1. Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park
Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park, is a protected area of Ecuador that is located in the province of Napo and the province of Orellana. The Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park is a natural refuge that has a great diversity of ecosystems and species of flora and fauna, geological features and habitats of importance for science, education. Geographically, the region consists of a three-summit volcanic massif: the Sumaco volcano and the Cerros Negro and Pan de Azúcar; The Napo and Coca river basin is born there.
This region is one of the most biologically diverse areas of Ecuador and one of the few areas in the world that brings together, in a small space, a wide variety of plant formations or life zones, ranging from the Andean moorland to the Amazon plain .
How to get to Sumaco - Napo - Galeras National Park?
There are two routes through which you can access the Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park.
- The first is via the Baeza-El Chaco-Reventador road, which surrounds the western part of the Park.
- The second is by the Jondachi-Loreto-Coca road, which goes through the southern part of the Park.
It is advisable to contact your travel agency or preferred tour operator to make the trip to this reserve and the Amazon region in general.
2. Mindo - Nambillo Ecuador
Tourist places of Mindo, Ecuador is a country that has many areas rich in tourism and there is a spectacular place called Mindo, which has a lot of biodiversity and is an exemplary place in Ecuador.
Mindo is 1,250 meters above sea level, Mindo is a hidden paradise, when you go sightseeing for Mindo, you can find different ways to have fun with your family, with your friends or with your girlfriend, boyfriend. Mindo brings us extreme sports and biodiversity makes this rural parish of San Miguel de los Bancos, one of the tourist references in the province of Pichincha.
Mindo has a protective forest called Mindo Nambillo, it is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. In this area of Ecuador it has a pleasant climate, to enjoy with family or friends, it has temperatures that fluctuate between 14 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius, about two thousand species of native plants in the area have been recorded.
In addition this sector that is located to the northwest of Pichincha, is the main home of butterflies, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. All these characteristics make Mindo a paradise found in Ecuador.
3. Los Frailes Beach in Puerto López - Manabí
For many, Los Frailes beach, in Ecuador, is the best in the country because of its extension, because it is isolated, separated from the road and because it is usually practically empty.
In addition, not only this beach is the interesting thing of the area, there are two others that can be reached from Los Frailes and a viewpoint to the entire coast and the Machalilla National Park.
This beach belongs precisely to the Machalilla National Park, where the island of La Plata is also located.
Although Los Frailes is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador, do not expect to find calm turquoise waters.
It is an oceanic beach that, despite being protected by two rock outcrops, usually has waves and currents. In any case, your bath is allowed and it is very pleasant to walk on the clear sand along its three kilometers in length.
Just walking to the north end is a path that climbs up to the viewpoint, an excellent place to see Los Frailes Beach and the Machalilla National Park.
If you go in the dry season the landscape that surrounds Los Frailes will be almost desert, however, everything turns green when the rains arrive.
From the viewpoint, it is also possible to spot whales, especially in the months of June to September.
- Bring food and water since no food is sold in the place.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Clothes to get into the sea.
- Sunscreen and umbrella.
- Bottled water.
- DO NOT LEAVE WASTE OR TRASH ON THE BEACH, WE HELP TO CARE FOR IT.
How to get to Los Frailes beach?
From Puerto López it is possible to rent a taxi, or hire a tour to Los Frailes.
You can also go on your own, boarding a taxi-motorbike to the terminal of Puerto López ($ 0.50 per person) and then on the bus to Jipijapa, asking to be warned when you arrive at Los Frailes (also for 0.50). Dollars).
From the entrance, after registering, you have to walk a half hour to the beach.
You must take your personal documents, since at the entrance of Los Frailes Beach there is a registration center of the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador, where all those who enter the site must leave their data, as
- Place of origin.
- Complete names.
- Identification number or Passport.
Another option is to deviate by a path to the right that is more interesting, but much longer.
Around here you will reach two more beaches before Los Frailes.
It's about Playita Negra and La Tortuguita, which are smaller and equally beautiful, but the bathroom is not allowed.
What do you expect to visit one of the most emblematic beaches of Ecuador.
4. The Piatúa River Tourist Resort and Piatúa Cabins
This is a fantastic place and very rich in flora and fauna, here you can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Piatua River that comes down from the Llanganates.
