Ecuador Volcano Trek – EVT3
Hike light and sleep in comfort on this Ecuador Volcano Trek. Starting at 2900 m and ascending to 4000 m, The Isinliví – Quilotoa route links the beauty of the sierra landscapes with the opportunity to have a glimpse into the traditional life of rural communities. This route is moderately difficult and covers 35 km. The comfort of having cozy hotels waiting for you after demanding trekking days is a bonus. The main part of the trek ends at the town of Quilotoa, a small indigenous and mestizo village situated on the rim of the still active Quilotoa Volcano. On the last day of the trek we propose to go round the 10 km of the crater and enjoy the amazing view of the glittering emerald-color water of the lake at the bottom of the volcano. If you like hiking light and enjoying the comfort of hotels afterwards, this trek is definitely for you. Best time to visit: From May to February, although October and November may be a bit rainy.
We depart early from Quito and head south on a three hour ride to the small and rarely visited “mestizo” village of Isinliví. We start our 6 – 7 hour hike at 2900 m (9570 ft) to the increasingly popular town of Chugchillán. The first section of the trek will lead us through farms, valleys and hills to the Rio Toachi. Along the way, we will enjoy spectacular views of this river. A hanging bridge over Rio Toachi marks the end of the first section of the trek. From here onwards we will start a gradual ascent to Chugchillán, our destination for the day, at 3160 m (10,428 ft).
Meals included: Lunch and dinner
This is the more physically demanding day of our trek. We will ascend slightly more than 1100 m (3630 ft) from the lowest to the highest point of the trek. We start at Chugchillán, and descend about 250 meters to Quebrada Margarita, just to go up again to the rim of the Quilotoa Volcano at nearly 4,000 m (13,200 ft). Half way we will stop at the small town of Guayama. On our way we cross indigenous and mestizo farms, climb a beautiful canyon wall and enjoy the magnificent view of the Quilotoa caldera and its lake at the bottom. We will arrive at our hotel by the late afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
The trek today is usually known as the Quilotoa Loop, an experience in itself, as we walk along the rim of the crater. The hike involves three to four hours of continuous ascents and descents on the rocky and lava peaks of the volcano at 4,000 m (13,200 ft). On a clear day, we will enjoy a fantastic view of some of the most beautiful mountains of Ecuador such as the Ilinizas and the Cotopaxi Volcano. If, by the end of the hike, we still feel energized, we may descend to the Quilotoa Lagoon to take a swim in its glittering waters. After a late lunch we will return to Quito around 7 pm.
Meals included: Breakfast
General Packing List:
- Backpack 40 – 50 litres
- A daypack
- Down jacket
- Pants Easy to dry
- Long sleeves and easy to dry T-Shirts (Cotton should be avoided)
- Polar Tec
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof pants
- First layer pants
- Warm gloves
- Sun cap (for sun protection) and beanie (for cold protection)
- Hiking boots or hiking shoes
- Socks for each day (for trekking)
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Knife *
- Camera *
- Personal hygiene kit
- Sun block
- Water bottle
- Personal medical supplies
- Trekking Poles *