Cotopaxi National Park, Cotopaxi Province

Explore the 33,393 hectares (82,516 acres) of Cotopaxi National Park, centered on an eponymous volcano and sheltering Andean wolves, llamas, deer, pumas, and a vast array of birds. Hike through the humid mountain forest at low elevations and the snowy reaches of the hills surrounding the volcano, which saw its last significant eruption in 1904. Periods of heightened seismic activity--such as in late 2015--can result in restricted access to the park, so be sure to check with local authorities before planning your trip. Use our Cotopaxi Province trip maker to visit Cotopaxi National Park on your trip to Cotopaxi Province, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Cotopaxi National Park Reviews
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599 reviews
  • With proper preparation and a little altitude training, the ascent is quite feasible. Two weeks before I started to walk a few times a week and climbed the Pinchincha (city mountain near Quito) as well as the Quilotoa. In my opinion, this was a minimum of preparation (admittedly I was prone to altitude sickness). The ascent itself is feasible if you have the necessary hardness against yourself and the view on the summit is priceless.
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  • The park is wonderful, especially for us Brazilians who have nothing like this in our country, we observe the type of soil, vegetation and animals already at the foot of the volcano. The transport leaves all staff in a parking lot at a 4000 m altitude (the park itself is already more than 3000 meters above sea level), arriving in the parking lot the next step is to prepare for an incredible ascent! The ascent takes everyone to the Jose Rivas Refuge, at 4864m altitude, where you can enjoy an incredible view, take a coca tea or a hot chocolate to relieve the cold and the effects of altitude. In the second step the ascent goes to the glacial-are not all agencies that make this stretch need to ask before-and with this the final arrival is above 5000 m where one can enjoy the glacial of the volcano and an unnameless view with snow right , fog and a lot of adrenaline! The climb is difficult for those who are not accustomed and when we went we took rain, snow, cold and warmth, all in the same day! That's why we advise you on equipment and specialized clothing for this! At the end the descent to the Limpiopungo is performed by bikes in downhill! Sensational, you can go enjoying the volcano staying away and your wonderful view until you reach the lake which is also a fascinating work of nature! Certainly go to Ecuador and not know the complex can not happen! It is mandatory to hire guides to climb and Quito there are many agencies that make this tour. Tip, search very well, the one we went had 2 guides, a super solicitous who did half the ride and a second-complete without notion-that came to leave people in the middle of the volcano without guidance to get back on the trail! He cared more about keeping the time and coming home soon even though he was responsible for his guidance. The tour usually leaves early in Quito and includes breakfast before the tour and lunch after the tour.
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