The waters of this river are crystalline, the bed is formed by showy stones, of boulder, full, and shallow to the sides of its course you can see how a riverine forest opens up on the way downstream, you can also observe epiphytes, mosses, ferns and heliconias.
In this river we can find species of sardine (Hemigramus sp.), Carachama (Chaetostoma Sp.) Dorado, bocachico, among other species of fish.
This river is the owner of a magical and spectacular landscape, which is combined with the cultural wealth of the Santa Clara district.
How to get to the Piatúa Cabins?
- To get to this beautiful place from the city of Ambato we can do it by bus, VIP transport or in our own car, the route is: Ambato - Baños - Puyo - Santa Clara - Cabañas Piatua.
- To get to the attraction from Quito we can take the Route: Quito - Baeza - Archidona - Tena - Arosemena Tola - Cabañas Piatua.
Activities you can do in the Piatua Cabins
In the Piatúa River Spa we can carry out the following activities:
- Hike the trails
- Observation of flora and fauna
- Swimming in the Piatua River
- Extreme sports: as: rafting, kayaking and sport fishing.
Typical Gastronomy of the Piatúa Cabins
The Piatua cabins have a restaurant: which offers a variety of foods such as: tilapia maitos (typical Amazonian food) Fried tilapia, steamed tilapia and juice, also has ceviches, Creole chicken broth, volqueteros and a variety of juices and ice cream, etc.
It also has a bar where there is; beers, waters, Güitig, colas, cigarettes.
In the place there are sports courts where you can practice soccer and volleyball, as well as covered grills to prepare roasts or barbecues between friends or family.
- It is recommended to take a camera.
- Bathing suit.
- Change clothes.
- Do not leave Trash in place.
Places near the Piatúa Cabins
Along the Piatua River there are several places where you can enjoy the river and the nature that surrounds it, they are shallow pools where you can enjoy a pleasant moment.
To get to these places you can do it on the road that leads to the Piatúa Cabins, there are some access areas for these places.
Always remember that this is one of the few places that harbor clean and crystalline waters and therefore you have to keep them, do not contaminate them or leave your garbage.
5. Bahía Tortuga Galapagos Islands Ecuador
Tortuga Bay is located on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos, Ecuador. Puerto Ayora is around 20 minutes on foot.
There is a small road 2,500 meters long and you must start and close session in the office of the Galapagos National Park, when access to Tortuga Bay is granted to visitors free of charge.
The beach is perfectly preserved and with the presence of wild animals such as iguanas, beach crabs.
Only swim in the mangrove that is separated from the beach.
In the mangroves it is very common to find multicolored walking crabs (Grapsus grapsus), brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), white tip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) and Galápagos tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra complex).
Tortuga Bay is a white sand beach located on the south coast of the island of Santa Cruz.
Turtle Bay or Turtle Bay is as it appears in the old maps of the islands.
The bay is accessible through an improved road from the southwest side of the city and is a popular destination.
The walk in the sun is rewarded with a spectacular white sand beach that stretches along the south coast of Santa Cruz.
The beach of Tortuga Bay is famous for its extensive and pristine coastline that gradually descends towards the resplendent Pacific Ocean. It's a great place to try your hand at surfing or just relax and sunbathe with the marine iguanas you'll find on the beach.
To discover all the richness of Galápagos marine life, you can snorkel in its crystal clear waters.
You can see colorful reef fish, white tip sharks, rays and the name of the beach, sea turtles. You should take some time to walk through the Iguana Marine Sanctuary, where you can also take a look at the blue footed boobies and frigates along the coast.
Marine life in Tortuga Bay
Reef and pelagic fish, sea turtles, rays, white tip reef sharks, Sally Light-Foot crabs and many other species are those that you will be able to appreciate and discover in the crystalline waters that this place offers.
Terrestrial Fauna in Tortuga Bay
Sea turtles that go to that place and lay their eggs. Other species that can be found here are pelicans, Darwin's finches, cucubes, pigeons and marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and other birds.
The tour of the place can have a moderate to strenuous difficulty (due to heat and exposure).
The paved path with some stairs and small hills has a distance of approximately 2.5 kilometers in each direction, you can travel in a time of 30 minutes on foot to the first beach and 25 minutes more to the bay.
