Tour Cotopaxi and Quilotoa
Visit in one day two wonderful places in your trip to Ecuador. Tour Cotopaxi and Quilotoa sites that like the Galapagos Islands, Also have a volcanic origin. Do not skip the opportunity to discover these two beautiful places in one day. In our Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Full Day Tour departing from Quito. Where you can contemplate the beauty of the active volcano Cotopaxi. Thus, the diversity of flora and fauna of the Cotopaxi National Park. And the impressive volcanoes that make up the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Also the viewpoint of the Quilotoa Lagoon. Below, we present everything you will find along our tour:
Cotopaxi and Quilotoa tour, from Quito:
An hour and a half from the city of Quito is the Cotopaxi National Park. This is the second highest and most active volcano in Ecuador. After the Chimborazo volcano. Cotopaxi National Park is located between the provinces of Pichincha and Cotopaxi. Also, in this same province is located the Quilotoa Lagoon. And it is part of the 15 most beautiful volcanic lagoons in the world.
National and foreign visitors arrive daily to Cotopaxi and Quilotoa. These sites offer various activities. For example, you will have the opportunity to do mountaineering, hiking. You can also go boating, camping, horseback riding and photograph beautiful natural landscapes.
If these two destinations are on your list of places to visit in Ecuador. Yet, you only have one day to visit them. Here is an excellent opportunity. Where you can visit the Cotopaxi National Park and the Quilotoa Lagoon in one day.
Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Tour:
Cotopaxi National Park
60 km south from the city of Quito and 35 km northeast of Latacunga. Cotopaxi National Park is located in the province of Cotopaxi. In the Cotopaxi National Park is the Cotopaxi volcano. And its formation is due to volcanic strata formed over thousands of years. Dating back to the Pleistocene epoch. Cotopaxi is a young volcano and the most popular of all volcanoes in Ecuador. And it has a climate that ranges from 4 °C (39.2°F) to 15 °C (59°F).
Flora and Fauna of the Cotopaxi National Park
Among the Andean flora and fauna that predominates in Cotopaxi National Park. There is the chuquiragua, “the flower of the Andean climber”. So called because it is at 4000 m above sea level. Also, there are grasslands, puma maqui, romerillo, quishuar, grasses, mosses and lichens. Also along the route you can find other animals. For example: cows, wild horses, hummingbirds, quilicos and curiquingues. If you are lucky you will have the opportunity to cross paths with foxes and deer. Also with marsupial mice, Andean foxes and moor wolves. Even a colossal Andean condor found in Cotopaxi National Park.
Active Cotopaxi volcano
Cotopaxi is in the area called “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Its name come from the German Alexander Von Humboldt in 1802. The volcano stands out among all the landscape of the National Park. So, it has glaciers and perpetual snow starting at 5000 meters (16404.2 ft.). Also, to the north you can observe a huge black rock wall, called Yana – Sacha. Besides, the hike takes 30 minutes from the Rivas refuge you can reach the snow-capped peak.
José Rivas Refuge
At 4,864 m (15,958 ft) is the José Rivas Refuge. It offers its visitors and mountaineers, accommodation and restaurant services. where you can enjoy typical Andean dishes such as potato locro. Or pass the cold with a traditional hot chocolate or coca tea. Depending on your physical level or desire for adventure. Also, you can choose between the two paths that will lead us to the José Rivas refuge. The first access is a zig zag trail, which lasts approximately one hour. The second access is a steep slope that will need a little more physical. Although the duration of the route is shorter.
Within the Cotopaxi National Park we will find the Limpiopungo Lagoon. Surrounded by the Rumiñahui Volcano and the Sincholagua Volcano. Located at 3,800 m (12,467 ft). As you walk along the trails of this lagoon. It is possible to appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna of Cotopaxi National Park. And enjoy a beautiful view of the Cotopaxi Volcano. Also, it becomes an ideal place to photograph the snow-capped Cotopaxi.
The Quilotoa Lagoon is two and a half hours from Cotopaxi National Park. Located in the province of Cotopaxi. Within the Ecological Reserve Los Ilinizas, is the Quilotoa Lagoon. It is an inactive volcano of 6 km in diameter, formed by a caldera of 2.9 km in diameter and 640 m (2,099 ft) deep. Here, rests an alkaline lagoon measuring 3.6 km in diameter and 240 m (787.4 ft) deep. The color of the Quilotoa lagoon is emerald green, resembling a mirror.
It is advisable to arrive before 2:00 pm. Since, the fog begins to descend and you will not be able to appreciate its beauty. The Quilotoa community is in charge of managing this attraction. Too, they offer different services such as horseback riding to the lagoon. Also, boat and kayak rentals. And you can enjoy various recreational activities in Quilotoa.
Tour Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Itinerary
Our trip to the National Park Cotopaxi and Quilotoa from Quito starts early in the morning. Our guide will pick you up from your hotel in the metropolitan area of Quito. We will take the “Avenue of the volcanoes”. And we will travel approximately an hour and a half along the Panamericana Sur. Then we will arrive to the south entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park and then we will go to the Quilotoa Lagoon.