GTAT – 20 QUITO
Full Day – Private Services
Quilotoa Lagoon, Ceramics Workshop, Tigua Artisans
From your hotel, we leave the city of Quito behind as we travel to the valleys below. The Avenue of the Volcanoes opens before us, while we head south towards the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve.
After passing the town of Machachi, we appreciate the surrounding volcanoes enclosing the Andean valleys, which have shaped the history and culture of all their inhabitants. From the highway, it’s possible to observe the Rumiñahui and El Corazon Volcanoes, which give way to Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and the most iconic mountain of Ecuador.
Once in the Cotopaxi province, named so after the volcano, we will leave the highway. Continuing through the countryside, we will pass sheep and llamas grazing in the surrounding fields and farms to reach the town of la Victoria, renowned for their beautiful ceramics. We will stop here at a ceramics workshop to see how they work in clay, as well as to learn details of the techniques they use to paint beautiful designs.
We then continue to the community of Tigua, to call in at the workshop of local artist, Julio Toaquiza, famous for his paintings on sheepskin in the naïf style, featuring colorful scenes of highland festivals and folkloric characters, typical for this region.
After this we will reach Quilotoa Volcano, to see one of the most amazing landscapes of the Andes. When we have reached the rim of the crater, a nice, easy walk takes us down some 200m, to the shore of the dazzling emerald-green Quilotoa lagoon, which color is dependent on the minerals let out by the still active volcano. The lake was formed when, after several violent eruptions, the crater filled with water creating a stunning, natural wonder. We will have lunch in one of the restaurants near Quilotoa. After this, we will return to your hotel.