What to do in Tortuga Bay
- Walk to the beach through forests of cactus, palo santo and matasarno trees.
- Stroll along the pristine white sand beach.
- Snorkel in one of the lagoons in the area.
- Look for the sea turtles that are fishing in the waves along the Iguana road.
- Walk through the sanctuary of Iguana Marina and the cactus forest.
- Take $ 20 to rent a kayak and search for marine life.
Tourist information about Bahía Tortuga
It is a bay divided into two inlets that give rise to the conformation of 2 beaches, the first called Playa Brava and the second called Playa Mansa; the origin of the name is due to a sea turtle nesting site.
During the walk along the access path, there is vegetation from the lower part of the transition zone, as well as from the dry zone and the coastal zone.
Between the two beaches there is a circular path that runs through the intertidal zone and crosses a forest of tuna and ends a mangrove which is the beginning of the beach mansa.
How to get to Turtle Bay
There are 2 ways to get to the site, by sea by means of water taxis that leave the passenger pier of Puerto Ayora and by land through a path of about 2 km that connects the port with the site and that only You can walk walking.
Being part of the Galapagos National Park the time of departure is at 6pm so from 5pm you hear the whistle of the park ranger who comes to remember that it is time to leave paradise.
To get to Tortuga Bay it is not necessary to hire a tour or guide. The taxi ride to the entrance of the park costs on average USD 2 or you can also walk from the city center for around 40 minutes.
Climate in Tortuga Bay
It has 2 seasons dry season and garúa from June to December. Temperatures vary between 18 and 20 º C. The hot and rainy season is from January to May. Temperatures vary between 24 and 29º C.
Turtle Bay according to a list published by TripAdvisor, positions it among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and South America.
World Top Ten
- Baia do Sancho (Brazil)
- Grace Bay (Turks and Caicos Islands)
- Eagle Beach (Aruba)
- Playa Paraiso (Cuba)
- Siesta Beach (Florida, USA)
- Beach of La Concha (Donostia, Spain)
- North Beach (Isla Mujeres)
- Radhanagar Beach (Havelock Island)
- Elafonisi beach (Greece)
Tortuga Bay (Galapagos, Ecuador)
Top Ten South America
- Baia do Sancho (Brazil)
- Tortuga Bay (Galapagos, Ecuador)
- Anakena Beach (Easter Island, Chile)
- Carneiros Beach (Brazil)
- Forno Beach (Brazil)
- Farol Beach (Brazil)
- Prainha Beach (Brazil)
- Cavancha Beach (Chile)
- Crystal Beach (Colombia)
- Mansa Beach (Uruguay)
Recommendations when traveling to Tortuga Bay
- There is not any kind of shop or restaurant in the Park, so it is advisable to bring food to snack and plenty of water or moisturizing drinks. At the point of entry they sell some products, but they can cost double what they are worth in the city.
- Collect the garbage and deposit it in the places indicated for it.
- Do not feed the animals in the sector.
- Do not destroy the flora and fauna of the sector.
- Help protect the environment
Do not forget to take your Photo Camera to cover those unforgettable moments ..!
6. Tree House and Swing at the end of the World, Baños Ecuador
Within the amalgam of tourist places that the Baños de Agua Santa canton offers its visitors, one has become a mandatory stop in the itinerary of the thousands of people who visit it year after year. It is the fascinating and charming Tree House, a small wooden building mounted on a giant tree.
Considered one of the best places to observe the Tungurahua Volcano is without a doubt the Tree House in Baños Ecuador, located in the Runtún farmhouse at 2660 meters above sea level.
Swing at the end of the World, Baños Ecuador
You can visit with family or friends if you are a lover of landscaping and incredible places, from this place you can see all the landscape and the mountains surrounding Baños de Agua Santa.
In this place there is the "Swing at the End of the World", placed in the Tree House, besides this activity there is currently a varied tourist offer in the place, you can do canopies, walks around the place, if you are risky you can try your balance in some clubs prepared for that or enjoy a delicious hot chocolate or other delicacies offered by the restaurant of the place.
