What to do and see in Latacunga, Ecuador: The Best Places and Tips

August 7, 2017 Stefan Strunk

Latacunga (Spanish pronunciation: [lataˈkuŋɡa]) is a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of the Cotopaxi Province, 89 km (55 mi) south of Quito, near the confluence of the Alaquez and Cutuchi rivers to form the Patate, the headstream of the Pastaza. At the time of census 2010 Latacunga had 98,355 inhabitants, largely mestizo and indigenous.
Restaurants in Latacunga

1. Laguna Quilotoa

Road Northwest of Latacunga, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 440 reviews

Laguna Quilotoa

Reviewed By Tigerman777

I've had the great privilege of hiking many places around the world, including active volcanoes, and this hike is very high on my list!!! It's very unique to see different colors in the water of a small lake (3km/2mile wide) in a large Caldera. You can see turquoise, Emerald green and even yellow and green about the color of your lawn along the edges of the lake. It all depends on light refraction though. No sun may mean not a lot of color, but I was fortunate enough to see sunlight at times, causing intense color. There are great views from the rim, but it's great fun to hike down to the lake. Be aware this is a steep hike downward, meaning it could be hard on the knees. It is in loose terrain, lots of sand, meaning risk of falling on your backside. If you want to take a horse or mule (quite funny to see a muchacho (young man) trying to coax his mule down. I had to start yelling at it and clapping my hands loudly to get it moving) you can. Just please be aware that some have gotten thrown off. When I was there, a woman was thrown off, which messed up her shoulder. I saw another horse get spooked and the owner in at least her sixties ran after it to get it under control. Please be respectful of these animals, they're worked hard (in my opinion very overworked), which can make them act unpredictably. Don't do anything to spook them like yell or stop directly in front of them or anything else for that matter. Make sure to step aside when you see them coming. The views along the trail to the lake are great. My favorites are at the rim because the elevation helps you to see the whole lake, which is great for those who don't feel like they're in good enough condition to go down and hike back up. My second favorite is the area near the bottom at a lookout to the right, which gives great up close color if the sun is shining, with bright blue sky in the background. You can see where to camp in that area as well. There is no potable water and a pit toilet is the best you'll get. I wish I could've stayed overnight there. The hike back to the rim is not easy. It's about 200m/918ft vertical. It's quite steep, again it's on sand, which took me a little over an hour. I'm in good condition though. If you're a bit older, like myself (49), and in good condition, you can do it no problem. I was first back up from my group(with exception of the guide, who's ran in races on this trail). Just make sure to acclimatize as I did. I stayed in Quito for four days(hiking the Mindo Cloud Forest in that time), which is at 9,350 feet above sea level. It was a great workout to prepare me two days before climbing Cotopaxi volcano, another hike I highly recommend. Make sure to bring water and a few snacks to give you energy and keep you hydrated, which is, as most are aware, essential to prevent problems with elevation. One place I highly recommend if you can go on Sunday is to visit the Pujili Market, in Pujili, about 1 1/2 hours from the crater. I simply fell in love with this market❤️. There are virtually no tourists there and you get to see what Ecuatorianos really live like. Although I've been to markets all over Latin America, there's something special about this place.
In conclusion, you MUST visit the wonderful Laguna Quilotoa. It's very worthwhile.
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Simplemente la Laguna Quilotoa es asombroso. La vista de la laguna arriba es lo mejor porque puedes ver todo de los colores brillantes( como turquesa, esmeralda, amarillo e verde parecido al color de su césped) cuando hay mucho sol e es posible a ver todo de la laguna a la vez. Los colores dependen en la refracción de la luz. No es posible a ver todo al fondo de la laguna, pero puedes sentir que profundo es el cráter. Es posible acampar al fondo, pero no es agua para beber. Es disponible solamente un retrete sin agua. Sería un privilegio acampar alli. Cuidado: si quieres que caminarte hasta al fondo, es mucho arena, cual es muy resbaloso. Para subir es muy duro si no eres bien condicionado, pero es posible para hacerlo con tiempo e cuidado. Si eres bien condicionado, aun si tienes poco edad avanzada como yo (tengo 49 años), no será un problema. Yo subí en poco mas que un hora. Sí quieres que usar un caballo o burro, cuidete porque hay incidentes cuando personas tienen problemas. Ha sido veces cuando los caballos echaron personas de su espalda, e causaron mucho daño a las personas. Una persona rotó su hombro a causa de eso cuando yo subí. Esta información no es asustarte, pero para su seguridad.
En conclusión, disfruta mucho la Laguna Quilotoa, sin importar si tienes muchos años o eres un chico o joven porque este Luger es bellísimo. Es una gema de Ecuador.
Muchas grácias para leer este informaciòn. Si piense usted que esta repaso usted ayudó, apreciaría si tocaría el abajo. Muchas grácias.

