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COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK
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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Cotopaxi National Park, Province of Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Monday to Sunday 07h00 - 18h00
WILD LIFE WATCHING
The active volcano and Cotopaxi’s National Park is located 33 km to the northeast of Latacunga and 50 km to the South of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It highs at 5.897 meters above sea. Its last big eruption was on June 26, 1877. It has attractions as Limpiopungo lagoon. It is very safe to visit, attending the authorities’ regulations about the mountain activity. In the indigenous language Cotopaxi means “Neck of the Moon” or “Throne of the Moon”. It is surrounded by “Páramos” that reach 3.000 meters above sea and by other volcanos as Sincholagua (4.873 meters above sea), Quilindaña (4.876 meters above sea) and Rumiñahui (4.722 meters above sea).
The ecological reserve that surrounds the Cotopaxi volcano, made up of Boliche Recreation National Area and the National Park, is located on the border between the Ecuadorian provinces of Pichincha and Cotopaxi. The abrupt elevation of the mountain, on a relatively flat terrain, offers wonderful views. It is a very popular option for those who love hiking and mountaineering and for those who pursue beautiful landscapes without having to climb its slopes.
If you plan to make an ascension to the top, it is absolutely essential to have the appropriate safety equipment. Those who seek to surmount the volcano should ensure to contract the services of a professional guide. However, it is also possible to arrive by private car to the parking lot at the foot of the volcano from where is already possible to enjoy impressive views.
The ecosystem is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, a combination of pines with wolves, pumas, bears, rabbits, condors, wild horses and foxes. A recommendation to get to Cotopaxi is to do it in a private transportation from Quito or Latacunga. Another option is to go by train from Chimbacalle (Quito), to Boliche’s station. For those who choose the bus, they must take into consideration the walk to the Administrative Center and from there to the José Rivas refuge.