TRANSPORT

Trying to find out the best way to get on the Quilotoa Loop? Look no further!

We have outlined all possibilities for you here, from public busses to milk trucks and local truck taxis! If you are planning to drive your own car, you can find self-drive instructions here as well.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT PRIVATE TRANSPORT

– choose the village you prefer or scroll down –

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Travelling by public bus on the Quilotoa Loop is a true adventure! You’ll share the bus with the friendly local farmers who often carry groceries and sometimes even chickens, sheep or pigs from the market! Looking out through the window, you’ll be able to appreciate the incredible scenery of the Andes Mountains.

To start your Quilotoa Loop adventure, first step is to make your way to the city of Latacunga which serves as the gateway to the Quilotoa Loop. From there you can catch a public bus to Isinlivi, Sigchos or directly to Quilotoa…one of these villages will be your start point, while another village will likely be your end point.

Check on the villages below for more information on how to get there & away.

LATACUNGA

First step is to make your way to the city of Latacunga – the gateway to the Quilotoa Loop. You can decide to spend a night here and drop off luggage, or you can arrive early enough to catch one of the connecting busses to Sigchos, Isinlivi or Quilotoa.

There are busses leaving every 30 minutes to Latacunga from Quito’s Quitumbe Terminal Terrestre. From the New Town Mariscal area or the Old Town historical center the best way to get to Quitumbe bus station is by taking the Trolebus direction south. Ask your hotel where the nearest Trolebus stop is located. The Trolebus final stop in the south is the Quitumbe station.

From there, jump on the first bus to Latacunga. This bus ride takes an hour and a half and costs about $2. We recommend to leave your hotel between 7am and 8am to make it in time for your connection in Latacunga to Isinlivi or Sigchos.

There is also a taxi service operating between Quito and Latacunga. Depending on where your hotel is located in Quito, the price is between $12 and $17 per person, and the taxi only takes one hour to Latacunga. Contact us for more information.

Busses leave every 30 minutes from 4am to 6pm from Baños to Latacunga – it is best to double check bus timings and buy a ticket in advance. The bus terminal in Baños is located at the Rocafuerte Street, behind the Central Market (Mercado Central).  A bus ticket to Latacunga costs about $2,50, and the drive takes approximately 2 hours.

We recommend leaving your hotel between 7am and 8am to have enough time to make your connection from Latacunga to Isinlivi or Sigchos.

When coming from the southern city of Cuenca the bus ride takes approximately 7 hours and a half at about $8 to Latacunga. The Terminal Terrestre in Cuenca is located at Av. España y Sebastian de Benalcazar. Check bus timings in advance. It may be necessary to spend the night in Latacunga or near the Cotopaxi national park.

From Guayaquil to Latacunga the bus ride travels via Riobamba and Ambato to Latacunga and takes approximately 7 hours at about $7. There is just one bus a day so it is best to check timings the day before. An overnight in Latacunga is recommended.

ISINLIVI

The most popular ways to get to Isinlivi are as follows:

  • Direct bus Latacunga-Isinlivi: The bus from Latacunga to Isinlivi takes approximately 2 hours. Make sure to watch your belongings at the bus station in Latacunga!
  • Thursday Saquisili Market: On Thursday’s there is a direct bus from Saquisili market to Isinlivi. From Latacunga you can take a bus or a taxi to get to the market (15 min). Once you arrive at the market, we recommend you buy your bus ticket first to make sure to have a spot to sit in the bus to Isinlivi.
  • Guingopana Pass: Catch a “Reina de Sigchos” bus from Latacunga to Isinlivi and ask the bus driver to drop you off at Guingopana Pass, the highest point of the Cordillera. From here it’s a beautiful 2,5 hour hike downhill to Isinlivi following the road. Ask the bus driver to drop off your luggage at the accommodation you’ve booked.
  • Hike from Sigchos: Another option is to take a bus to Sigchos. From Sigchos you can hike for 3-4 hrs to Isinlivi, catch a taxi truck or take the bus to Isinlivi.

Download the complete bus schedules here:
LATACUNGA TO ISINLIVI

The most popular ways to leave Isinlivi are:

  • Hike to Sigchos: A beautiful 3-4 hours hike from Isinlivi to Sigchos, from where you catch the bus to Latacunga. (see bus schedules in Sigchos here)
  • Milk Truck: A fun adventure! For just $ catch the milk truck from Isinlivi to Sigchos departing every day at 9h15. From Sigchos you can catch the bus to Latacunga.
  • Quilotoa Daytrip: Book a daytrip through your accommodation from Isinlivi to the Quilotoa Crater Lake, after visiting the crater you can catch a bus to Latacunga.
  • Bus to Latacunga: there are several early busses from Isinlivi to Latacunga.
  • Visit Saquisili Market: On the Thursday catch the 5am bus from Isinlivi to Saquisili market – you’ll get there exactly in time for the early morning animal market! Ask your accommodation for a boxed breakfast!

