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An update from Evaneos

Chugchilan (Ecuador)

Practical information on Chugchilan

  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
5hr walk from Quilotoa Lagoon
When to go
From June to September
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Chugchilan

David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

At 20km from the Quilotoa Lagoon, in the heart of a lush, green landscape, Chugchilán is a quiet mountain village.

My suggestion:
Don't forget to set your alarm clock, so you're up in time to leave Chugchilán. The last bus leaves at 4am!!
My review

It was at Chugchilán that I finished the three-day hike along the Quilotoa Loop. Looking back, it was one of my favourite moments from my trip to Ecuador.

Chugchilán is a lovely, little village nestled at 3,200m altitude. It's surrounded by a stunning landscape, so typical of Ecuador. Lots of people will tell you it's peaceful and I can confirm that after a 3-day hike, it's the perfect place to recharge your batteries.

Accommodation-wise, there's not much choice. Only one place caters for budget travellers. It's very friendly, in particular the communal living area. You can curl up by a fireplace, in the company of travellers who come from all corners of the world.

The Chugchilán countryside
Seasoned Traveller
75 written opinions

Ideally placed on the Quilotoa Loop, Chugchilan is a village/stopover at 3,200m; the perfect place to rest for hikers exploring the region!

My suggestion:
If you decide to do the Quilotoa Loop, it's easier to go in the Quilotoa - Chugchilan - Isinlibi direction, so as to avoid some steep climbs!
My review

I was working for a few weeks at a hostel in the village of Isinlibi on the Quilotoa Loop Trek and I managed to get a day and a half off to go to Chugchilan, which I'd been told so much about by weary hikers arriving from their walk.

But at least I knew that it's easier to go in the Chugchilan - Isinlibi direction rather than the other way round, so I walked to Sigchos where I caught a bus to Chugchilan. I arrived mid-afternoon and it was really chilly!'s hot in the morning and then around 2pm the sky clouds over and you start to shiver...

I stopped at the hostel and rested up, knowing that I had a long day ahead of me. I was planning to visit the Quilotoa Lagoon (leaving on a 5am bus), followed by a 4-5 hour walk back to Isinlivi. I did a quick tour of the village but there wasn't a lot to see. I checked out the activities on offer; you can go horseriding and/or take a tour of the local cheese factory, but it was too late and I wouldn't have the time the next day. But no matter, I decided to bed down and prepare myself for the next day's adventure!

Canyon forged by the Tuachi River, close to Chugchilan