trip duration TRIP DURATION
2 days
mountain range MOUNTAIN RANGE
max people per fuide MAX PEOPLE PER GUIDE
trip level TRIP LEVEL
best period OFFER PERIOD
Jun, Jul, Aug
type of trip TYPE OF TRIP
Not specified


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.


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.

Price per person

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • Half-board meals during trip
  • Transport to the start of the trip
  • Permit and entrance fees

Other details

Meeting point



Shalala Lodge at Quilotoa Lagoon