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Laguna Quilotoa Trek

Highlights

  • Quito, a unique and fascinating city
  • Inn to Inn hiking to Quilotoa
  • Dinners cooked by professional chefs
  • Stunning and endangered cloud forests
  • Ancient, rural mountain culture of the Kichwa
  • Amazing views of jungle, grasslands and volcanoes
  • 13,000 foot rim of Quilotoa, above Laguna Quilotoa

Description

Hiking with Wildland Trekking in Ecuador is a once in a life time experience. This trip specifically will open your eyes to the beautiful natural and cultural environments of urban Ecuador (in the amazing city of Quito) and wild, volcanic Ecuador in the remote mountains we trek through. We will travel through the local indigenous communities of the Kichwa, a millenia-old culture of mountain villagers and farmers. We will experience their culture which has changed little over the course of time. We will also stay in local accommodations and have opportunities to spend time with local people.
The most dramatic gems of this trip are the views of magnificent snow-capped volcanoes, stunning river valleys, and rapidly disappearing cloud forests, which lead us to the breath-taking Laguna Quilotoa - a deep, crystal clear lake in the bottom of a 13,000 foot high volcanic caldera. Be ready for a stunning end to a fantastic trip at Quilotoa!

This trip is an experience you'll never forget, and for travelers who love to hike and experience other cultures, it's one not to be missed. Give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book a spot today!
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Trip Dates

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this Ecuador hiking tour, Wildland Trekking will pick you up from Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. Most flights arrive between 11pm and midnight so make sure you have snacks in your bag before you fly. When you arrive in Quito and Wildland Trekking representative will pick you up from the International airport and transfer you to your accommodation for the night. They will provide you with the plan for the next morning.
Day 2

Since this altitude is unfamiliar to most travelers, we will have a leisurely breakfast and rest from our International travel. After breakfast we will visit the historic center of Quito as it has one of the largest and best-preserved historic districts in the South America. Quito was one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978 and the central square is located about 16 miles south of the equator. We’ll visit some of Quito’s famous churches including la Compañia de Jesus and the Basilica del Voto Nacional. Lunch will be on your own and we will set a time to meet before traveling back to our hotel. At the hotel we will have our expedition orientation meeting to become acquainted with our trip. Take some time to rest this evening and enjoy dinner at your leisure. Your guide can offer dining suggestions depending on your tastes. Make sure to eat a lot and drink water as this will aide in your acclimatization.
Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.7 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 8399 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 9658 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 4 hours
This morning we will have breakfast and depart our hotel at roughly 7:30 AM for the village of Sigchos where we will begin our trek at 9,400 ft., descend through a valley and then trek up to the Kichwa community of Isinlivi (9,600 ft.) where we will have time to shower and rest before we are served dinner by our chef at the lodge. After dinner, your guides will deliver the plan for tomorrow.
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.7 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 8661 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 10490 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 4-6 hours
This morning we will wake up with a hearty breakfast, depart from Isinlivi and begin our walk through traditional Andean farmlands to the lower river bed of Toachi. We will have lunch along the way, while immersed in beautiful mountain landscapes and rural Ecuadorian culture. We will arrive at our lodge in the village of Chugchilan and have some down time to take showers and rest before being served a delicious Ecuadorian dinner.
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 10490 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11800 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5 hours
This morning after breakfast, we will drive up to a local Cheese factory and have a tour to learn how the locals make cheese and dairy products. After the tour we will begin our hike into the wild and disappearing world of the cloud forest. On the way, we will cross the windswept highland plains of the paramo before venturing into the dense, tropical forest where our guide will share information about the medicinal uses of the plant life, wildlife, and other points of interest. We will then begin our descent back to Chugchilan for another hearty dinner together and night of rest.
Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 8.1 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 9100 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13000 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-7 hours
Today we will have an early breakfast, depart Chugchilan and trek to the beautiful Laguna Quilotoa. We will climb to roughly 13,000 feet to the rim of the crater. Once we arrive at the rim, we will have a break to eat snacks and drink water and continue walking around the crater rim until we reach the village of Quilotoa. Upon arrival, we will check into our accommodation, have free time to do some souvenir shopping until meeting back at the lodge for dinner. After a delicious dinner, our guides will deliver the plan for the next day.
Day 7
  • Hiking Mileage: ~2 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 9100 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13000 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
After a delicious and hearty breakfast, we will begin our hike to the bottom of the crater. From our accommodation, we will descend approximately 924 ft. until we reach the crater floor and the lake.  We will enjoy our time by the lake while having snacks and taking in the amazing views.  When we are ready to leave, we will hike 1-2 hours up to the crater rim.  We will have lunch at the rim before getting picked up by our shuttle driver.  Our shuttle driver will drive us to our accommodation for the night at Posada de Tigua. Posada de Tigua has a rich cultural history and is approximately 200 years old. We will have some well-deserved down time to take hot showers and rest before our delicious and authentic dinner is served.
Day 8

After breakfast, we will be picked up from Posada de Tigua and drive 1.5 hours back to Quito. Upon arrival, we will go out to lunch for our celebratory last meal of the trip. After lunch we will take you to the Hosteria Airport Garden hotel near the airport where you will have time to shower, relax, and eat before catching a taxi to the airport for your flight home. Please schedule your departing flight after 5 P.M.



Galapagos Add-on Tour

If you'd like to make the most of your time in Ecuador, join us for an add-on, 7-day tour of Galapagos. Click here to learn more!


Add-on Rooms: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights at some destinations (not available at all destinations) before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging for the duration of the tour
  • The majority of meals (day 1 and 2 dinners, and day 2 lunch are not included); breakfast the final day is our last meal together
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Professional, certified Wildland Ecuador hiking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Quito, Ecuador
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Dinner night 1, lunch and dinner on Day 2, dinner day 8, taxi to airport from Hosteria Airport Garden
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Ecuador hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. We'll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Quito as well as meals prepared on the trip by your guides and/or support staff.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at the airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Trip Insurance

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


Trip Insurance

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


Weather in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Because of the wild elevation changes and diverse climates, the temperatures and weather can also vary dramatically.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the high mountain elevations of Ecuador are:

Month Hi Low Precip
March 81.8° F 69.3° F 6.6 inches
April 81.9° F 68.9° F 5.6 inches
May 80.7° F 68° F 3.5 inches
June 79.3° F 66.7° F 2.4 inches
July 77.9° F 65.7° F 1.6 inches
August 78.4° F 64.8° F 1.5 inches
September 78.6° F 65.3° F 1.7 inches
October 79° F 65.9° F 2.3 inches