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
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.