At an elevation of around 3,800 to 3,900 meters (12,467 to 12,795 feet), Ecuador’s Laguna Quilotoa is tucked within mostly undeveloped countryside, home to many indigenous peoples.
The tiny town of Quilotoa sits nearby to the lake’s southwest, but you won’t find any ATMs, no trains or travel service offices here.
You’ve mostly got to figure it out as you go.
That might involve some crowded buses or hitchhiking with locals, or wandering down unmarked roads.
To get to and around Quilotoa, you’ve got to travel lightly and on your toes.
The hike along the rim of the crater is about 7.5 km (4.7 miles), offering four or five hours of views down into the deep lake.
The word “quilotoa” comes from the local Quechua language, a group native to the central Andes region.
Some of trails are suffering from erosion, especially those leading to the area at the base of the crater, where you can wander or even camp.
But since the lake is only accessible by local buses and winding mountain roads, it remains less frequented than some of the region’s other spots.