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Quilotoa Lagoon and Shalala Lodge 2-day hike

Fernando, an ASEGIUM certified mountain guide, and his team invite you to enjoy two days hiking Quilotoa Lagoon and the surrounding natural areas.

Not specified

2 Days

Jun, Jul, Aug


Come discover the gorgeous Quilotoa Lagoon and then spend the night at the nearby Shalala Lodge. The second day we will take advantage of our location and hike in the surrounding area.

You won't want to miss out on this exciting 2-day trip. The Quilotoa Lagoon is a 3-km wide crater lake that was formed by the collapse of a volcano. Moreover, special minerals in the water give the lake a beautiful emerald color. The lagoon is famous throughout Ecuador and around the world. On this trip we will be able to observe the lagoon both from the crater's edge and from the bottom, which we will reach after a one-hour hike.

Quilotoa Lagoon, located just a few hours outside of Quito, is in a scenic area that offers many places to explore. On our way to the lagoon, we will visit the Tigua community to see how they make leather products. After enjoying the lagoon, we will stay at the Shalala Lodge, a small community-run hotel. In addition, this unique lodge is a sustainable tourism enterprise that has a botanical garden and a glass-fronted viewing platform of the lagoon.

On the second day, we will continue the trend of beautiful hikes and views. We will observe the lagoon for one last time and then descend switchback trails down to the Toachi River Gorge. Next, we will hike alongside the Toachi River for 4 to 5 hours. The hike is moderately challenging. Subsequently, we will arrive in the town of Chugchilán to have lunch and explore. Chugchilán is a good example of Ecuador's traditional mountain villages.

First we get to see the beautiful Quilotoa Lagoon, and then we have the opportunity to spend a second day exploring everything this area has to offer. Won't you join me on this 2-day trip to Quilotoa? I can't wait to hear from you. I also offer a one-day guided hike to Quilotoa Lagoon.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees


Day 1: Quilotoa Lagoon

On the first day, we will leave from Quito (2800 m) in the morning and start driving to the Quilotoa Lagoon area (3500 m). On the way, we will first stop at an Indian hut and then at the Tigua community to observe how they make leather crafts. After about 4 hours, we will arrive at the crater viewpoint. We will spend some time learning about the crater and taking pictures. Then will descend for about one hour to the bottom of the lagoon. There we will rest and eat. That night we will sleep at Quilotoa Shalala Lodge.

Day 2: Hike Toachi River to Chugchilan

We will spend the second day hiking from Quilotoa to Chugchilan. We will take one last look at the crater’s edge, taking advantage of magnificent views of the water below. Then we will start hiking down to the small indigenous village of Huayama on a plateau below. We will continue descending on switchbacks to the Toachi River Gorge, where we will then take a moderately challenging hike that lasts about 4 to 5 hours. This hike will take place on the banks of the Toachi river, and we will be surrounded by the canyon’s walls. We will finish the hike by arriving at Chugchilan. Chugchilan is a typical mountain village, without much more than a small plaza, church, and school. It will probably make you feel like you have stepped back 100 years in history. After visiting the village, we will return to Quito.


About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Leader

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador

Fernando Iza was born and raised in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador and knows the country’s peaks intimately. He is an official ASEGUIM mountain guide with more than 18 years of mountaineering experience climbing in all of Ecuador, as well as in South America, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

Fernando has worked for mountaineering companies in Ecuador, Europe and the United States from a young age. Now, he has set up his own basecamp at Ilinizas Mountain Lodge, right next to Iliniza Volcano, Rumiñahui Volcano, and the famous Cotopaxi Volcano. He has summited Cotopaxi more than 637 times and has summitted Chimborazo Volcano close to 200 times.

Fernando got his degree in Tourism Technology at Cenestur Institute, and in 2021 started studying Business administration with Cuosera.  

He has completed important courses such as:

  • Mountain Guides Course by ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides),
  • Mountain Guides Evaluation by ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme) in October 2006. This event was organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and ENSA of France
  • Pre-course UIAGM, an event organized by ASEGUIM and ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme)
  • Wilderness first aid courses
  • Ecuadorian Red Cross courses
  • He speaks fluent Spanish and English, as well as a little German, French, Hebrew and Kichua


The most spectacular guided tours that Fernando has done.

  • Antisana South Peak Open new rout
  • Alpamayo
  • Matterhorn
  • Denali


German | French | English



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What people are saying about Fernando


Fernando is an excellent and knowledgeable guide, and the itinerary is a nice balance of climbs and recovery time, including time to explore a couple of cities. He also made sure we were well-equipped for the climbs. The guides are geared more toward getting you up and down than toward building any technique. It's not billed as an instructional course, so that's not a complaint -- just pointing it out for those who like to use one experience to build to another rather than just reach the summit.



Fernando is an incredible guide. He is very experienced and has extensive knowledge of the area. He will always make sure you are safe and comfortable. I highly recommend Fernando to anyone wishing to explore/hike/live/breathe the area. What an incredible experience!



It was a great experience. Everything was very well arranged and taken care of. The guide (Fernando Iza) was extremely professional, safe, and friendly. I was very happy about everything, and would recommend booking with Fernando Iza for any hiking trip on Ecuador.



Fernando was a wonderful guide. Even though we didn't make it to the top we had a great experience. We plan to return in the future and make it to the top! We hope to have Fernando guide us again.



Fernando is a wonderful guide who understands the Cotopaxi route well. I recommend the climb for anyone looking for a tough mental and physical challenge.

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