Chugchilan is a very small town in the Cotopaxi province of Ecuador. It’s nearly four hours from Quito and three from Latacunga, which means its very remote and can be difficult to get to. The best way to get here is by bus from Quito to Latacunga, and then a second bus from Latacunga to Quito. Alternately, if you have the resources (or enough people to make it worthwhile) you can hire a car and driver for the trip. You shouldn’t hire your own car unless you are familiar with the roads!
Chugchilan lies on the western edge of the Quilotoa Loop, a popular trekking and horseback riding area in the middle of the Ecuadorian high Andes. It’s a great base for exploring the Laguna Quilotoa, a crater lake; the Iliniza Ecological Reserve; or the Rio Toachi. If you plan to hike, know that unless you have alpine hiking experience you might want to hire a guide.
Most of the hostel accommodation on this side of the loop is found in or near Chugchilan. There are a few hostels in town. Most are family run and all have friendly and welcoming staff. All the hostels can arrange guides for you, and some can arrange transport from Latacunga or even Quito. Hostels in this area cater to the hikers and the trekkers, so if you ned any tips on what to see and do nearby, they can definitely help you! If you need a break from walking, take a horseback ride through the high Andes. Just an hour and a half north, you can hike the extinct volcanic peaks of Iliniza Norte and Iliniza Sur.
The town doesn’t have much else, but there is one interesting feature: an Italian missionary that teaches woodcarving to local kids. You can purchase some of their work or just tour the mission and workshop.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Chugchilan hostels. Welcome.