Explore-Share logo and link to home

4-day Quilotoa trek in the Andean Highlands of Ecuador

quilotoa_trek 1

Visit the highlands of Andes and see a beautiful crater-lake on this 4-day Quilotoa trek in Ecuador with an ASEGUIM certified mountain guide Javier.



4 Days

All year




  • Explore the emerald green crater lake of Quilotoa.
  • Learn about the age-old culture and practices of natives.
  • Visit the beautiful village of Chugchilan and spend the day exploring it.


Join me to explore the rocky peaks of Andean Highlands on this 4-day Quilotoa trek in Ecuador.

Located in the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes, Quilotoa is a 3 km wide water-filled crater. On this trip, we’ll go explore this beautiful caldera and also see the unexplored highlands around the villages in Western Cotopaxi. These remote and dry regions have distinct Andean characteristics and still carry an indigenous charm.

You are not likely to forget this amazing trip all your life. We’ll begin by visiting the beautiful crater lagoon and go on to explore the typical highland vegetation. As you will traverse these highlands, you’ll also meet welcoming natives who live here.

The people of Quilotoa still practice their age-old traditions and customs. So those looking for a complete-authentic experience are definitely in for a treat!

We’ll begin the journey by driving towards the city of Latacunga. Passing via the little village of Pujilí, we’ll head towards the town of Tigua. Here, you’ll get a chance to visit the Tigua Painters’ Gallery and see the colorful paintings by indigenous artists.

The next day, we’ll walk for a good 5 hours to get to Quilotoa Crater. Passing by private farms, we’ll reach this emerald crater-lake. You’ll spend the rest of the day seeing the famous Tigua paintings and carved wooden masks.

The third day takes us to the beautiful village of Chugchilán. The trail offers spectacular views of the canyon of Toachi River. This small town is a perfect example of a typical mountain village in Ecuador, with a small plaza, a church, and a school.

The final day involves a couple of half-day hikes around Chugchilán. You can either choose to visit the local cheese factory or hike towards Sigchos or simply stroll in the town before we head back to Quito.

It will be an exceptional experience, I assure you. So, send a message now to reserve your seat. I will be glad to guide you! Also, check out my expedition across the Ecuadorian Volcanoes here.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

Price details

Minimum of two persons required.

Price excludes:

Travel Insurance, Accommodation and Meals while in Quito.


Day 1: Drive and Hike to Posada Tigua - Visit the Town of Tigua

Day 2: Walk from Tigua to Quilotoa Crater at 3.800 m /12,464 ft

Day 3: Hike from Quilotoa to the Village of Chugchilán

Day 4: Walk around Chugchilán and Drive to Quito





About the guide

He has been climbing in Ecuador for more than 25 years and has been working as guide for 15 years. As a mountaineer, he has led many ascents in the Andes, the Alps, the Karakorum and the Himalayas. The eight expeditions he headed in Nepal include guiding on two 8000-meter peaks.

He is currently the mountain rescue coordinator of the Ecuadorian Association of Mountain guides (ASEGUIM), and has completed several courses with ENSA, the French National School of Guides. He is also the program director in Ecuador of the American Alpine Institute

During his cycling career he won seven times the National Road Racing Championship, and also a gold and silver medal in the Pan-American games of 1990, for which he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honour for the highest merit in Sports.

If Javier Herrera is not available, he works with an excellent team of bilingual ASEGUIM/UIAGM guides.






Quito, Ecuador

What people are saying about Javier Herrera

John Trewin


August, 2022

Hi. I cannot say enough that this trekking trip was really well run and organised . Great walking and accommodation in the Haciendas perfect. Our guide Pablo went out of his way to help with any problems and changes we made.. Information on Ecuador and nature there was nothing he did not know. When there was altitude problems he adapted the trek. A great and amazing guide!!!!!! The volcano walks nothing short of amazing., Big thankyou to Javier.. A great company...

Gabriel Mardale


March, 2022

The trip was simply great in all aspects! I will return for more

Eliotte Wong


January, 2022

Great trip. Summiting Cotopaxi was intense but gave us the most stunning sunrise I've ever seen in my life. The acclimation program was well thought out and the hikes were beautiful. Our guide was very knowledgeable and organized. I had a wonderful time. Bring heavy sunscreen (at least SPF 50 or better yet, 70). Also, train. I'm relatively fit--I run and climb regularly--but I wish I had done more specific training for this trip.

John Cicero


December, 2021

This was a fantastic trip from beginning to end. Javier, I especially appreciate how well Javier took care of my daughter's (gluten free) dietary restriction, and that he arranged to take my daughter and I for the covid tests required for our return to the U.S. at the end of our trip. The entire team of guides were all knowledgeable, professional, personable and highly attentive to the group's needs. I appreciate how well thought out the itinerary was planned. The daily hikes along the Avenue of the Volcanoes increased in elevation every day in order to acclimate to the higher altitude, giving the best chance of success in reaching the summit of Cotopaxi-the main event-at the end of the week. Cotopaxi is a VERY tough hike, unlike anything that I've ever done before and certainly outside my comfort zone Again, simply a fantastic trip from beginning to end.

Baara Washishi


November, 2021

Absolutely Incredible trip!! Couldn't recommend enough. Amazing terrains, hikes, food, people and guides! Such good value for money also. Cotopaxi summit day was the most challenging but worth it!

Gerald Tien Pan Loo


December, 2020

Javier delivered an outstanding expedition from end to end. Everything was seamlessly organised - from transfers between haciendas/campsites to equipment hiring. Pace of the acclimatisation programme was just right, with rest days in between the summit attempts on Pasochoa, Ruminahui and Cotopaxi spent in beautiful accommodation with great food throughout. The other guides Pablo and Marco were exceptional: personable and professional - we felt very safe in their hands.


Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.