Volcanic lake Quilotoa
Of course, lake Quilotoa is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in South America. Hidden at the height of three thousand nine hundred meters above sea level in the Ecuadorian Andes, it fills the crater of a long extinct volcano. During the last eruption, which took place 800 years ago, lava escaped from the volcano Quilotoa, potekla to the shore of the Pacific ocean. It was then that Caldera was formed, whose diameter reaches three kilometers.
The depth of the lake in the crater reaches 250 meters. On the same day, there are fumaroles, through which from the depths of the Earth comes out of volcanic gas. On the East side of lake Quilotoa hot springs. Such conditions did crater lake and its surroundings are the habitat of rare species of animals and plants.
With the Quechua language the word “quilotoa” translates as “Royal tooth”. Although it is unclear what the Indians gave the lake its name. Perhaps because the lake surrounded by mountains looks like a huge stone bowl with a serrated edge. Interestingly, although about Quilotoa often spoken of as the emerald eye of the Andes, its color constantly changing. In bright Sunny weather, the surface water looks really blue and emerald, but in rain or storm lake becomes almost black. Sometimes the surface of the lake shrouded in mist. On this account the Indians even there is a belief that emerald eye opens only someone with a pure soul. Moreover the water in Quilotoa has an unusual structure,characterized by the combination of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Because of this, you can not swim, but when the gases rise to the surface, the lake comes alive, filled. Despite this, the water in Quilotoa is very cold, usually it does not rise above one degree Celsius.
The tourists coming to the lake located in the crater of an ancient volcano, are usually not limited to the contemplation of the scenery. In addition to Quilotoa in the region and there are many other interesting attractions. Many people prefer to spend some time in the village of Zumbahua, where is the picturesque Indian market, where artisan craftsmen sell unusual products, ranging from carved from wood or stone trinkets and finishing knitted woolen things.
Of course, the lake do not come for visit, stay in a five star hotel. Tourists are primarily attracted to the nature and identity of native American life. Therefore, one of the most popular activities among visitors stay Hiking around the lake. This is a great way to spend the day at Quilotoa. The hike will take between four to six hours depending on the level of physical fitness and the degree of acclimatization of tourists. This is a trek at high altitude, so travellers will have to work hard. There are a few steep sections, in addition backpackers can meet rain or even frost. Also the trail is not always on the same route, so you should follow all the instructions in the accompanying guide. But all the efforts worth it, when you climb to the top of the volcano with stunning views of Quilotoa.
For those tourists who are not accustomed or simply unable to walk a lot, developed a special route down to the water’s edge. From here visitors can take boat trips on the lake, also you can ride a kayak.