The Quilotoa Loop is a bumpy, ring-shaped road that travels from the Panamericana far into the backcountry of Cotopaxi province. Along the way you’ll encounter colorful indigenous markets, a crystal-blue lake that the local people believe has no bottom, a community of painters who are preserving the legends of the Andes, and ancient trails that meander in the shadow of snowcapped volcanoes. The isolation of the loop brings you into contact with lots of Kichwa-speaking indigenous people and their centuries-old way of life.
Several villages offer lodgings, and most travelers go from one place to the next by bus, hired truck or their own two feet. Consider timing your trip to coincide with one of the many market days. Zumbahua has a Saturday market, and Guantualo has a Monday market. Saquisilí's Thursday market is not to be missed.