Quilotoa

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Quilotoa is a little tourist village in Ecuador in the province of Cotopaxi. It's famous for its crater lagoon, volcanoes and hiking scene.

Hitchhiking out

East towards Latacunga

Go back to Zumbahua and stand at the main road E30.

West towards Quevedo

Go back to Zumbahua and stand at the main road E30 in the other direction.

North towards Sigchos

Mind of a Hitchhiker needs some time to try this.

Hitchhiking in

To get in, you're most likely to come from the Panamerican Highway exit near Latacunga. Mind of a Hitchhiker hitched from here to Quilotoa via Zumbahua in June 2017. From the roundabout one can stop a car, but it's best to bet on a (tiny) truck, as those won't ever operate as a sudden taxi. Many people will offer to drive you to Quilotoa already from this roundabout for a fee, but don't do it. If you must, there's a bus that passes this roundabout every 15 minutes and will take you for a local price instead.

Try to get a truck ride to Zumbahua or La Maná. From this road (E30) at the crossing with Zumbahua, you can get out and walk down into town to catch a ride on the other end of town (1,5 km). There will be many pickups that act as taxis that will take you for about $2.50 to the town of Quilotoa some 13 km away. Keep walking until you're on the other side of town. Now you have the option to wait for a ride that will take you for free (most likely foreign/domestic tourists that have their own car), submit to the taxi mafia and pay, or hike the last 11 km to Quilotoa (which is steep!) if you're up for it.

There's an entrance booth to the national park, but it wasn't functional during a Hitchwiki editor's visit in June 2017, so entrance was free!

Accommodation and Sleep

One can wildcamp at the bottom of the lagoon, a 45 minute hike down. The weather is really changeable up there at 3900 meters and it will be really cold at night, so don't do it unless your stuff is both rain proof and warm enough.

On the edge of the crater there's also some freecampable spots, but they might be considered on private property. Walk out of town a little on the circular crater's edge trail and find a calm spot.

Other useful info

This is one of Ecuador's top tourist attractions, so prepare for a lot of mental work of saying no to expensive stuff.