Small Group Tours to Cotopaxi Volcano from Quito
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
It is an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains. On a clear day, Cotopaxi is clearly visible on the skyline from Quito and is part of the chain of volcanoes around the Pacific plate known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. It has an almost symmetrical cone that rises from a highland plain of about 3,800 m
Duration: 4 hours
Stop At: Laguna de Limpiopungo, Latacunga Ecuador
Its clear but frigid waters are surrounded by small mountains and hills. It has a magnificent view of the picture in a frame of elevations such as Cotopaxi, the Sincholagua and Rumiñahui. Here you can see a great variety of birds, herds of llamas and some other species of mammals, especially rabbits and deer, among others.
Duration: 30 minutes
- National Park fees
- Bottled water/ Coca tea
- Transport by private vehicle
- Certified English speaking guide
- Menu lunch (if option selected)
- Hotel pick up/ drop off in Quito ( outside of the city has extra charge)
- Entry/Admission - Cotopaxi National Park
- Entry/Admission - Laguna de Limpiopungo
- Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
- Lunch (if option not selected)
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
- Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
- A minimum of 2 people per booking is required
- Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
My husband and I usually plan self-guided trips and sign up for day trips like this one. We've never been disappointed, until now. This tour is not what it claims to be. At least, our guide spent the first part of the tour explaining how we "couldn't" visit "base camp" unless we were in VERY good shape...and then she said we couldn't go unless we had all been in Quito at least 4 days, etc. She said the group would vote, but in the end it was a decree, we aren't going to go. The first part of the tour dragged out: 20 minutes for a bathroom stop after just an hour, 30+ minutes for tea, a very slow walk around the lagoon. When it was time to at least drive onto Cotopaxi, the guide said it would be a 40-minute drive to get to the "parking lot", and put it to a vote whether everyone wanted to go. By that time everyone was hungry, and the group voted no. When I looked at a map later, I realized it wasn't close to a 40-minute drive. So we ended driving to lunch, which was mediocre at best, and sat for a long time, the guide on her phone the entire time. The view of Cotopaxi was pretty good, hence two stars instead of one, but we did not get the tour we paid for.
Absolutely wonderful day with Ana Maria as a guide. She picked us up at our hotel for the two hour drive to Cotopaxi. Once there we stopped for cacao tea at the park entrance. While my husband and I were a bit concerned that the volcano was completely in the clouds, that proved to be unfounded. Turns out only one side was surrounded by clouds, the other was clear and the clouds were like a backlight to the actual summit. As the road winds around to the other side of the volcano, the summit came into full view and it was spectacular. We saw wild horses and bulls, stopped to take pictures of the wild flowers, then up the extremely bumpy road to the parking lot just below the Refuge. My husband climbs and hikes a lot so he made it up to the refuge and then kept going to the glacier, though more slowly than usual given the altitude. I'm not very athletic or in very good shape so only managed about 200 feet up the path, which is really more like a shifting vertical sand pile. You can really feel the pressure on the heart and lungs at 14000 feet and the two prior days on altitude sickness pills really didn't make a difference -- I could barely breathe and after 10 steps my heart was pounding out of my chest. Luckily I was in good company -- lots of people stopping every few feet and Ana Maria was wonderful, stayed with me the entire time. We got up to a prominent look out and rested for a while then began the slow descent back to the car while my husband went on ahead. Walking down a near vertical shifting sand pile can be a bit dangerous too, as it turns out, and we saw quite a few people fall down. The scariest was a man who was rushing a small child, maybe about 6 or 7, down the mountain as the child was clearly beginning to suffer altitude sickness -- that made the dangers a bit real for me. But honestly I doubt I was in any real danger since I had decided to turn back early rather than try to struggle through to the Refuge. Ana Maria and I had a good time talking in her car about Ecuadorian and American culture while we waited for my husband. On the way back to the city we stopped at an excellent restaurant for a late lunch of locro soup, pork and chocolate ice cream accompanied by a glass of soursop. The ride back into the city was interesting too as we cut through numerous neighborhoods and it made me appreciate the sheer size and depth of the city. We were both pretty tired by the end but would certainly recommend this tour and the guide, Ana Maria, to anyone who wants to visit Ecuador's favorite and spectacular volcano. Even people who aren't in very good shape like me will be well taken care of by the guide and those who are more in shape can easily follow the trails to the Refuge and the glacier beyond plus there are so many other hikers you can just follow them so don't really need a guide from the parking lot. In fact, I think the guide is more helpful for people who can't make it -- Ana Maria was very reassuring and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to talk.
Just a 2 hour drive from Quito, this is a great day trip from the city. The main hike on the volcano is from the car park to the first refuge. The hike is short and can be done in normal trainers but it takes about an hour because of the altitude. Great views and a real thrill to see one of the world's most active volcanoes.
Very professional but there were a few details about this tour I didn't like. There was no water provided although there was supposed to be. When we stopped for a break our guide ordered us coca tea and had a coffee himself - I would have preferred coffee but he didn't ask.
No doubt that both the driver and the guide were immensely helpful to me and my wife They were both knowledgeable and willing to share their ideas, views, and suggestions regarding Ecuadorian cuisine, folklore, and way of thinking. Being my wife and I Costa Rican, having these gentlemen with us helped us comprehend more the local culture and their way of doing things in regards to anything linked to our hike in Cotopaxi and around the glacial lagoon at the foot of the mountain. The trip to Cotopaxi was a thrilling experience for both my wife and I who really want to thank you, Viator, for the challenging experience we had in Ecuador. Some of the best and most outstanding photographs we took were here in spite of the cold weather 2C, the windy atmosphere charged with tiny drops of rain, the altitude that affects your breathing. It is a trip for people who are willing to take themselves to other limits beyond our usual city-dwelling life. Great trip!
Pick up and drop off was good. Van was a little small and cramped for 8 of us and driver and guide. Drive was nice and views were great. Cotopaxi National Park and Volcano is worth the time. Really good time. Just get a bigger van for that many people.
A good day trip and our guide was very good however we did not get to do several of the things listed in the description - you just drive to the car park, walk to the refuge then get lunch on the way back in a nice cafe. The experience was good but shorter than advertised and overpriced.