Cotopaxi National Park


Cotopaxi National Park Itineraries:

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Cotopaxi National Park



Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park is Ecuador’s largest and most popular park encompassing an impressive 83,000 acres comprised of humid mountain forests, lakes, rainy Sub-Andean plains and four volcanoes of which the Cotopaxi Volcano, at over 19,348 ft, is most notable. The landscape is mostly flat and not only encompasses natural wonders, but also boast a fascinating history.


Many years ago native Ecuadorians in the Cotopaxi vicinity built homes beside the Rio Pita, the ruins of which still remain, and worshiped the volcano of Cotopaxi. In 1534 Cotopaxi began to erupt. Coincidentally, this was the same year in which Spanish conquistadors had declared war on the natives. As the massive volcano began to shake the grounds, the Spanish conquers and natives alike fled the area. The most known eruption of Cotopaxi was in 1877 when the spewing ash reached as far as Machachi. Even the city of Latacunga was buried in mud and grey. The other three volcanoes in the area are Rumiñahui, Quilindaña and Antisana.


Cotopaxi National Park

There are a variety of vegetation zones within the park. While the snow on the volcanoes prevent and fauna, the lower elevations are dominated by the humid mountain forest and Lake Limpio Pungo making for rich wild and plant life. Deforestation has unfortunately destroyed most native trees, but the remaining pines and paramo grasses are a great area for bird watching.


The Rainy Andean Tundra have saturated soils with poor nutrient limiting plant growth to mosses and lichens. All-in-all there are some 200 plant species in Cotopaxi National Park. Among the wildlife that call this area home are pumas, marsupial mice, llamas, Andean wolves, deer and many bird species including hawks.


Cotopaxi National Park offers amazing hiking trails, mountaineering, mountain biking, camping and horseback riding as well as a museum that highlights the history of the area historically, culturally and geologically. This is a beautiful area rich for exploring and not to be missed.




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Cotopaxi National Park Accommodations



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Hacienda El Porvenir
The historic Hacienda El Porvenir is set in a protected area in the foothills of Cotopaxi. This working farm is an ideal spot from which to explore the Cotopaxi area and experience the Andean way of life. Each of the buildings offers different levels of comfortable rooms decorated with local textiles in the traditional style, many with fireplaces or stoves, stunning views and en suite facilities.

Otavalo & Amazon Adventure



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