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Quilotoa Lagoon and Shalala Lodge 2-day hike

Fernando, a ASEGIUM certified mountain guide, invites you to enjoy two days hiking Quilotoa Lagoon and the surrounding natural areas.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration2 days
Offer periodJun, Jul, Aug
Type of tripNot 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.



Shalala Lodge at Quilotoa Lagoon

Meeting point





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 img

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador.

I was born and raised in Cotopaxi Province – Ecuador and know the country’s peaks intimately. I have a great mountaineering experience of more than 12 years of climbing in all Ecuador, and I also climbed in South America, Switzerland and France.

I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have a professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as Natural guide organized by Ministry of tourism.

Some of the guiding courses I attended are:

* 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. An event 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)
* First Aids course, Ecuadorian Red Cross

I live and manage a hostal and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south from Quito, just in between Illinizas Ecological Reserve and Cotopaxi National Park. It looks like a typical swiss town in the Alps, and has everything to become a great mountaineering center, the ‘Chamonix or Zermatt of South America’!

I speak fluent Spanish, English, and little German, French, Hebrew and kichua.

What people are saying about Fernando Iza

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