The site allows adventurers to enjoy unforgettable, incredible and direct views of the crater, cone, skirts, gorges, gorges and behavior of the Tungurahua volcano. This is because it is located just in front of the western flank of the colossus, on a small hill, just 2.5 kilometers in a straight line from the top of the massif.
The audacious tourists who dare to climb and rock on the rock ensure that they enjoy a unique and amazing experience each time they swing over the deep ravine. "I think I'll never forget the feeling of being flying over the mountain that is experienced when climbing this seesaw," says one of the tourists who visit the place.
It is also an ideal place for photos and meditation.
Similarly, who dares to climb one of the 2 floors of the tiny house, take the opportunity to take pictures, contemplate the panorama, meditate or just feel the cold wind in the face, because at this height the air runs with force and at temperatures of 5 and 9 degrees Celsius.
"When the day is clear, you can appreciate the volcano in all its splendor.
With the help of binoculars you can even see the interior of the crater, since viewed from this angle the top of the massif has a slight inclination that allows you to look and portray its interior ".
Even on cloudy days the visit to the place is possible, since there is an ecological walk that surrounds the property, by which you can walk guided by a rope enabled for this purpose.
How to get to the Tree House and the End of the World Swing
To get to this beautiful site in the city of Baños Ecuador, you can do it in the following ways:
- In own car;
- Through tours the same ones that leave every day at 10h00, 12h00 and 16h00, those that have a cost of $ 6 and $ 10 dollars.
- Via bus (time: 05h45 / 11H00 / 14h00 / 16h00).
- And also renting the famous quad bikes or motorcycles, the cost for rent varies from 15 to 20 USD (depends on the power of the square that you are renting).
Getting to Casa del Arbol from Baños Ecuador takes approximately 45 minutes.
What should you take to the Tree House?
- Warm clothing
- 1.50 dollars for adults or 1.00 dollars for children, is the cost of the entrance to the Tree House.
7. Whale Whatching Ecuador
During the months of June to September Ecuador is filled with an acrobatic spectacle of humpback whales on its shores. They come every year in search of warmer waters, some to mate others to give birth and raise their calves.
These marine mammals belong to the family of cetaceans and are among the group of barbel whales. The so-called "giants of the sea" are of great importance to Ecuadorians.
In 1990 Ecuador declared a Whale Refuge in its territorial waters, and a whale sanctuary in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
Along the Ecuadorian Coast you will find several places for whale watching. Infrastructure and services stand out in each site, to ensure the safety of travelers seeking to live a natural and loving experience in Ecuadorian waters.
The provinces of Manabí, El Oro, Santa Elena and Esmeraldas, in the months of June to October, are visited by humpback whales that travel 8,000 km from Antarctica to breed in the center of the world.
Manabí and Salinas are the ideal sites to observe these marine species; however, Atacames, Súa, Mompiche, Muisne in Esmeraldas; Pedernales, Cojimies, Jama, Crucita, Bahía de Caráquez, Manta, Puerto Cayo and Puerto López in Manabí, offer several tour packages to enjoy this natural spectacle.
Also, on the Isla de la Plata or "small Galápagos" in Puerto López; Salinas and Ayangue in Santa Elena; and, Santa Rosa Island in El Oro, these cetaceans are observed. In contrast, in Puerto El Morro, located in the province of Guayas, throughout the year, you can see the magical dolphins.
Places to Observe the Humpback Whales in Ecuador
From Salinas Ecuador
It is known as the Blue Paradise of the South Pacific. This canton has a great tourist offer both in first class accommodation and in restaurants that offer an exquisite variety of dishes made from sea fruits, as well as delicious cocktails that can be enjoyed by the sea.
The tourism operators provide services such as rides on jet skis, kayaking, whale watching, among other activities.
All this providing the necessary security to those who wish to have fun in the warm and peaceful waters of this spa.
How to get to Salinas Ecuador?
From Guayaquil: You can take the buses from the Liberty Peninsular, Liberpesa or CICA transport cooperatives that arrive at the Salinas terminal in the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil.
We can also find the Ruta del Sol transport cooperative, which provides an executive service. The approximate travel time is 2 hours.
From Quito: You can take a plane to the city of Guayaquil and then take the transport cooperatives mentioned above. The approximate flight time is 45 minutes.
