The Quilotoa Loop: A Summary

Hiking the Quilotoa Loop was a tough but enjoyable and ultimately rewarding experience and is something I would definitely recommend for anyone visiting Ecuador who loves being outdoors and hiking. In this summary I will go through my packing list for the hike, what items I couldn’t have done without, what things I would change, and tips for those of you going to hike the loop.

Packing List:

  • Hiking Clothes: Walking Trousers, Long-sleeved top, t-shirt, gilet, 2 x hiking socks, raincoat, hat, scarf.
  • Hostel clothes: leggings, long-sleeved top, fleece, fluffy socks.
  • Pyjamas
  • Underwear
  • Drybags and zip-lock bags
  • Hydration Pack
  • Hiking poles
  • Tablet
  • Deck of cards
  • Basic toiletries
  • Suncream
  • Small towel
  • First aid kit
  • Head torch
  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet
  • Watch and charger

Items I was most grateful for:

  • Drybags and ziplock bags: these absolutely saved a lot of my stuff from getting soaked on the first day – would highly recommend these!
  • My hostel clothes: being able to change into clean, dry, sweat-free clothes after several hours of hiking was just the best feeling.
  • Hiking poles: I actually don’t know how I survived hiking without these before – they are immensely helpful going both uphill and downhill.
  • My watch: this is purely for the ability to be able to track my distance and time and to have a record of the hike afterwards.
  • Tablet: I sent the trek notes to myself and had them on the tablet which I kept in a ziplock bag to keep it dry. It meant I could check the notes regardless of the weather and didn’t have to worry about them getting torn or lost.

Items I would change:

  • My backpack: at 20L it was just a little bit too small: I could fit all my stuff in but at a squeeze. I would much rather a 25/30L backpack so as to have a better way of organising my stuff.
  • The raincover on my backpack. It did NOTHING to keep the rain out of my backpack on the first day; anything that wasn’t in a drybag was SOAKED, including my journal, which I then almost set on fire trying to dry it (it’s all good, just a little scorched on a few pages).

Massive shout out to:

  • My coat (RIP – stolen on the way to Mindo by some thieving so-and-so) for keeping me dry and warm.
  • My hiking shoes for doing their best to stay dry and for drying quickly when they got wet.

Tips for anyone looking to hike the loop:

  • Take dry bags – have one big enough to fit everything you’re packing into it.
  • Get good trail notes so that you don’t get lost.
  • Bring snacks with you to munch on as you walk.
  • Prepare for lots of sunshine in the morning and lots of rain in the afternoon.
  • You can never have too many pairs of socks.
  • Get chatting with people you meet along the trail – you can share tips, and end up making some friends to walk the trail with!
  • Have fun, remember that the trail is tough but doable, and enjoy all the beautiful views and moments.

I hope you’ve found this guide and summary useful in preparation for the hike. If there’s anything you think I’ve missed please let me know!



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