Download the complete bus schedules here:
ISINLIVI TO LATACUNGA

SIGCHOS

The best ways to get to Sigchos are as follows:

  • Direct bus Latacunga-Sigchos: The bus from Latacunga to Sigchos takes approximately 1,5 hours. Make sure to watch your belongings at the bus station in Latacunga!
  • Quito-Sigchos Bus: There are also 2 daily buses from Quito to Sigchos (3,5 hours).
  • Saquisili Market: Catch the bus at the Thursday market in Saquisili to get to Sigchos!

From Sigchos it’s a beautiful 4 hour hike to Isinlivi! Find more info in the “Departing Sigchos” section.

Download the complete bus schedules here:
LATACUNGA TO SIGCHOS QUITO TO SIGCHOS

The best ways to leave Sigchos are:

  • Hike to Isinlivi: From Sigchos it is a beautiful 3 to 4 hour hike to get to Isinlivi. We recommend to start your hike no later than 2pm so you don’t risk hiking in the dark. Sunday is market day in Sigchos – don’t miss it!
  • Truck taxi or bus to Isinlivi: If you arrive later to Sigchos it is also possible to rent a truck taxi for around $10 to get from Sigchos to Isinlivi (30 minutes). There is also the option of taking a bus from Sigchos to Isinlivi (45 min).
  • Direct bus Sigchos-Latacunga: From Sigchos there are regular busses to both Latacunga (1,5 hours)
  • Direct bus Sigchos-Quito: From Sigchos catch the bus to Quito (3,5 hours).
  • Saquisili Market: On a Thursday, take the early 5am bus to Saquisili market – you’ll get there in time for the animal market!

Download the complete bus schedules here:
SIGCHOS TO ISINLIVI SICGHOS TO LATACUNGA SIGCHOS TO QUITO

QUILOTOA

The best ways to get to Quilotoa are as follows:

  • Direct bus Latacunga-Quilotoa: The bus from Latacunga to Quilotoa takes approximately 2 hours. Make sure to watch your belongings at the bus station in Latacunga!
  • Zumbahua Saturday Market: If you’re travelling to Quilotoa on a Saturday, get off the bus in Zumbahua for the market visit! From Zumbahua you can catch another bus to continue to Quilotoa, or you hike to Quilotoa for about 2 hours.
  • Hike from Zumbahua: All busses from Latacunga to Quilotoa pass by Zumbahua. You can get off the bus here to hike up to the crater for about 2 hours.
  • Wanderbus: Catch the Wanderbus up to the Quilotoa Crater lake and hike the Quilotoa Loop from there.

Download the complete bus schedules here:
LATACUNGA TO QUILOTOA

The best ways to leave Quilotoa are:

  • Hike to Zumbahua: It’s a nice 2 hour hike from Quilotoa to get to Zumbahua. If it’s a Saturday, a visit to the market is well worth it!
  • Direct bus Quilotoa-Latacunga: There are regular buses every hour from Quilotoa to Latacunga between 8am until 5pm. The bus ride takes approx. 2 hours.
  • Wanderbus: Catch the popular wanderbus to continue your travels to either Banos or Cotopaxi

Download the complete bus schedules here:
QUILOTOA TO LATACUNGA

CHUGCHILAN

The best ways to get to Chugchilan are as follows:

  • Direct bus Latacunga-Chugchilan: The bus from Latacunga to Chugchilan takes approximately 2,5 hours. Make sure to watch your belongings at the bus station in Latacunga!
  • Hike from Quilotoa or Isinlivi!

Download the complete bus schedules here:
LATACUNGA TO CHUGCHILAN

The best ways to get to Chugchilan are as follows:

  • Direct bus Chugchilan-Latacunga: The bus from Chugchilan to Latacunga takes approximately 2,5 hours. Make sure to watch your belongings at the bus station in Latacunga!
  • Hike to Quilotoa or Isinlivi!

Download the complete bus schedules here:
CHUGCHILAN TO LATACUNGA

PRIVATE TRANSPORT

Through your accommodation on the Quilotoa Loop it is quite easy to organize a private transfer to pick you up or drop you off at your hotel in Latacunga or Quito. Airport transfers can also be arranged. If you prefer to not take a public bus, you can also organize private transfers on the Loop! Connect directly with your accommodation for updated prices!

To give you an idea about approximate prices:

– $100 Quito-Quilotoa Loop
– $50 Latacunga-Quilotoa Loop
– $130 Airport-Quilotoa Loop
– $35 Isinlivi-Quilotoa.

These are total prices for a car with max. 4 passengers.

Contact a Travel Agency in Quito if you would like to have a worry-free and well-organized Quilotoa Loop tour. Most agencies can put a package for you together including accommodations, meals, guides, activities and transportation. The Happy Gringo travel agency in Quito comes highly recommended!

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