Things to do in Cotopaxi Province

Cotopaxi National Park, Cotopaxi Province: Address, Phone Number, Cotopaxi National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Cotopaxi National Park
4.5
National Parks • Nature & Wildlife Areas • Volcanoes
About
Named for the highest active volcano in the world (5,897 meters), this national park is dedicated to protecting llama and other animals such as bears, wolves, puma and deer.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Tours & experiences
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
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Top ways to experience Cotopaxi National Park
Popular mentions

4.5
631 reviews
Excellent
448
Very good
142
Average
22
Poor
6
Terrible
13

virginiaLB
Elliniko, Greece22 contributions
Corrupt park officials
Nov. 2020
I don’t recommend visiting the park during Covid- I don’t know what it’s like prior to covid. The rules are inconsistent and the Park Rangers make it very difficult for tourist. The first problem, they would not let us into the park with our own taxi, even though we had a letter from our lodge saying we were staying in the park. We had to change to one of their drivers and were charged an unreasonable amount for the ride. Second problem, we were in a car arranged with our lodge to explore the park when a ranger stopped us again. He would not let our driver take us anywhere, he forced us to turn around even though two tourist were already in the car during a pandemic where tourism is dead in this country. Our lodge knew nothing of this nor did we read anything about this online. The ranger also informed us we could not even hike around on our own through the endless marked trails, even though there was a bike race of 20+ bikers entering the park in their own cars and biking. The bottom line is the park is running a monopoly and making it very difficult for tourist to enjoy on their own and nothing is listed online with the rules. It is an inconsistent mess. The lodge is amazing, and it’s no fault of theres.
Written November 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FarAway798605
Mumbai, India3 contributions
A day well spent
Oct. 2019 • Couples
Nice but overrated. It is a long way from Quito and when we reached Cotopaxi was clothed in clouds and we could see little. The clouds did part and the mountain is indeed a marvellous sight. We met a local whowas amazingly knowledgeable about the herbs and plants. If you can manage the time and permits I presume the trek up the volcano will be wellworth the effort. However beware, food and refreshments are limited.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CJC
Brentwood, TN112 contributions
1/2 Day in Cotopaxi NP
Feb. 2020
After a quick lunch beside the ranger station, we received our directions and suggestions from the ranger at the main gate. Our plan was to hike up to the refuge, but after about 10 minutes, decided not to continue due to the steepness of the road and the poor visibility. We drove back downtown the interpretation center, then continued to the lake. We had a very nice hike there, going in about 45 minutes. The clouds mostly blew away and we were able to see the peak. We also got lucky and saw a wolf along the trail. We also saw beautiful wild horses roaming on the fields. We enjoyed our 1/2 + day visit to Cotopaxi, but we enjoyed Quilotoa a bit more.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wired
Toronto, Canada50 contributions
Dress right and you're good to go...up and up
Feb. 2020 • Couples
You can see it from a distance but driving up to it on switchbacks is the way to go. Once you get to the parking lot at over 12,000 ft., you have the option to walk higher to the rifugio which is a hut whee you can get food and has bathrooms. Be advised that it's pretty windy and cold up there so gloves, a hat and warm layers are advised. The scenery driving down is pretty good too. Once you get to the road at the bottom there's a small restaurant and a very good souvenir shop a few miles away.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ken Q
Denver, United States655 contributions
Beautiful Park!
Feb. 2020
We enjoyed a day trip tour to this park. Unfortunately it was cloudy so we couldn't see the top of the mountain but it was still enjoyable. We had a nice walk around the lagoon and saw many different birds.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jochem
Utrecht, The Netherlands6 contributions
Cotopaxi by Car
Nov. 2019
If you want to go to Cotopaxi by car I have some recommendations.

Always use the South Entrance and never the North entrance.

The North Entrance is a very long and bumpy dirt road. Unless you have a 4x4 it is better to avoid this one.

The South Entrance is very convenient for standard cars and way faster.

When travveling from Quito you will will see a Cotopaxi Parc sign near the village of Machachi, but this will lead you to the North entrance. Ignore this sign and keep travelling south on the highway untill you reach the Cotopaxi exit. This is about 15 minutes further south.

It may feels as a detour travelling further south and then going back north again to get to Cotopaxi, but believe me, this is way faster and more convenient.

The parc and the hike are fantastic, but bring warm clothes, enough water and some chocolate. You are hiking above 4.000 meters, so a bit of sugar can help.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Written December 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

woaishanghai
State College, PA430 contributions
A piece of sky on earth
Aug. 2019
This was a highlight of our Andes trip. The area is remote and wild. Blueberries abound which you pluck and have all day. Cotopaxi is breathtaking and the clouds roll over in a constant dance throughout the day.

The best way to do this is to stay in a hotel nearby and keep staring at this for days on end. When you are out of your stupor, go hiking and live off the blueberries.

From Quito, the easiest and cheapest way is to take a Uber for about $17; yes, seventeen dollars and not the 70 that your hotel says.
Written December 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mike
Westminster, CO83 contributions
Horseback ridung
Aug. 2019
Great day of riding and looking at the beautiful scenery. The lunch at the restaurant was excellent.
Written December 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alex H
Port St Mary, UK855 contributions
Beautiful and scenic
Nov. 2019 • Couples
We mountain biked down the volcano and across the national park using a tour company and it was absolutely amazing. The scenery is just fantastic and what better way to experience Ecuador than to visit the worlds highest active volcano and park!
Written December 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Harry R
Ramat Hasharon, Israel320 contributions
Accessible and lovely volcano park
Nov. 2019
As you drive up the slopes of the volcano, the vegetations becomes stunted and the air rarified. We reached 4,600 meters with our car in clear site of the base lodge and the glacier coating the top of the mountain cone. On the way down there is a lovely lake with a wooden planked walking path encircling ir. Birds and wild horses surround you.We very much enjoyed this lovely Andean day excursion.
Written November 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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