- Tour Plan
- Additional Info
- Similar Tours
- A guided tour of important places
- Entrance tickets to monuments and museums
- Meals, unless expressly states
- Personal expenses
- Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
In love with nature
Cotopaxi volcano is one of the closest Volcanoes to the Capital city of Ecuador, Quito. On a clear day is a masterpiece, when stared at it, Cotopaxi reverts peace and beauty for people who have the luck to observe it. A masterpiece that can be seen from many places along the south Panamerican highway, from airplanes approximating to Quito Airport, and several neighborhoods of Quito, no matter from where you see this volcano each spot awards you with a unique and different view that always amazes with its beauty.
Wake me up when september ends.
Peaceful and cold on the outside, active and fiery on the inside. These, are the two sides of the same natural wonder, the Cotopaxi Volcano. After more than a century without activity, this massive volcano located in Ecuador woke up once again in August 2015, reminding us that everything is in constant transformation in nature. Geography does not cease to change and amaze us with its majesty and grandeur, where volcanoes as the Cotopaxi occupy a prominent place as a result of a long history of volcanic activity.
Smile you are being filmed
Cotopaxi is one of the most monitored volcanoes in Ecuador. A good portion of the available equipment for monitoring is dedicated to it. In fact, the first permanent seismic station dedicated to monitoring a volcano in South America was installed in the Cotopaxi Volcano, in 1976. Since then, the monitoring network of this volcano has grown steadily to the current configuration, which ensures adequate surveillance of this dangerous volcano.
Ecosystems of the Cotopaxi National Park
The Páramo is the ecosystem of the regions above the continuous forest line, yet below the permanent snowline. It is considered a high mountain biome with vegetation composed mainly of, shrubs and low grasses, pampa grasses, dwarflike forest.
Then the Paramo in the Cotopaxi National Park region is divided into four sub ecosystems, for a better understanding of this ecosystem it is compared to an alpine tundra.
- Itinerary Cotopaxi Full Day
Quito to Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park
This day you will start at 8 am and be picked up at your accomodation by one of our guides, start driving to the iconic Cotopaxi National Park and Volcano, drive through part of the city while driving out out of it. Next you will connect to Simon Bolivar Avenue and drive towards the south to merge with the Panamerican Highway. Along the highway, you will be able to contemplate the highlands country side, and on both sides of the highway you will be able to observe mountains after mountains one next to the other on both sides, as well as the Ecuadorian town of Machachi, and other smaller hamlets, Some of the most highlighted mountains in this area are Pasochoa, Corazon, Rumiñahua, Ilinizas (south and north) and Cotopaxi, this drive will be for approximately 1h45 up to he entrance of to Cotopaxi National Park, where you will strech legs, use the toilet and get some coca candy for about ten minutes, while the guide takes care of your paper work to be allowed into the National Park. Once at The National Park, you will visit the interpretation center where you will mainly see some information about its location and about the Paramo ecosystem , and the next stop will be the Limpiopungo Lagoon, here you have the option to do a 30 minute hike around the Lagoon or just learn about the endemic medicinal plants and observe some birds and animals in the area. This ares is at 3400m (11,155 ft) Next, if you are not having any issues with the elevation, you will continue going up towards the crater to a place known as the parking area, which is located at 4500m (14,763 ft), from here a challenging hike starts, the challenge is to reach the refuge, located at 4.810m (15780 ft). At the Refuge Jose Rivas, you can get a coca leaf tea, chocolate, potato soup, water or snacks, take a rest and get ready to go back, or if you are a little more intrepid and feel you are fit, you can go alittle bit higher up to the glacier, located at 5020m (16469 ft). After the Hike, we give you several options for lunch. Option1. Lunch, at the only restaurant inside the Cotopaxi National Park) at Tambopaxi, and then if you would like after lunch you can go for a horse back ride. Option2. Visit a Hacienda (farm) where the french mission was accomodated and have lunch there. Option 3. Get a Local luch next to The Panamerican Highway. Option 4. Go for a Pizza. Please note: If you go for all the hikes we offer for this trip, it will be a late lunch! After Lunch you will start going Back to Quito and might want to grab a coffee.
Estimated time, back in Quito 4-5pm
Have fun and enjoy the beauty!
More about this tour
Located in South America, in the small country of Ecuador in the province of Cotopaxi, where the province is named after the Volcano, it belongs to the eastern mountain range of Ecuador and at the same time is part of the Andes, on the other hand Ecuador is one of the countries that are part of the ring of fire.
On a day trip to Cotopaxi Volcano from Quito, while riding towards que south of the capital city you will ride along the Panamerican highway and along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes, this is the area of the andean mountain range that Alexander Von Humbolt (1802) called Avenue of the volcanoes, where one mountain is right afer the next one, without openings in between and are located on both sides of the Panamerican Highway.