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Quilotoa Lagoon and Shalala Lodge 2-day hike

Hiking Quilotoa
Quilotoa Lagoon
Quilotoa Lagoon

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

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Dinner


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.




Shalala Lodge at Quilotoa Lagoon

Meeting point


About the guide

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador.

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

I manage a guiding company, so sometimes I'm the one guiding the trips, but sometimes I'm focused on company management, and one of the certified guides of my team will be guiding you. All the guides with whom I work are professional and certified guides.

I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as a Nature guide organized by the 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 hostel and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south of 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 Quichua.

The guiding team I lead is committed and experienced. Contact me to help you organize an unforgettable adventure.


German | French | English



What people are saying about Fernando Iza

Daniel McNamara


October, 2022

Thank you for putting this trip together for me at the last minute after my group canceled on me. Fernando was a great guide who knows the route up Cotopaxi very well. The meals and lodging were also great and well worth the price, in my opinion.

Lauren Kuklenski


August, 2022

Great experience. We did Rumiñawi, corázon, and Illiniza Norte as acclimatization hikes. All of them were beautiful. We attempted Cotopaxi but had a snow storm and heavy winds during the night of the summit and we were forced to turn around. The 3 initial climbs prepared us well for Cotopaxi and the altitude. There were some technical scrambling portions on corazon and Illiniza which were very cool. Overall would highly recommend!

Benjamin Stewart


June, 2022

Fernando was a fantastic guide who got me to the summit despite extremely difficult weather conditions! I would highly recommend him to anyone hoping to climb Ecuador's big peaks.

Kirsten Yehl


September, 2021

Fernando was an outstanding guide. We (my 16 yo son and I) spent a week with Fernando and did 3 acclimatization hikes and a successful Cotopaxi climb. All were amazing. On the last two, Illiniza Norte and Cotopaxi, Fernando was very attentive to safety. He also read and understood our strengths and weaknesses after the first few hikes and used that insight to guide us up the mountain. We stayed most nights at Fernando’s hostel, it was very comfortable, a great experience. His family is lovely and the meals were delicious. Was an unforgettable experience and we truly appreciate Fernando, both his guidance and hospitality.

Jan Zehnder


July, 2021

Even though Fernando is a fun and an experienced guide, I can't give him more than two stars. I was quite sick for the first three days so I could not keep up my normal pace. On my first hike I even had really bad balance disorders. This did not bother Fernando at all. Most of the time he was walking very far ahead. While descending he suddenly started walking so fast that I even lost him out of sight. I found him 2km later lying in the grass on his phone. I passed him and he just kept on being on his phone without even bothering about my medical situation. Beside his impatience the second thing is, that Fernando is always on his phone. I felt a lot better on my last day so we went on climbing Cotopaxi. He promised us a glacier school (since I've never used these tools before) but then at the refugee he just said that it's learning by doing. So when I tried to put on the crampons in the middle of the freezing night it of course took me a while. He didn't even bother to help, so my friend had to put on my crampons for me. Instead he just kept on walking. This repeated itself at our descent. I found him 20 minutes later sitting in the hut already. The only reason I decided not to give one star is his lovely wife. She is an excellent cook and kept the house clean and tidy.

Pavel Janecek


June, 2021

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Adam Burrage


December, 2019

Great experience climbing with Fernando: Well organised and we made the summit with him on Chimborazo. I'd recommend him for guiding in Ecuador.

Dick Fields


December, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Barbara Matter


July, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

The Reality Twister


March, 2019

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.

Chase Taylor


March, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Bryan McBride


July, 2018

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.

Mike Burkus


July, 2018

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.

Gareth Treharne


June, 2018

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Lara Pedrini


May, 2018

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!


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