Panorama of the Week: Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador

4:00 A.M., alarm blaring, almost violent at an ungodly hour. I cursed it and was tempted to roll over. But I knew if I had, I’d regret it. I had a volcanic lake to visit.

After a bumpy chicken bus ride, we finally arrived at the lake’s edge. The sun was just coming up and we were among the very few people there.

Open up the panorama to see Quilotoa Lake for yourself.

Panorama: Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador

panorama directions

If you are staying in Chugchilan (we enjoyed Cloud Hostel), consider hiking back from Quilotoa Lake. The route is not very well marked as local guides conveniently pull out trail signs to create demand for their guide services. It still remains doable on your own without a guide. Ask your guest house to draw you a map and keep asking locals you meet along the way to be sure you are headed in the right direction.

An extremely satisfying day, and most definitely worth the early morning rise.

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  1. says

    beautiful panorama. i have also recently visited a crater lake and the hardships of going there are truly worth it when you see the view. great job.

  2. says

    @John: Glad you also enjoyed this pano! Yes, it was funny to walk through the town and then end up by ourselves on the lakes edge. Very peaceful.

    @Ellen: Definitely worth a ride on the chicken bus…but I just wish we could have left a little later in the morning :)

    @Lawstude: Yes, the rewards of the view definitely outweigh the hardships of getting up early.

    @Nomadic Chick: Thank you! Appreciate the kind words.

    @Alison: Glad you enjoyed this one in particular! It was a beautiful spot.

    @Turtle: Si, que linda! All our mornings in this region had early starts, but they were all so worth it — whether it was going to this crater lake or making to a weekly indigenous market at dawn. One of our favorite areas of Ecuador.

    @Brock: Yes, the sunrise you see got our day off to a good start and then the rest of the trek just added to the great day. Highly recommend it!

  3. says

    I love your panoramic shot. It definitely makes me feel as though I am right there in Ecuador. I have to take a trip to South America! Although I live in Oregon and this reminds me a bit of Crater Lake.

  4. says

    @Lynn: I have never been to Crater Lake in Oregon, but now I’m really curious to visit if it looks a bit like this volcano. Glad you enjoyed feeling like you were in the middle of it all with this 360-degree panorama!

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