Cotopaxi National Park
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Cotopaxi National Park Day Trips

Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour

1. Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour

Depart by bus from through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route, as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. Continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano. Visit the Museum Park, the Limpiopungo Lagoon and and through an interesting hike will reach the forest of chuquirahuas to 4200 meters. (if the weather permits). See the Quilotoa Volcano. With a stunning turquoise lagoon in its crater, it's one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. Take a short hike to appreciate the magnificent view of the volcano (if weather conditions allow) and enjoy time for lunch at your own expense.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

2. Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

Visit Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The park is home to the active Cotopaxi volcano that towers 19,642 feet above sea level. When you reach the park your naturalist guide will show you the exceptional variety of flora and fauna. Hike to the Limpiopungo lagoon, located on the slopes of the volcano. Stop at the lagoon for a short rest to take in the landscapes and the spectacular views of the volcano. Continue the hike to the Jose Ribas shelter and experience the environment at almost 16,000 feet above sea level.

From Quito: Cotopaxi National Park Group Day Trip

3. From Quito: Cotopaxi National Park Group Day Trip

See Cotopaxi Volcano, the second most popular destination in Ecuador. Begin the adventure at 8:00 am from Hotel Nu House, before travelling to the Cotopaxi Volcano, which is over 5,897 m or 19,347 ft, and be surrounded by pristine forests, mountains, lakes, wild horses and ecosystems which change amazingly according to elevation in this incredible reserve. Observe the exotic fauna during the first hike at Limpiopungo Lagoon, offered by this unforgettable adventure, before driving up to the parking lot located at 4,500 meters above sea level (14,763 ft) to enjoy a breath-taking view of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and to start a once-in-a-lifetime hike up to the refuge. Hike for one exciting and challenging hour, and then take time to admire the stunning view and visit the world-wide-known Refuge "José Rivas", located at 4.800 meters above sea level (15,748 ft). Leave behind the noise and stress of the big city to visit Cotopaxi National Park, and experience a feeling of spirituality and love for nature. Return to Quito at approximately 4:30 pm to end this unforgettable adventure.

Cotopaxi Horseback Riding Tour from Quito

4. Cotopaxi Horseback Riding Tour from Quito

The tour begins with early morning pickup from your Quito hotel (Urban zone). After arrival at the ranch, be paired with a suitable horse, mount up, and spend some time learning the basic controls.  Once you feel comfortable, set out on a 2 or 3.5 hour trail ride in the Andes Mountains. Return to the ranch, at around 1:00 PM and enjoy lunch before heading back to Quito. Both beginners and experienced riders will enjoy this activity that provides the opportunity to appreciate the stunning landscapes of the national park.

Quito: Bike Tour Around the Cotopaxi Volcano with Lunch

5. 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

6. 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. 

From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip

7. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Cotopaxi National Park Day Trips

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What people are saying about Cotopaxi National Park

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 68 reviews

I just got back from today’s excursion and it was absolutely incredible! Daniel was our guide and he was easily one of the best guides I’ve ever had. He was engaging, helpful, and super knowledgeable! I would absolutely go on another tour with him. Cotopaxi and Quilotoa were amazing! I would absolutely recommend! We did get very lucky with the weather but if you have even decent weather it will be time and money well spent. I will say if you get car sick do not go on this trip. Many hours on a bus on extremely winding roads! But having said that if that won’t bother you the views are incredible!

Knowledgeable and friendly guides, comfortable minibus and the lunch was very good. Of course it depends a bit on the weather, we were lucky and had a very nice view of Cotopaxi and the surrounding nature. We can only recommend the tour.

Great tour of two amazing destinations in Ecuador. Feels slightly rushed as a schedule, with a lot of time in the road, but the guide, Daniel, was the best tour guide we've ever had.

Full tour. It complies with seeing both volcanoes that are wonderful. You have to be aware of the weather, as it can affect visibility. Very kind our guide Daniel

Best thing to do in Ecuador. Daniel was our tour guide and I cannot compliment him enough!!!