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.
It's quite the climb to Quilotoa Lake. We got up to 13,500 feet.
A sign! These were extemely rare.
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.
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.
Canon del Rio Toachi was formed by pyroclastic volcanic flows.
Arriving in Quito...