Contract a Guide or Hike Independently?
Make a friend or enjoy time all by yourself
There are many options on this: should one trek with or without a guide? And, if you choose to trek with a guide, should you choose a local Spanish speaking guide or hire a certified English speaking guide?
You will meet many people on the trail who are trekking on their own and that’s great! In an experienced guide however you will not only gain a new friend but someone to facilitate logistics and introduce you to the little known about and seldom visited secrets of the area. In the case of contracting a Spanish speaking guide, your guide is from the area you are trekking – he or she will also many times take a horse to carry your belongings except for your day pack which you carry. It’s a great way to employ more local people and provide them with a relatively very good income.
Even for the most independent souls using a tour company will save you time, frustration and (with the right company) a peace of mind that all of your arrangements will be made as expected. A reputable tour operator will be able to advice you on every detail of your trip and take care of everything…from transportation to guide, and from hotel reservations to meals – it’s the easiest way to book your Quilotoa Loop adventure with the guarantee it’s all handled by professionals. If you’re thinking about contracting a tour company, we highly recommend contacting Happy Gringo Travel – a highly reputable agency with great knowledge of this area!
A local Spanish speaking guide will usually cost between $25 and $35 for the day depending on the distance covered. A local guide is best organized though the hotel you are staying at the night before the hike but can also be booked as part of a travel package through a travel agency.
A certified English speaking guide is a lot more expensive, but they have more knowledge about the flora and fauna as well a cultural traditions & history. These guides usually come from Latacunga or Quito, and your travel agent will have to take care of their expenses for transportation, accommodation and meals on the Quilotoa Loop.
For a visit to the Cotopaxi national park or the Illinizas Twin craters a certified guide is a must!