Andes Tour – Cotopaxi Volcano National Park, full day, private
Cotopaxi National Park, full day, daily from Quito, includes box lunch or lunch at a hosteria of the area, private
This route is surrounded by snowcapped summits and the mystical beauty that, in times past, nourished the mythology of early cultures and later provided incentive to the conquering Spanish to settle here. Brooks and rivers run down from the mountains past small villages of adobe houses and terraced farmlands.
Day by Day
Early departure from Quito by motorcar on the Pan-American Highway to the south, to visit the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary of 88,920 acres, around the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano, which rises 5897 meters (19,347 feet) above sea level. The evergreen landscape of the Ecuadorian highlands is one of the main attractions, along valleys and mountains covered by multicolored fields. After an hour and a half, the entrance to the park is reached and then it’s up a dirt road for approximately one hour.
Upon arrival to the park there is an introductory briefing about the habitat of the Andean paramo or moorlands, its flora and fauna in the small Interpretation Center. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lagoon to observe a variety of birds and occasionally wild horses. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is the magnificent backdrop. A short walk around the lagoon allows the observation of the Andean flora. Lunch is at a restaurant of the area before returning to Quito in the afternoon. The entrance fee to Cotopaxi National Park is extra.
Warm clothing is needed and hat or cap. Sunblock (SPF 40). Good walking shoes. Camera (wide angle lens). Binoculars. Sunglasses.
Altitude: 2800 to 4000 meters (9800 – 12,120 feet)
Average Temperature Day: 8° to 20° C (46° to 68° F)