Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador Tourist Destination
Cotopaxi National Park is an unforgettable experience for adventurers. Located just south of Quito, this majestic national park offers glacier-capped volcanoes, diverse wildlife, and a variety of activities like trekking, horseback riding, and camping. Visitors can also explore its mysterious caves and lagoons, and witness its beautiful glaciers, lakes, and Andean landscape.
Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador Tourist Destination Summary
- Attraction: Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador
- Country: Ecuador
- Continent: South America
- Capital Name: Quito
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: the US Dollar
- Nationality: Ecuadorian
Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador is one of the most-visited natural attractions in the country. It is most well-known for its stunning views of the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano, as well as its unique array of flora and fauna. This area of Ecuador is also home to a variety of activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and camping. For those looking to experience the cultural side of things, there are also traditional towns that can be visited. Cotopaxi National Park is a great destination for adventurers, historians, and nature-lovers alike.
Tell Us About Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador
Cotopaxi National Park is located in the southern highlands of Ecuador, just 65 kilometers (40 mi) southeast of Quito. It was designated a national park in 1975 and is a popular tourist destination for its scenic views from the top of the mountain and its variety of outdoor activities. The park was named after the volcano Cotopaxi which dominates its landscape, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft).
The Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador covers an area of approximately 33,000 hectares and is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, including the puma, cougar, spectacled and Andean bear, and over 100 species of birds. Visitors can choose from a variety of activities, including camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and even skiing and snowboarding in the winter months!
What are the Things to do in Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador?
Things to do in Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador are:
- Ascend to Cotopaxi Volcano and Explore Surroundings: Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, and it stands strong at 5,897 meters high. Climbing to its summit is definitely the main activity in the park. The trek is strenuous although it is not as technical as other more difficult volcanoes in the country. On the way up you will be able to enjoy a stunning landscape and watch the vast mountain range.
- Hike to Jose Rivas Refuge: The shelter is located at 5,000 meters high and it is the highest refuge in Ecuador. From here it is possible to ascend Cotopaxi Volcano to its summit and enjoy the spectacular views. The track to get there is considered to be an easy one, but it is still advisable to take a guide in order to stick together and increase safety.
- Visit Limpiopungo Lake: Limpiopungo also known as “the Emerald Lake”, is one of the biggest attractions in the park. This natural beauty can be reached from the main entrance, and it is a great spot for camping and spot a variety of wild animals. Keep in mind that most animals like Andean Condors, Soultacus hummingbirds, and Patagonian Hare can be visually enjoyed early in the morning or at sunset.
- Go Horseback Riding: You can enjoy a wonderful horseback riding tour around the lake area and its surrounding region. Riding through the national park is a great way to spot wild animals and experience the outstanding landscape. Riders of all levels are welcome, and it is even possible to go with a guide.
- Take a Safari Tour: The most common safari tour includes visits to some of the most iconic sites in the park. It is also possible to arrange private ones that include visits to some of the more secluded sites. In some cases, safaris may include overnight stays in some of the refuges or camping sites in the park. Safari tours are even available to the ascent of Cotopaxi Volcano.
What are the Best Foods at Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador?
Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador is renowned for its abundance of native foods that offer a unique and flavorful taste. The most popular dishes include traditional hominy dishes, including fanesca, and a variety of local fruits and vegetables. Other favorites are hornado (roast pork), locro de papas (potato stew), and caldo de gallina (chicken stew). Freshly baked breads and empanadas are also popular.
For desserts, visitors can enjoy enticing delights like sopa borracha (baked fruit pudding) or cuajada (evaporated milk cake). There are also many snack items available, like yahuarmas (fried plantains), choclo (corn mote), and longarones (deep fried pork skins). With so many delicious options, Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador is the perfect destination for a delicious culinary experience.
What are the Best Hotels to Stay in Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador?
The best hotels in Cotopaxi National Park Ecuador are:
- La Cienega Lodge
- Valle Hermoso Lodge
- Cotopaxi Quito Jungle Lodge
- La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa
- La Casa del Volcan
- Hosteria Quilotoa
- Hacienda La Cienega
- Real Audiencia Hotel
- Hotel La Ciénega Ortiz
- Quilotoa Lodge
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