2. Laguna de Limpiopungo

Latacunga, Ecuador
Excellent
55%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 120 reviews

Laguna de Limpiopungo

Reviewed By Hammrah - Utrecht, The Netherlands

A stop over place on your way towards or from the Cotopaxi walk, but also suitable for a longer walk. Unfortunately during my visit rained a lot and the laguna was a bit grayisch place with 4 wild ducks and 1 Andean seagull. In good weather it provides spectacular mirror images of Cotopaxi..so always worth of a stop...

3. La Catedral

Calle General Maldona, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador
Excellent
40%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 30 reviews

La Catedral

Reviewed By Mike_Sump - Dallas, Texas

There's not that much to do in Latacunga if you aren't scaling the volcano. They light up all 7 main churches as night and maps are available to route you to all of them. This is a good way to get the lay of the land around town.

4. Tierra Zero Tours

Luis Fernando Vivero 1-07 | Sanchez de Orellana, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador
Excellent
62%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
11%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 51 reviews

Tierra Zero Tours

Tierra ero Topurs offer in Ecuador Tours to the Galapagos IslandsClimbing and Trekking in Ecuador Mountains, Cotopaxi Volcano, Chimborazo Expeditions, Cayambe Volcano, Ilinizas Rocks, Cuyabeno Jungle Ecuador Trips and more.

Reviewed By hollyjo9678 - Montanita, Ecuador

We paid for a tour of Cotopaxi, which involved driving up to look at it from afar (it was slightly overcast, so didn't get a great view of it), walking around a pond, and going to a really poor quality museum (for example, parts of the exhibits were missing). We stopped at Saquisili's Thursday morning market on the way, which was really neat. The tour cost $20, which we did not feel was worth it. The guide didn't say much. Just wasn't super impressed with the whole experience.

5. El Quijote

San Salvador y Hermanas Paez | Atras de la Espel, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador +(593)2812965
Excellent
33%
Good
67%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

El Quijote

Reviewed By javiartu2010 - Latacunga

La temática es maravillosa, el ambiente agradable, buena musica y la atención igualmente muy buena, mi recomendación seria mas variedad en la carta y un mantenimiento urgente al baño

6. La Tienda

Calle Quito | Padre Salcedo, pasaje Tobar, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador +593 98 777 6995
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

La Tienda

Reviewed By CafeteriaGG - Latacunga, Ecuador

I found a wonderful shop in Latacunga that has all the best of ecuadors artestries. from cuenca to Otavalo, Latacunga and back. All in one cool place!I thought the prices where very reasonable and the owners apperentley sistersmother team where very friendly and helpful.It is located in a beautiful 400 year old historic building too, right accros the main square!

7. Monumento Brigada PATRIA

Fuerte Militar Patria, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador
Excellent
0%
Good
100%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Monumento Brigada PATRIA

Reviewed By Mitch_sky - Bologna, Italy

E' il monumento che si trova nei pressi della base militare dei parà dell'Ecuador lungo la strada che porta a Latacunga. E' impossibile non notarlo per la grandezza e per i colori delle bandire che lo circondano, oltre alla presenza della base dei parà il motto è scritto in una costruzione poco più avanti.

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