What to bring when hiking in the Quilotoa area
Luggage and bags: If you are hiking between the villages in the Quilotoa area it is good to leave some of your luggage somewhere else, as you will be hiking for many hours at high altitude. I left many things at Hostal Tiana in Latacunga, where I stayed both before and after visiting the Quilotoa area. I was away for a week. I packed what I needed for that week in my big backpack which has good support around the hips and is comfortable to carry. In the photo you can see the backpack I carried. I also brought a smaller backpack, which is very light and can be folded, to carry around things in when I was in one of the villages, or went on the horseback riding tour and hiked around the Quilotoa crater.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Besides my hiking boots, which are very comfortable with good support around the ankles I brought a pair of sandals to use at the hostels. I brought three pair of socks, but also a pair of knitted woollen socks that I had bought in Ecuador, because in places like Quilotoa a pair of ordinary socks was not enough to wear with the sandals, even if I was inside.
I brought three t-shirts, one of them was to sleep in, and one thin long sleeved jumper, a fleece and a woollen sweater. And I brought a thin rain- and wind jacket, but no rain trousers. I brought two pair of trousers though, one pair to hike in and a pair of jeans to wear later during the day (and good to change with if it would rain during the hike). I also had a scarf, a hat and woollen gloves with me.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In every place I stayed I got a towel, but as I didn’t know that beforehand I had brought a small thin one. I also got a soap in each hostel (except at Llulu Llama in Isinliví). At Posada de Tigua I also got shampoo.
I have got a few small plastic bottles . In the biggest one I brought body lotion, in a smaller one soap, and in two, even smaller ones, I had shampoo and conditioner to be able to wash the hair at one occasion during the week. It is important to bring sun block as the sun is strong at the high altitude. And of course I also had a toothbrush and toothpaste with me. I brought contact lenses for every day, plus a few more, deodorant and a hairbrush. I never travel with a big medical kit, but I brought a few plasters, and a few tablets if I would get a fever or problems with the stomach from food. I didn’t have to use any of them.
Photo Equipment: Be sure to have plenty of space on your memory cards, to have more than you think you will need is better than to have to little space for new photos. I brought both my camera batteries and a charger.
Miscellaneous: Other things I carried in my backpack was sunglasses, copies of a few pages of my guidebook, a book to read, a notebook, a pen, a torch, my passport, my spectacles and water bottles. I also brought a few plastic bags to put things in if the rain was going to pour down (even if I have a cover for the backpack).
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
our kind of backpacking
Luggage and bags: The Quilotoa Loop does not lend itself to a roll away suitcase. Local buses can be crammed and your bag is likely to be tied to the roof. It's much easier to travel with a backpack and even at that it's best to leave some of your gear in Latacunga in case you want to do parts of the loop on foot. No use carrying things you don't need.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy hiking boots are needed for doing the trails in this area as they are steep and often sandy so you'll want good ankle support. Rain gear, long underwear, a hat and gloves are essential. Layers work best in areas where the temperatures vary greatly from hour to hour, and the Andes is one of those places.
Photo Equipment: A wide angle lens is great for capturing landscapes and you'll see lots of that but one thing you'll regret is not having a good zoom lens. It allows you to capture great candid market shots.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Though there are camping opportunities if you go slightly off the loop, we left our tent in Latacunga and enjoyed staying in the local hostels.
- Budget Travel