Laguna Quilotoa

Top choice in The Quilotoa Loop

About 14km north of Zumbahua, the famous volcanic-crater lake of Laguna Quilotoa is a gasp-inducing sight. A lookout on the precipitous crater rim offers stunning views of the mirror-green lake 400m below (it glows phosphorescent green near some of the rocky edges) and the snowcapped peaks of Cotopaxi and Iliniza Sur in the distance.

When you ask the locals how deep it is, they inevitably say it has no bottom, which seems entirely plausible given its awesomeness (the geologists say 250m).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Quilotoa Loop attractions

1. Galería Arte de Tigua

6.45 MILES

The outstanding Galería Arte de Tigua and three other art galleries sell paintings and wooden masks at lower prices than those in Quito. If the gallery is…

2. Saturday Market

6.57 MILES

Zumbahua (zoom-bah-wah) has a wonderfully authentic Saturday market at which indigenous vendors from the mountains sell their wares. Check out the men on…

3. Thursday Morning Market

17.08 MILES

The Thursday morning market in Saquisilí is one of the best in the central highlands. It’s a mostly authentic and fascinating place to observe the array…

4. Mercado Cerrado

20.65 MILES

Latacunga’s large markets are quite utilitarian, but that’s what makes them interesting. The food stalls on the second floor of the Mercado Cerrado …

5. Casa de la Cultura

20.77 MILES

This cultural center is built on the site of a former Jesuit watermill known as Molinos de Monserrat and houses a small ethnography and art museum. The…

6. Casa de los Marqueses de Miraflores

20.95 MILES

Take a break in this archaeological and religious museum housed in a colonial-era mansion. It has good background on the Mama Negra festivals. The museum…

7. Church of La Merced

20.96 MILES

At the Church of Mercy you'll find an image of the Virgen de las Mercedes, the protector of Latacunga, who is celebrated during the Fiesta de la Mama…

8. Parque Vicente León


Most action tends to center on this main plaza. At the southeast corner stands the republican-era town hall, topped by a pair of stone condors. On the…