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Cotopaxi National Park
Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park

star-5
758 Reviews
Cotopaxi, Quito

The Basics

Located an hour from Ecuador’s capital city of Quito, Cotopaxi National Park makes for an ideal day trip for those looking to take advantage of the region’s exceptional hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. A full-day tour typical includes a drive along the scenic Route of the Volcanoes, views of Cotopaxi Volcano and Limpiopungo Lake, and a choice of short hikes or downhill biking. An overnight Cotopaxi National Park tour affords more time for exploring or allows you to extend your trip to include the nearby Quilotoa Lagoon.

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Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
star-4.5
$69.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing hike
Amazing hike! Make sure you bring or buy water at the stops. Food and water is not included. Unforgettable time
Jose_B, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Quito

star-5
Great tour
Emily_S, Jul 2021
Cotopaxi National Park and Inca Ruins Day Trip
The trip to Cotopaxi National Park was beautiful!! The landscape and wildlife were great to see. The lunch at the Inca ruins site was delicious. Service was great, and home was beautiful and the Alpacas were so fun to feed! I had Luis Albuja as my tour guide. He was very nice, punctual and very knowledgeable! I would highly recommend this tour!!
star-5
Must do !
Alex, Jun 2021
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
I don’t write reviews often but this tour was amazing ! Francisco was outstanding guide ensuring everyone in the group was having a great time.
star-4
Daniel, our guide, is great!
Sharon_K, May 2021
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
Daniel, our guide, was great. Very knowledgeable. He discussed things on the way to Cotopaxi, and was able to answer all of our questions. He stopped whenever we wanted to take pictures and made this a very pleasurable experience.
star-5
Fun, spectacular, amazing!!!
Steve_S, Jul 2021
Cotopaxi National Park and Inca Ruins Day Trip
This was a great day trip run by Ecuador Best Tours with Luis as our guide. He showed up 15 minutes early which was great because we were able to beat the traffic out of Quito. The drive was about 1.5 hours with some amazing views on the way. Once at the Nat’l Park, we made our way to the lagoon/pond and did a 2.5 mile hike. We were at 12,000’ and with the gusty wind, it was cold. I definitely recommend layers for top and bottom with gloves, hat, and waterproof jacket. The hike had some amazing views of the mountains, and we even spotted an Adean Condor flying above us. There are also wild horses in the field nearby. Next we went further up Cotopaxi mountain (by car) to an altitude of 15,000’. We opted not to hike up to the lodge because we could feel the effects of the altitude…but got a cool pic of the altitude on my Garmin GPS watch. Got glimpses of Cotopaxi between the clouds and it’s spectacular. On the way down, we saw a fox and interacted with it. After this we made our way to the Inca ruins for lunch. It has a pretty cool history from the Incas, to a monastery, to a farm. The lunch was absolutely delicious in an unique setting. But the best part was the surprise with the llamas. I’ll leave it at that so you can be surprised too. I definitely recommend this tour and also Ecuador Best Tours!!!
star-5
Equatorial snow, llamas, high life
Paul_K, Jan 2021
Cotopaxi National Park Shared Day Trip
Very good guidance and conversation . Great to hike to the snow on Cotopaxi. Lovely to see the mountain up close even on a cloudy day
star-5
Active Excursion
Michael_W, Mar 2020
Shared Full-Day Hike and Bike Cotopaxi National Park
Our guide, Luis was friendly and informative. I believe he really has a passion for the mountains I hike and climb in Washington State. Experiencing a different environment and landscape was awesome. Highly recommend
star-5
Amazing!
Kerttu, Feb 2020
Shared Full-Day Hike and Bike Cotopaxi National Park
Enjoy the unbelievable views of Cotopaxi by hiking and cycling. Requires some physics! This tour is good and guides are very friendly and professional. Warm recommendation!
star-5
Beautiful National Park - Cotopaxi
allisonlanglois, Feb 2020
Cotopaxi National Park Shared Day Trip
Andres picked us up on time for our trip out to Cotopaxi. He was knowledgeable about the National Park. The weather cooperated and we saw the volano, condors, falcons, wild horses, and llamas in the park. We walked around the lake that is in the park which gives you a chance to see more flora and fauna. Very nice day. We had lunch on the way back to Quito.
star-5
Great way to get out of the city.
Jeff, Mar 2021
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
Diego was very knowledgeable about the region and was great about giving recommendations for the hike up to the shelter. Great experience.
star-5
Cotopaxi Volano
Lorriel3, May 2021
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
Daniel was an excellent tour guide. He picked us up from our hotel and drove us around Quito then out to the Cotopaxi Volcano. He was so knowledgeable about the volcano and the wildlife we got to see (llamas, foxes, beautiful birds, wild horses, etc). We hiked up to the shelter and enjoyed some hot chocolate and the views. We hiked back down then went to see the lagoon close by. Then finished the day with a traditional Ecuadorian lunch. What a fun and rewarding day. Thank you Daniel for the great day.
star-5
Cotopaxi National Park Private Day Tour
pejoan, Nov 2019
Cotopaxi National Park Shared Day Trip
We added this private day trip to Cotopaxi onto our Galapagos trip. The trip was excellent and our tour guide Hugo was the best.
star-5
Climbing parts of the Cotopaxi Volcano a great experience
Steffen G, Sep 2019
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
This day trip started at 8 am in the historic district of Quito, where our tour guide greeted us at our hotel. The drive to the Volcano was educational as the tour guide provided plentiful of information about the area, the city, the history, the do's and dont's when climbing the Cotopaxi to the Refugio. We also had coca tea in a lodge at the entrance to the park to help us acclimate to the latitude. The climb can be more easy by following the switchback routes or straight up the mountain. The view from the refugio was breath-taking!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • There is an entrance fee to enter the national park.

  • The park is located at high altitude; if you’ve just arrived in Quito, it’s wise to spend a couple of days acclimatizing before hiking or biking.

  • Although there are plenty of walking trails in the national park, climbing the Cotopaxi Volcano is only suitable for experienced hikers.

  • There are several car parks in the national park, but access to many of the trails is by 4WD only.

  • The park has limited visitor facilities, so be sure to bring everything you need, including comfortable shoes, sun or rain protection, and plenty of water.

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How to Get There

The Cotopaxi National Park is located 31 miles (53 kilometers) southeast of Quito, about an hour’s drivel. There are no public transport options for reaching the park; the easiest way to get there is to join a guided tour or arrange a private tour from Quito.

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When to Get There

You can Cotopaxi year round; in fact, there is little variation in temperatures throughout the year. The most popular time for hiking and outdoor activities is during the dry months (July to September).

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Climbing the Cotopaxi Volcano

Scaling the 19,000-foot (5,900-meter) high Cotopaxi Volcano is a bucket-list activity among hiking enthusiasts. With high altitude and technical sections that require crampons and ice axes, it’s a challenge suitable only for experienced hikers or climbers, and it’s recommended you hire a reputable guide. Most hikes (which last about five hours) set out late at night or early in the morning in order to summit in time to catch the sunrise.

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