Cotopaxi - Quilotoa Program
This 2-day program combines some of the most exiting activities around the Andes in Ecuador: Cotopaxi bikes with the magnificent views of this great volcano and the beautiful Lagoon Quilotoa in the extinct volcano of the same name and a comfortable stay of one night in the Cotopaxi area.
Day 1 – Cotopaxi
From Quito you head South to the Cotopaxi National Park. On the way, you will make a stop at a basic local restaurant for breakfast. Once inside the park, your guide will tell you about the flora and fauna that can be found here. After parking at 4500 m (14,763 ft), you hike up to the Jose Rivas Refuge that is located at 4864 m (15,958 ft). Here you have time to rest a little and regain some energy with a hot chocolate or coffee. If you bring your original passport, you can have it stamped with a Cotopaxi stamp inside the refuge. You will head back to the parking place as a group. Afterwards you either go downhill mountain biking towards the Limpiopunga Lake, or you can choose to descend in the bus. Depending the day, lunch will be served in a restaurant or as a box lunch in the bus. After the tour head back to the lodge in the area, just outside the Cotopaxi National Park, where you will stay the night.
Day 2 – Quilotoa
Ever growing in popularity and understandably so, Quilotoa is a must see when visiting Ecuador. This volcanic crater is filled with crystal-blue water and holds a special place in local indigenous mythology for being bottomless. Along the drive to reach the crater you will pass by local markets in Saquisili (Thursdays) or Pujilí (Sundays) where you will gain an appreciation for the indigenous way of life. You’ll also pass through the canyon of Zumbahua which makes for a great photo opportunity and close to there you will visit an indigenous family. When you reach Quilotoa itself, you can walk down from the rim to the water’s edge and appreciate it´s beauty up close for yourself. Here it is also possible to go kayaking. The hike back up is rather steep however there is always the option of renting a mule for a few extra dollars. After lunch you will return to Quito, where you will arrive around 5:00 PM.
If you start this program on Thursday, the order of the two tours are reversed; you will then visit Quilotoa on Thursday and Cotopaxi on Friday. In this case, breakfast on day 1 is not included.
As the weather of Cotopaxi and Quilotoa is unpredictable, we recommend to bring warm and waterproof clothing with you. It is recommendable to be acclimatized at 2500 meters for at least 2 days before doing tour.
Travel style & Departures
This is a Shared Tour / Group Tour. This means that there will be other people on this tour besides yourself (or your travel party). This tour can start on the following days: Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday.
Yellow House Hotel – La Mariscal, Quito (on the corner of Mariscal Foch and Juan León Mera) at 6:45 AM.
Price & Inclusions
USD $140 p.p. (based on 2 passengers)
USD $155 p.p. (based on 1 passenger)