Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most popular and visited protected areas in Ecuador. It is located in the provinces of Cotopaxi, Pichincha, and Napo. Approximately an hour and a half from the city of Quito. This protected area provides a home to a great diversity of flora such as chuquiragua, mosses, lichens, quishuar, mortiño. In addition, it has a great variety of fauna such as llamas, white-tailed deer, puma, wild rabbits, Andean fox, spectacled bear, hawks, hummingbirds, and condor. Also, in Cotopaxi National Park there are several introduced as wild cows and horses.

The main tourist attraction in National Park is the Cotopaxi Volcano one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. In ancestral languages, it means “Moon Neck” with a height of 5,897 m (19,347ft). In the Cotopaxi National Park, you can practice several outdoor activities like hiking, biking, mountain climbing, camping, and photography. Visiting Cotopaxi National Park is an adventure in Ecuador that you cannot skip!

Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador

Cotopaxi, it’s an essential place to visit on your trip, especially for adventurers and hikers. It is one of the most active and recognized volcanoes in Ecuador and the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Besides reaching the top of its snow-capped peak, it motivates you to practice different activities. Thanks to the attractions that complement it.

Interpretation Center “La Mariscal”

Better known as the Park Museum. where you can obtain additional information about the active volcano Cotopaxi. Fauna and flora through exhibition rooms. Enjoy a hot drink and save this experience in your memory in the souvenir shop.

How to get to Limpiopungo Lagoon?

Within the Cotopaxi National Park, 19 km from the south entrance at the Caspi Control. Is located this lagoon where you can see one of the best postcard sceneries of the Cotopaxi volcano. The Andean moor offers you to admire the fauna and flora of its habitat. Such as the famous “Chuquiragua” flower. To get to the lagoon, if you do not have a private car. You can rent vehicles that will take you directly to Limpiopungo with an approximate cost of $15.00 to $20.00 USD.

Activities in Limpiopungo Lagoon:

Rumiñahui Volcano ‘‘Stone Face’’

At the foothills of the dormant volcano Rumiñahui. You can trek in its unique landscape full of peaks. And feel the sense of freedom, which give meaning to its name. The Rumiñahui has three summits (North, Central, South) where the highest summit is the North. Which has 4,722 meters high (15,492 ft).

Summit of the Cotopaxi Volcano

Climbing to the glacier of the volcano has its essence and majesty because it is done at night. To finish at dawn when you reach the summit. You can have as a starting point the initial base of the mountain or from the José Rivas Refuge. This activity is certainly one of the best to explore the crater of Cotopaxi volcano. Which takes approximately 6 to 7 hours of trekking to the summit. For this activity, you need a 2-day program, appropriate equipment, and a specialized mountain guide.

Remember that the most important thing besides enjoying this experience is your safety. So we recommend you to climb with a specialized high mountain guide who will escort you to the summit of the Cotopaxi volcano.

José Ribas Refuge

The Refuge is located at 4,864m (15,958 ft). Where it receives visitors who prefer to climb to the summit of the Cotopaxi Volcano. but if you do not want to reach the summit and want to live this experience. Climbing to the “José Ribas” Refuge is the best option. As part of the activities, you will hike and then descend again. When you arrive at the refuge you will find hot tea, snacks, handicrafts and even toilets. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and has its starting point in the parking lot.

How to get to Cotopaxi National Park from Quito?

If you decide to travel by private car from the city of Quito. You should take the South Panamericana Highway – Quito/Latacunga – Troncal de la Sierra E35 – kilometer 42. The detour to Cotopaxi National Park is well signposted. Making it easier for you to continue to the Caspi Control Entrance in about 15 minutes.

How to get to Cotopaxi National Park from Guayaquil?

The route to get to Cotopaxi National Park from Guayaquil will be: Guayaquil-Latacunga-Cotopaxi. You can take the bus at Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil, you should take any bus that goes to Latacunga. When you arrive in Latacunga, you can take any bus that travels to Quito’s city. So you can stop on the way at the Cotopaxi National Park.

The bus companies that will make your trip easier are Cooperativa Santa, Cotopaxi and Cooperativa Latacunga. With a price of $10.00 to $12.00 USD (Guayaquil – Latacunga). And $3.00 to $4.00 USD (Latacunga-Cotopaxi) with a total traveling time of 6 hours. 

How to get to Cotopaxi National Park from Ambato?

From the beautiful city of Ambato. Your departure point will be at the Terminal Terrestre de Ambato. Where the buses will travel directly to the city of Quito, on the road to Latacunga. The bus companies to choose from are Cita, Transportes Ambato, Santa, Touris San Francisco, and Trasandina Express. With a price of $4.00 to $6.00 USD depending on the company. The total journey time to the Cotopaxi volcano will be approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

How much does it cost to visit Cotopaxi National Park?

Entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park is free. However, it is important to know that there is no public transportation within the area. so you must necessarily take your registration at the Entrance Control Caspi. And move in a private vehicle, especially a 4×4 or bicycle. Within the tourist area, they offer transportation services in vans. With an approximate cost of $ 50.00 USD and a capacity of 4 people, in order to mobilize and see the attractions. The entrance hours are from 8:00 am to 15:00 pm.

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