portrait cotopaxi

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Cotopaxi, a stunning natural paradise nestled in the scenic landscapes of Ecuador. The beautiful Andes Mountains’ majestic landscapes and cultural diversity entice this location. The rugged paths in the park and the villages of native people spread out on its hillsides welcome you to explore. They offer lots of different experiences wherever you go.

Discover the fantastic adventure with Machu Travel Peru and be amazed by the beautiful secrets of Cotopaxi National Park.

All you need to know about the National Park

Location and Altitude

location cotopaxy

Cotopaxi National Park is located in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, Quito. It is located in the province of Cotopaxi, which is a part of the greater Cotopaxi Province. The park surrounds the renowned Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes. Its precise coordinates are about 0.6792° S latitude and 78.4361° W longitude.

Flora and Fauna

flora fauna cotopaxi

Cotopaxi Province in Ecuador is a diversity hotspot with a diverse range of animals and flora across various ecosystems. In this place, we can see different animals, from the famous spectacled bear to the Andean condor. The region attracts birdwatchers with over 300 avian species and mammals, such as the Andean fox and vicuña.

How to get

how to get cotopaxi

Discover the incredible flora and fauna in this region, which is renowned for its distinctive altitude and weather conditions. Access the province by flying into Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, which boasts the closest major international airport. From Quito, you have several options for traveling to Cotopaxi:

By Road

The primary route to Cotopaxi is by road. From Quito, you can take a bus or rent a car, heading south and towards the province. Depending on your starting point and traffic, it’s about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive. The Pan-American Highway (E35) takes you straight to Cotopaxi, with more minor roads leading to various places in the province.

Many companies in Quito offer trips to Cotopaxi. They arrange transportation, lodging, and guided visits to cool places around there.

Rental Car

If you prefer independent exploration, you can rent a car in Quito. That way, you can explore Cotopaxi and nearby places whenever you want. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with local driving regulations and road conditions before embarking on your journey.

Once you arrive in Cotopaxi, you can explore its diverse attractions, including Cotopaxi National Park, the Cotopaxi volcano, indigenous markets, and traditional villages. Cotopaxi offers something for every traveler to enjoy, whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or cultural enthusiast.

Why to go?

why to go cotopaxi

Going to Cotopaxi is like entering a dream world full of natural beauty. You can immerse yourself in a wonderland of peace and trails from the beautiful environment to the Cotopaxi volcano. It’s a top spot for adventure seekers and nature lovers, an outstanding experience.

Best time to go

weather cotopaxi

Cotopaxi National Park, nestled close to the Andes Mountains, boasts diverse landscapes and climates. Its climate is moderate and temperate year-round.

The park experiences two main seasons: dry (June-September) and wet (October-May).

During the dry season, the skies are clearer, and there is minimal rainfall, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain climbing.

Conversely, the wet season sees increased rainfall and cloud cover, enhancing the region’s lush foliage but posing challenges for outdoor trips. Visitors should be prepared for rapid weather changes, including strong winds and even snowfall at higher elevations.

The best time to visit is during the dry season, which offers clear weather and ideal conditions for outdoor adventures. However, booking accommodations in advance is advisable due to high tourist demand. Alternatively, the wet season showcases vibrant flora but may limit outdoor activities. Ultimately, the choice of when to visit depends on individual preferences, as both seasons offer unique experiences in this natural paradise.

What to do

climbing mountain cotopaxi

Cotopaxi offers a variety of activities, each with its own unique viewpoint on the region’s natural and cultural treasures.

Hiking & Trekking

Cotopaxi National Park is a hiker’s dream, with trails ranging from moderate strolls to strenuous hikes. Hike across the park’s various habitats, from highland forests to alpine meadows, for stunning views of the Cotopaxi volcano and surrounding peaks. You can visit places like Cotopaxi Volcano, Limpiopungo Lagoon, Frailejones Trai, and Los Frailejones Trail.

Mountain climbing

For expert climbers, summiting Cotopaxi volcano (5,897 meters/19,347 ft) is an exhilarating experience. Guided climbs are available to those looking to ascend one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. You can explore Cotopaxi Volcano, Iliniza Peak, Rumiñahui, and Corazón volcanoes.

Wildlife Viewing

The Cotopaxi National Park is a place where you can find an extensive amount of animals and plants. Also, you can have a great time with the Andean condor, deer, foxes, and birds of different kinds. 


Cycle along scenic routes in and around Cotopaxi National Park, enjoying panoramic views of the volcanic landscape and Andean scenery. You can enjoy biking in Cotopaxi National Park, Tambo, Lasso, or the Páramo de Chuquiragua.


Spend a night under the stars in Cotopaxi National Park, camping amidst the pristine wilderness and enjoying the tranquility of the Andean night sky.

With a lot to see and do, Cotopaxi provides unparalleled opportunities for adventurers, nature lovers, and cultural aficionados. Whether you choose adrenaline-pumping thrills or quiet moments of meditation, Cotopaxi offers a remarkable journey into the heart of Ecuador’s Andean highlands.

Entrance ticket

ticket entrance cotopaxi

The Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket is a necessary permit for accessing Cotopaxi National Park, a renowned natural destination in Ecuador. This ticket is required for visitors who want to enjoy the park’s hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and other recreational areas.

