa Lagoon is a volcanic crater lake that sits at 3500m above sea level. It is about 180km south of Quito, Ecuador. It offers a breathtaking view of the lagoon as well as the Andes mountain range surrounding it. The volcano erupted 800 years ago and the caldera has since become a crater lake with a depth of 250m, but if you ask the locals they would tell you it is bottomless.

There is a lookout point at the rim of the crater, where the Quilotoa village is, visitors will have a gasp-inducing sight of the green lake contained by the impressively rugged and lush crater walls. And on a clear day, you could see Cotopaxi poking its peak above the mountain range in the distance.

The weather here changes very fast; it can get from warm to cold in a matter of minutes. At this altitude, it is generally cold during the day, with very chilly nights. Visitors who are fit enough and have the time can walk around the rim of the crater. The loop takes about 5-6 hours. There is also a zig-zag path that leads down to the water. It is also the starting or ending point of hikers doing the multi-day Quilotoa Loop.

Most people come for a day trip. But if you want to stay the night, there are some accommodation options in the village.

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