Quilotoa Lake & the Avenue of the Volcanoes

May 5, 2014
The drive between Banos and Quito takes you along the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Eight of the ten highest summits are found in this part of the country. Unfortunately, we didn't see many peaks because they were hidden in the clouds. The drive to Quilotoa Lake is breathtaking. The lake is gorgeous too, but this was one of those instances were it was the journey not the destination. The drive in the highlands was simply stunning. The highway into Quito is flanked by volcanoes and it is wide and relatively easy to navigate. We reached our highest speeds thus far, about 60mph.

Sightings like the one below were a regular occurrence. Whole families would travel in the bed of pick up trucks. The air was quite cold 11,000-13,000 feet too.

A regular occurrence. Whole families would travel in the bed of pick up trucks. The air was quite cold 11,000-13,000 feet too.

It's quite the climb to Quilotoa Lake. We got up to 13,500 feet.

Enroute to Quilotoa Lake, when driving in Ecuador a GPS unit is a must. Street names and points of interest are not well marked. In fact most roads are unnamed. And even after two weeks, I never figured out the numbering system for addresses.

Enroute to Quilotoa Lake

Enroute to Quilotoa Lake

A sign! These were extemely rare.

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Quilotoa Lake is a caldera or collapsed land following a volcanic eruptions. The lake sits at 11,500 feet, the color is a result of dissolved minerals. These shots are straight out of the camera, though, the colors seem even more saturated in real life.

Quilotoa Lake is a caldera or collapsed land following a volcanic eruptions. The lake sits at 11,500 feet, the color is a result of dissolved minerals. These shots are straight out of the camera, though, the colors seem even more saturated in real life.

Quilotoa Lake

Quilotoa Lake

Quilotoa Lake

Quilotoa Lake

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We stopped for lunch at one of the family run restaurants across from the crater. Their darling children brought us our Almuerzos, the quinoa soup was particularly comforting, it was quite chilly by the lake.

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Enroute from Quilotoa Lake

Enroute from Quilotoa Lake

Canon del Rio Toachi was formed by pyroclastic volcanic flows.

Canon del Rio Toachi formed by pyroclastic volcanic flows.

Canon del Rio Toachi

Canon del Rio Toachi

Canon del Rio Toachi

Enroute from Quilotoa Lake

Enroute to Quito

Enroute to Quito

Arriving in Quito...

Arriving in Quito, Ecuador's capital, the city sits at 9,350 ft. Making it the highest capital city in the World. It's second in population to Guayaquil, but Quito seemed larger.

2 comments:

KathyinNY said...

Seeing those people/children hanging from the trucks made me cringe. Anything could happen. When I was 15 my very best friend fell from the back of a pickup truck as it went around a turn going maybe 25 mph and she lost her life. The pictures of Quilotoa Lake are lovely too.

Kellee said...

It is most definitely not safe. Driving in Ecuador is a great challenge. I couldn't believe how lax there were riding in trucks. I've seen some crazy stuff in Mexico and Italy, but this took the cake.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

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