Quilotoa Loop: Blocked – 15 March 2022

Road collapse between Lago Quilotoa and Chugchilán

Due to a road collapse and a landslide, the Quilotoa Loop is currently subject to a significant and perilous detour just north of Lago Quilotoa – and is completely blocked to traffic north of Chugchilán.

Road Collapse near Lago Quilotoa

Approximately 1km north of Lago Quilotoa the first road closure has a detour that, after about 5km, gets you back on the main road. However, the detour is a combination of a heavily-rutted muddy path and a river bed. It is navigable – and, yes, that is the correct word – but unless you live in Chugchilán or are staying there, it’s not worth attempting the trip. Think twice (at least) even if you are.

Given the damage to the road (see top photo), it is likely the detour will in place for a long time.

If there is any rain in the area, which there is certain to be during this season, the detour itself may quickly become impassable.

Detour between Lago Quilotoa and Chugchilán (this is the easiest part)

Landslide north of Chugchilán

Landslide north of Chugchilán

On March 15, the road north of Chugchilán was completely blocked by a landslide. Crews were working on clearing the road that same afternoon, but it was not clear when the work would be finished.

Aside from the landslide, the road between the two major obstacles is treacherous – with various, relatively-minor road collapses and landslides with which to contend. Pay extra attention when rounding blind bends, as your side of the road may be blocked – or not there.

Safe travels to anyone heading to the area – particularly if you’re going in the next few months.

Nick Orchard | 15th March 2022

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