In private or rented car: Take the E-40 motorway.
Tourist Attractions in the Province of Santa Elena
Sumpa Lovers Museum
Located in the Amantes de Sumpa neighborhood, Rafael Balseca Avenue and El Universo Street in Sta. Elena. In all the area that includes the archaeological site, there are evidences of very old occupations of different cultures and especially the finding of around 200 human skeletons, which constitutes the largest American cemetery of that time.
Among these remains were found the skeletons of a man of 25 years and a woman of 20 facing east, the investigations made it was concluded that they were buried in a very careful way as their members simulate a hug. On both were placed six stones of considerable size, probably in an attempt to protect their spirits. Since then, this pair of vestiges was known as "The Lovers of Sumpa" and it was in his honor that the museum was named after him.
From the top of a cliff, the sea extends its influence to all the senses and the sound of the waves accompanies the rest offered by the Farallón Dillon inn, located in the Ballenita parish, 20 minutes from Salinas. Here life is recreated in detail in a boat. The surprising collection of nautical items is an essential part of the decorative elements of rooms, corridors, bathrooms and restaurant.
It is a resort recognized as "The Pacific pool" for its peaceful waters, this is because mountains bursts into the sea, giving the appearance of a natural pool. It provides services in accommodation, food and beverages, in addition to the tour operators that offer the practice of sport and artisanal fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, diving, among other activities.
From Montañita Ecuador
Montañita, included in the World Network of Surf Cities in 2016 (WSCN), is a favorite area to practice this sport for national and international tourists.
The waves formed in this area are perfect for those who practice surfing. In 2013, the monument to the surfer was created by author Gustavo Vargas. This work projects the importance of this sport in the commune.
From Puerto López - Manabí - Ecuador
Puerto Lopez is internationally recognized as the sanctuary of humpback whales, for its beauty and potential was recently declared Protected Tourism Area, which means that it will have a strong state intervention to improve the territory in all areas.
It has a variety of attractions ranging from the natural ones such as the humid and dry tropical forest, coral reefs, Los Frailes beach, to cultural ones such as the Agua Blanca Museum and the Archaeological Museum in Salango. It has a private and community accommodation service, as well as a variety of food and beverage establishments.
How to get to Puerto López?
From Guayaquil: Buses from the Jipijapa cooperative can be taken at the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil.
From Quito: You can take busses from the cooperative Reina del Camino and Carlos Alberto Aray at the Quitumbe Terminal.
By private car or rented: On the E-40 motorway take the detour to the E-15 motorway.
Tourist Attractions in the Province of Manabí
Archaeological Museum of Salango
It is located 5 km south of Puerto López in the town of Salango. The Pre-Columbian Archaeological Museum of the Salango Commune is the first InSitu Museum in Ecuador. It has an extraordinary original and authentic collection of ceramic objects and shell spondylus that reflect the cosmovision, social structure and pottery of the pre-Columbian peoples of the current Ecuadorian territory. The exhibition shows the use and function of the pieces, the pottery technology, as well as the interrelation with nature and the daily life of these human groups in their different stages of their settlement and cultural development.
Beach "Los Frailes"
It is located south of the town of Machalilla and 12 km north of Puerto López. The beach of "Los Frailes" have an approximate length of 3 kilometers, from Punta Cabuya to Punta Los Frailes.
Los Frailes is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador, is a particularly beautiful area for its cliffs and beaches, which is reached through a beautiful dry forest that exhibits species of flora and fauna typical of the area.
Los Frailes Beach is one of the protected areas of the Machalilla National Park, which has kept it natural, clean and calm.
The White Water Commune
It is located 12 km north of Puerto López, approximately 5 km away from the main road.
Agua Blanca is an archaeological site in the heart of the park, which stands out for the vestiges of a city of the Manteño period. In its time of greater development it came to have about 600 buildings. Among the activities that can be done is a three-hour walk and a tour of the museum, then a tour of the urns and archaeological remains and continue with the walk until you reach the lagoon with sulfuric water (medicinal).
From Súa Province of Esmeraldas Ecuador
Súa is a beautiful bay, surrounded by spectacular mountains where waterfowl communities live as pelicans, gulls, blue footed boobies, frigates and others. The Súa Beach is approximately 2 kilometers long and approximately 8 meters wide. It has a good hotel infrastructure and all the necessary tourist services at accessible and competitive prices.
