Trekking in Ecuador’s Quilotoa Loop – Episode 392

categories: south america travel


Hear about trekking in Ecuador’s Quilotoa Loop as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kim Mance about her recent trip to that country. Kim spent 3 weeks in Ecuador including one week on the Quilotoa Loop.

The Quilotoa Loop is a loop of indigenous villages high in the mountains of Ecuador. You can hike this loop or reach these towns via public transportation, horseback or hop on the back of a milk truck or fruit truck. Kim managed to use all of these modes of transportation on her trip. The buses only cost $1 an hour or you can upgrade to executive class for 50 cents more where the bus is in a little better shape and you get air conditioning… if the air conditioning is working.

Kim stopped in the capital of Quito for two days to try and acclimatize before heading into the mountains. Quito is the second-highest capital city in South America at over 10,000 feet of elevation.

Kim started in the village of Latacunga and planned her trip to hit as many of the local markets as she could. The six villages in the loop are Latacunga, Saquisilí, Zumbahua, Quilotoa, Chugchilán, and Sigchos.

Kim found the scenery in Ecuador to be stunning: “beautiful highlands with gorgeous rolling hills with cows grazing on the side of the hills, little towns and villages that you are passing through, gorgeous peaks all around, beautiful valleys”. “The peaks look like those dollops of whip cream that you put on strawberry shortcake”.

In the course of the trip, she stumbled upon bull taunting in a local harvest festival, managed to get totally lost, and was rescued by a hero on a white horse.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Kim Mance
Ecuador Travel
The Quilotola Loop
The Quilotola Loop
Pan-American Highway
Andes Mountains
Harvest Festival in Zimbahua
Laguna Quilotoa
Hostel Llullu Llama


the iTunes Enhanced Version of the show may be going away soon


Travel to Vienna, Austria – Episode 384

Dear Chris,

believe it or not, we had 3 (THREE!!) visitors in our museum yesterday because of your radio show.

One single traveler (who had it downloaded on his iphone and listened to it on the airplane) and a young couple from the US.

All of the three loved the museum and your show and we really had big fun together.

THANK YOU CHRIS – and thank you Vienna Tourism Board for connecting us !

Many greetings from Vienna and hopefully we once meet in person,


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Trekking in Ecuador’s Quilotoa Loop – Episode 392”



What a coincidence; I only just came from travelling on the Quilotoa loop myself a few days ago when I listened to this episode! I would like to mention one place on the loop that your guests didn’t talk about: an eco guesthouse in Chugchilan, about 10km from the lagoon, called Black Sheep Inn; it’s a bit more than $18 per night (more like $35-80), but it does have internet and includes all meals. It may well be our favourite place in all of South AMerica, and after 9 months of travelling here, I think that’s saying something!

South America Travel News


Hi Chris, This was one of the first Amateur Traveler podcasts that I’ve listened to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I liked hearing Kim’s energy and enthusiasm on the podcast – that is something that is often missed in writing, but carries through in audio. I also liked her advice about brushing up on Spanish and venturing onto the local buses – great advice for those who really want to experience South America’s small towns and villages. I will definitely check out Kim’s site.

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