The Cotopaxi volcano (5,897 m / 19,347 ft.), in the National Park of the same name, is one of Ecuador’s most popular visitors’ sites. Don’t miss the spectacular views on your Ecuador tour!
Our intern Fanny went and shares her impressions:
“Last Saturday I went on a tour to the Cotopaxi National Park. We left Quito very early, at 6:30 am, to visit Ecuador’s second highest mountain and one of the world’s highest active volcanos. I went with an awesome group; we got along great and had a lot of fun.
After about one hour of driving south on the Panamericana, we arrived at a lodge where breakfast was waiting for us. After some eggs, biscuits, dulce de leche, and coffee we felt ready for our hike. In our bus we could go a bit higher, passing wild horses and the panorama of the high Andes. Although the land is rather barren, it possesses a unique beauty. The typical grass-and-shrubs landscape of this area is called Paramo and can only be found between the highlands of Costa Rica and Northern Peru. The majority of plants is small and grows close to the ground.
We got closer and closer to the Cotopaxi, which offered us a spectacular, majestic view with a picture-perfect snow-capped summit. When we arrived at the end of the road we had to walk for about one hour to reach the snow line. The ascent was quite hard work because of the steep inclination and the sandy ground. But it was definitely worth it, touching the snow was amazing and the view was fantastic.
After walking back down to our bus, another highlight was waiting for us: We could go back down to the lodge on mountain bikes! It wasn’t for everybody because the road is rather steep and bumpy, but I definitely wanted to have this adrenaline-filled experience. Our guide went first and we followed him. You just had to keep braking and looking out for potholes. We all made it without falling off our bikes and it was definitely a lot of fun. Back at the lodge, an almuerzo (lunch) was waiting for the hungry adventurers and when I got back to Quito I looked forward to a hot shower and my bed: the perfect ending for a great tour.”