One of the main attractions in Súa is the Isla de los Pájaros, which is eight minutes by boat from the town and the Cueva del Amor, formed by the action of the waves on the sides of the rocks.
How to get to Súa?
From Guayaquil: You can take the bus from the Trans Esmeraldas and Occidental cooperatives that leave from the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil and that arrives in Atacames. From there you can take the Pacífico or Costeñita cooperatives, which make a tour to the south of the province.
From Quito: You can take the bus from Trans Esmeraldas to Atacames and from there take the Pacífico or Costeñita cooperatives.
By private car or rented: On the E-40 motorway take the detour to the E-15 motorway.
Tourist Attractions of the Province of Esmeraldas
Cave of the Goblin
The interior of the cave is formed by walls and rock roofs from which the stalactites hang. The soil is made of rock and sand, in some sections there are freshwater pools and ceramic remains can be found. Inside the cave there are stretches where the roof can be 0.70 meters from the ground and in others it can reach 30 meters above the ground.
You can observe certain species of fauna such as river shrimp, pangoras, crickets, spiders, bats, beetles and small fish.
Due to the formation of stalactites that are observed inside the cave it can be said that there is a predominance of calcium carbonate
Island of the Birds
On this magical island you can see: blue footed boobies, pelicans, frigates, semi-lively plover, laughing gull, reddish-brown curlew, reddish-brown curlew, beach sandpiper, lobsters, crabs, oysters, sea cucumbers, among others.
At low tide the visitor can walk on the beach of Súa, cross the mouth of the river, walk along the profile of the cliff and approach the island to appreciate close up the birds and the caves that because of the waves have been forming .
Check the Humpback Whale Watching Guide in Ecuador
8. Quilotoa Lagoon in Quilotoa Ecuador
HISTORY OF LA LAGUNA DE QUILOTOA
It has the appearance of a Caribbean island, but embedded in the middle of the Andes. The Quilotoa surprises more than one. From the viewpoint, located at 4,000 meters above sea level, you can see the lagoon formed in the crater of a volcano. The water, for minerals, has different shades: green, turquoise, blue.
Natives, handicrafts, flora, fauna, constructions, climate, gastronomy and geography make this Andean tourist attraction one of the most sought after by national and international tourism. The journey to Quilotoa is also part of the tourist attraction, as it zigzags through the Andes and enters the Andean páramo.
In the mornings, the greens of the mountains change their shade by the sun and, in the afternoon, the mist paints the duly signposted road with white. To get there, take the Latacunga-La Maná road, built by the current government. Upon reaching the town of Zumbahua, the ascent road continues for 15 more kilometers.
The income costs $ 1 for Ecuadorians and $ 2 for foreigners. The vehicle arrives at a parking lot and, in its surroundings, there are crafts made by the inhabitants of Quilotoa. In addition, small restaurants, or food stalls, offer typical products of the area such as corn and beans. The food will give energy for the descent towards the lagoon.
For about 30 minutes, along a dusty road, but marked with stones and sticks, you reach the edge of the Quilotoa lagoon. The cold is intense and the inhabitants of the area offer a variety of products: coffee, tea, water, soft drinks, fried foods. In addition, the transportation service is provided on horse or mule for the ascent. At a rapid pace it would rise in 1 hour and on horse it is done in 45 minutes.
Tourists can also sleep in the area, in rustic cabins. The temperature at night can go down to 6 degrees in summer. They cost $ 10 per night. So in the morning you can take the time to take a boat tour of the 3 kilometers that the lagoon has. The main attraction is in certain areas where the fumaroles of the volcano are still active and heat the water.
The Quilotoa lagoon is considered one of the most beautiful lagoons of volcanic origin on the planet.
The most significant feature of this lagoon, with a depth of 250 meters, are its turquoise green waters.
Quilotoa is the westernmost volcano of the Ecuadorian Andes, within its crater a caldera with a diameter of almost 9 km has been formed. This is the product of the collapse of the volcano, which occurred some 800 years ago. According to studies, the volcanic flow managed to reach the Pacific Ocean.