Here’s more information on the Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket:


The cost of the Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket varies according to the type of visit and activities involved. Foreign tourists often pay between $10 and $20. Ecuadorian nationals and residents frequently obtain lower pricing.


The entrance ticket is valid for one day, allowing visitors access to all park attractions during that time. However, there may be alternatives for multi-day passes, especially for individuals interested in camping or longer adventures.

The entrance ticket is valid for one day, during which the visitor can access the park´s attractions. Visitors can purchase the Cotopaxi Tourist ticket at specified entry points to the national park, such as park ranger stations or visitor centers. Ramger may perform checks, so keep your ticket with you at all times when within the park.

Visitors can purchase the Cotopaxi Tourist ticket at specified entry points to the national park, such as park ranger stations or visitor centers. Rangers may perform checks, so keep your ticket with you at all times when within the park.

Visitors can purchase the Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket at specified entry points to the national park, such as park ranger stations or visitor centers. Rangers may perform checks, so keep your ticket with you at all times when within the park.

The earnings from the Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket go towards the conservation and management of Cotopaxi National Park, which includes trail maintenance, habitat restoration, and tourist services. By purchasing the ticket, tourists actively contribute to the preservation of this natural gem for future generations to enjoy.

Overall, the Cotopaxi Tourist Ticket is a must-have permit for anybody considering a trip to Cotopaxi National Park. It provides access to the park’s breathtaking scenery and outdoor recreational options while also contributing to conservation efforts.

What to bring?

what to bring cotopaxi

When preparing for a trip to Cotopaxi, it is critical to bring appropriate equipment for the high elevation and changing climate. Wear several layers of clothing, such as an ailing jacket and impermeable outerwear, to stay dry and protected from temperature fluctuations and potential rain.

Equip yourself with durable hiking boots, a backpack containing essential items like water, sunscreen, and sunblock, and personal items like medications and aspirin. Consider purchasing height-prevention products like medications and supplements, as well as cash for purchases. With all of this, you’ll be prepared for a safe and memorable adventure in the stunning Cotopaxi landscape.

Other Considerations

  • Altitude sickness prevention: It suggests gradually acclimatizing and considering medication or supplements a healthcare provider recommends.
  • Cash: Although some places may accept credit cards, carrying cash for purchases and tipping is recommended.
  • Travel insurance: It advises considering purchasing travel insurance to cover unexpected emergencies or cancellations.

By following these tips and being prepared for Cotopaxi’s environment, travelers can ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Stay and eat

stay cotopaxy

Cotopaxi National Park is a haven for travelers seeking both tranquility and adventure. The park offers a range of lodging options, from rustic lodges within the park itself to charming haciendas and eco-lodges in nearby towns. Adventurous visitors can immerse themselves in nature through hikes, horseback rides, and mountain biking amid the park’s stunning landscapes. Those seeking a more refined experience can enjoy elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine in the region’s haciendas and eco-lodges. The culinary scene in Cotopaxi boasts a variety of traditional dishes, including Locro de Papa, Llapingachos, and roasted Cuy (Guinea Pig), providing a diverse and delicious dining experience amidst the park’s natural beauty.

Travel Tips

travel tips cotopaxi

  • Acclimatize your body before the trip.
  • Consider scheduling a guided trip to Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Stay hydrated and sun protected.
  • Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to changing conditions quickly
  • Be responsible for your actions with nature.

Frequently asked questions

cotopaxy questions

What is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit these places is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to September. Clear skies and stable weather allow you to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or sightseeing.

Is it safe to visit the Cotopaxi Volcano?

Visiting the volcano is safe, as local authorities monitor it throughout the year. You should also plan your visit in advance and follow the rules set by the park’s officials.

What should I pack for a trip?

Pack clothing suitable for layering, as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Essential items include sturdy hiking boots, waterproof outerwear, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan to camp, be sure to bring appropriate gear, including a warm sleeping bag and a reliable tent.

Are there altitude considerations when visiting this place?

Imagine Cotopaxi as a giant mountain and volcano in Ecuador, a country in South America. Its very top point, like the tip of a tall tower, is about 5,897 meters high. That’s super tall, even higher than most other mountains! People love to explore it, even though it’s a volcano,| because it’s so unique and adventurous.

If you are thinking of climbing to the top of the volcano, you must acclimatize gradually. If necessary, consider spending one or two days in the place before your climb.

What activities are available in Cotopaxi?

Cotopaxi offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and birdwatching. Travelers can find guided tours to explore the diversity of the park’s ecosystems and learn about its geological history.

Cotopaxi offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and birdwatching. Travelers can find guided tours to explore the diversity of the park´s ecosystems and learn about its geological history.

Is there lodging available at Cotopaxi National Park?

Yes, basic lodges and camping facilities are available for overnight visitors within Cotopaxi National Park. Each option offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Cotopaxi volcano’s natural beauty and breathtaking views.

What other attractions are near Cotopaxi?

In the Cotopaxi National Park, you can visit different places:

  1. Quilotoa crater lake
  2. The City of Baños
  3. The Capital of Quito

Although we parted ways with Cotopaxi, its enchanting landscapes and mysteries will forever be in our hearts. Until we meet again, fellow adventurers, may the essence of this place accompany you on every journey! And with Machu Travel Peru by our side, may each moment of our expedition be enriched with unforgettable marvels and discoveries.


Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!