A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Into The Volcano

We left the main road at Latacunga, and each successive town we passed seemed smaller, poorer and more primitive.

We were headed to Laguna Quilotoa, a volcanic crater lake that is indisputably one of Ecuador’s most breathtaking sights.

Laguna Quilotoa

Our guide Patricio drove cautiously along winding switchback turns as we made the ascent to 12,800 feet. It took us nearly two hours to drive 50 miles on poorly paved roads.

We reached the village of Quilotoa at dusk. A tiny village has taken root on the southwest side of the volcanic crater to cater to tourists.  It’s about the only place in Ecuador where the accommodations are actually run by local indigenous people.

Several Quichua families run very rustic hostels – most have no heat and no hot water.  What visitors sacrifice in comfort, they gain in the opportunity to spend time with indigenous families.

Laguna Quilotoa

Laguna Quilotoa

But the prime attraction is the crater lake itself, and it is truly an awe-inspiring sight.  We hiked down 800m from the crater rim to the aqua-green alkaline lake below.

Laguna Quilotoa

But instead of climbing out, we took the easy way back to the rim.  Young Quichua children lead caravans of burros up the steep, narrow paths.  The ride up is harrowing at times – but it sure beats walking.

And considering the altitude, it’s the best five dollars (per person) you could ever spend.

August 7, 2008   6 Comments

Observed in Laguna Quilotoa

In a remote town high in the Ecuadorean Andes, a small group of indigenas men gathered around a 19-inch color TV watching a crystal clear DVD copy of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, less than two weeks after it was released in the United States.

August 7, 2008   3 Comments

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