In the 250 m deep boiler, a lagoon has formed. The minerals have given the surface a greenish and bluish tone when it receives the impact of sunlight. Inside, there are springs that from the shore, can be perceived as bubbling steles that rise to the surface.
The popularity of Quilotoa is due to the beauty of its landscapes and the spectacle of calm waters. In the community of Quilotoa, also known as the Route of the "Summit" and which is accessed by bus from the town of Zumbahua, visitors can make ecotourism and adventure tourism with a high dose of adrenaline or simply contemplate the nearby landscapes .
Even this place is close to what many researchers assume as the last resting place of the Inca Atahualpa, so this was the last sacred route of the Incas.
Visiting Quilotoa is an overwhelming experience at approximately 4 thousand meters above sea level.
How to get to Laguna Quilotoa?
Tourists who visit the volcano and the Quilotoa lagoon use the frequencies of buses that depart daily and at different times to Latacunga and from this city, they use the services that link Latacunga, Pujilí, Zumbahua (64.33 km) and from this town to Quilotoa (12.67 km). The approximate travel time from Latacunga to Mirador de Quilota is 1 hour.
How to get to Laguna Quilotoa from Quito in private vehicle?
It is the best recommendation and the easiest way to get to the place but you also have other options such as renting a car or you can get a transport service with a professional person at the wheel and so you can enjoy the landscape much better. If your budget is not that high do not worry there is an option for you too, public transport; buses leave from the Quitumbe terminal in Quito and arrive at Latacunga.
How to get to Laguna Quilotoa by Bus?
From the Terrestrial Terminal of the city of Latacunga you can buy a ticket in a transport cooperative in the direction of La Maná or Zumbahua, with a journey of approximately 1H47 minutes you can get to Zumbahua and from there rent a van or some means of transportation till the Laguna.
What to do in the Quilotoa lagoon?
It is possible to take short and long walks around the crater of the volcano or descend to the waters of the lagoon, there is even a horseback riding service.
The sector is ideal for camping and for the practice of astrography. Approximately 45 minutes from the main access control, there is a viewpoint built with wood and glass, which allows you to rest while contemplating the turquoise green waters.
The inhabitants of the sector make handicrafts, such as ponchos, coats, hats and masks from the representation of the Devil Huma. Community tourism with affordable prices.
Where to stay in the Quilotoa Lagoon?
In the Quilotoa, Zumbahua, Tigua, Shalalá, Chugchilán, Itupungo and Guayama San Pedro communities, accommodation of different types is offered, such as hostels, hotels, cabins, hostels and inns. They also rent horses and water transport such as kayaks and boats, supporting the practice of sports activities that are carried out in the radius of influence of the Quilotoa Tourist Circuit, such as Trekking, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Camping and High Rodeo.
In the Quilotoa lagoon the climate is approximately between 12 degrees Celsius, emphasizing that sometimes it reaches up to 20. If you plan to visit the place you must remember that between the months of January and May the rains are more frequent.
In the place you can find food from a dollar like corn with cheese or different dishes that range between $ 5.
- Potatos with cuy
- There are also typical dishes made of barley rice ground in stone, with milk and panela.
- Cooked potatoes, beans, melloco, Choclos with cheese
- Mash with pork fat and pork
- Potatoes with beef from Borrego
- Creole chicken broth
- Bighorn broth
- Beef broth
- Purple wash with wawas of bread, this product is consumed in the times of the finados in all homes.
- Pouring sweet yellow corn, this dish is savored to receive jokes in social engagements.
- Dishes of Fanesca, in seasons of holy week.
Legend of the Quilotoa Lagoon
The legend says that from the center of the volcano (circular caldera) emerged the fearsome god Quilotoa, who destroyed everything in its path. Toachi, another of the Andean gods, appeared from the lagoon to fight Quilotoa. When Quilotoa erupted, the waters of the lagoon reflected the color of the gray sky, which provoked Toachi's anger.
Pachacamac created a sacred bird to mediate in that conflict. The condor was chosen to watch over them and thus flew over those lands carrying news of the conflict.
One fine day, the bird saw from above a beautiful woman who grazed her sheep in the moor and was spellbound. He decided to become human and took the personality of a pastor who slept very close.
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