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Cotopaxi National Park Hike, 1 Day

Contact us for Cotopaxi National Park Hike, 1 Day
Days: 1
Effort: Moderate

Activities: Hiking and sightseeing

Cotopaxi National Park Hike, 1 Day

The Cotopaxi National Park is a 36,000-hectare nature and wildlife sanctuary established around the highest active volcano in the world. Its unique ecosystem is a spectacular place to hike and explore for rich wildlife and stunning volcano scenery.

Trip Highlights

  • Hike the slopes of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world.
  • Learn about endemic paramo plants and wildlife.
  • Take in magnificent views of Cotopaxi’s glacier.
  • Visit Limpiopungo Glacier Lake and observe local bird life.
  • Learn about the Inca presence in Ecuador as you explore the Pucara ruins.



We depart from Quito in the morning and head south, driving through the famed “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” If the weather is good, we’ll see a number of snow-capped and glaciated peaks as we drive. After arriving at Cotopaxi National Park, our first stop is Limpiopungo Glacier Lake, located at the base of Volcan Rumiñahui. Limpiopungo
is home to abundant highland waterfowl, and we’ll spot gulls, ducks, falcons, and more as we begin our hike. We also learn about the endemic paramo landscape, the unique tropical tundra endemic to the high northern Andes. Our path continues through the foothills of Rumiñahui and past several other small lakes and rivers. As we hike, we take in magnificent views of Cotopaxi’s massive, glaciated cone, looming over the high plain directly across from Rumiñahui. We also search for llamas, wild horses, deer, hares, and the endangered Andean Condor. After our hike, we refuel with a delicious, scenic picnic lunch. Finally, we visit the Pucara Inca ruins, where we learn about the Inca presence in Ecuador. We leave the park in the afternoon and head back to Quito. (L)

INCLUDES:Professional guide, private transportation, picnic lunch and snack.

NOT INCLUDED: Tips and Personal Expenses

  • TRAVEL TIME: 2 hours each way

  • TREKKING TIME: 3 hours

  • SEASON: All year

  • ALTITUDE: 3800 m to 4200 m

  • SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Layered clothing, rain shell, sun block, gloves, trekking shoes, binocular