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Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

1. From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

Depart Quito early in the morning and drive along the scenic Avenue of the Volcanoes, spotting various mountains including, el Corazon, Rumiñahui, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Atacazo. Arrive at the national park surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano, which stands as the highest active volcano in the world at 5,897 meters. Start by hiking around the lake at the foot of the volcano. Then drive up the volcano to reach 4,500 meters. If weather permits and park regulations allow, climb to reach the refuge at 4,800 meters and from there continue up to the glaciers. Your time on the peak will also include a visit to the Interpretation Center to learn about the flora and the fauna of the park. Stay overnight in Cotopaxi. On day two, head to the Quilotoa volcano, stopping along the way in a traditional indigenous village. Visit with the locals in a typical indigenous house made of straw learning about their way of life and agricultural practices. Then make another stop in the town of Tigua, famous for its naive paintings. Continue on to reach Quilotoa. Choose to descend to the reach the shore of the lake located in the mountain crater or just walk around the crater. Then go on a mule ride around the mountain, taking in the incredible highland landscapes. Afterwards return to Quito.

From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip

2. From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip

Explore the Cotopaxi National Park on a day trip and horseback ride. Enjoy a comfortable ride from Quito, learn about the fascinating Chagra culture, and enjoy a traditional canelazo welcome drink. The “Chagra” culture is the product of miscegenation between the Andean Indians and Spanish settlers. This mestizo culture was the one that contributed more to the economic and social development of the countryside in the Sierra region, based on cattle breeding, like bulls for bullfighting. And, of course, here you have the opportunity to experience during a day trip the joy, adrenaline, and nostalgia that our Chagras live day by day while they are working in the high mountains of the Andes! Begin your tour in Quito and head southeast to El Pedregal, which sits between the Rumiñahui, Pasochoa, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi volcanoes. After a 1.5-hour drive, disembark at a traditional hacienda or farm. Sip on a traditional canelazo drink and try on a traditional Chagra outfit. Head outside to find your horse and embark on a 2.5-hour horseback ride through the stunning countryside. Return to the hacienda, say goodbye to your horse, and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park. Visit the looming Cotopaxi Volcano, standing at 19,347 feet high. Marvel at the ancient dried lava flows, mountains, lakes, and wild horses. Watch as the plants, flowers, and trees change as you gain altitude. After your visit to the national park, return to your Quito hotel at around 5:00 P.M.

From Quito: The Andes of Ecuador Private Guided 5-Day Tour

3. From Quito: The Andes of Ecuador Private Guided 5-Day Tour

Day 1- Quito Old town and Middle of the world to admire the marvelous churches and old constructions in the city. La Basílica, La Compañia , El Panecillo, Plaza Grande main square, Monument in the Middle of the world and Intiñan museum Overnight in Quito Day 2- Cotopaxi and Quilotoa, beautiful volcanoes where the nature is present. Cotopaxi and its perfect cone , Quilotoa and its spectacular lake. Overnight in Quilotoa Day 3- Baños de Agua Santa- The place where we all have unlimited fun. Canopy, Cable Car, waterfalls like Pailón del Diablo, Route of the waterfalls, House of the tree and swing of the end of the world. Day 4- Chimborazo volcano and Riobamba. The highest volcano in Ecuador and the closest point to the sun. Riobamba is a small city where we can try the slow roasted pork in the local food market. Overnight in Riobamba. Day 5- Quilotoa and the lake inside of the crater. Spectacular landscapes and friendly people. Overnight in Quito.

Quito: Bike Tour Around the Cotopaxi Volcano with Lunch

4. Quito: Bike Tour Around the Cotopaxi Volcano with Lunch

You can enjoy convenient travel as you will be picked up from your accommodation in Quito and driven to Cotopaxi National Park, where you will meet your expert English-speaking guide. Here, you will receive your biking equipment and set off around one of the highest active volcanoes on earth, which at just over 19.000 feet, is one of the most stunning sights in Ecuador. You will cycle next to Cotopaxi’s base, on dirt roads surrounded by an otherworldly landscape dotted by rocks thrown by the volcano during its last major eruption. When you stop for lunch you can enjoy a picnic with views of some ancient Inca ruins, then set off exploring more of Cotopaxi National Park by bike. The ride is about 16 miles, and mostly on a flat easy terrain ideal for novice bikers. Afterwards, enjoy a comfortable ride back to your accommodation.

Cotopaxi: Nature and Adventure Guided Trekking Tour

5. Cotopaxi: Nature and Adventure Guided Trekking Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Cotopaxi National Park. Take in the breathtaking views as you wind up through the roads to 4,500 meters above sea level to the start point.  Your hike will begin as you head towards the refuge José Rivas stopping at viewpoints to take in the stunning landscapes. You will then go to the Limpiopungo Lagoon, a stunning crystal-clear lake that reflects the scenery and sky above it. Along the way, you may catch a glimpse of wildlife like the Andean Fox, deer or cute rabbits. You can also see birds like the Cara Cara Curiquinge, the Andean Gulls and Coots, alongside many more fascinating species that your guide will point out to you. The mandatory guide costs an additional US$ 60.00 for the whole group so please bear this in mind.  There will be many photo opportunities along the way with the stunning surrounding forests, mountains, and ravines offering picturesque views. You can stop to enjoy some typical Ecuadorian food for lunch to refuel and will be returned back to your hotel at the end of the day. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Cotopaxi

Want to discover all there is to do in Cotopaxi? Click here for a full list.

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