Cotopaxi Volcano Quito Reviews
Hike Cotopaxi volcano May 06, 2005
Do try to take a day trip to Cotopaxi Volcano, at least climbing up to the refugio. Driving up from Quito, you will see interesting villages and landscapes, and entering the National Park, you will pass through Andean grasslands and Eucalipt and pine forests (imported). There is a nice lake for hiking around, where often wild horses can be seen, and there is an interesting little museum, explaining a lot about the plants and wildlife you will see along the way up to the volcano.
On the way to Cotopaxi Volcano, we saw wild horses at Lago Limpiopungo, which is a lake about half way to the volcano in the National Park. This makes a nice walk to get acclimatized to the height before climbing the mountain.
Most day-trippers to Cotopaxi only climb to the Refugio Jose Rivas, which is at 4800 m. altitude. Expect to get tired and out of breath, especially if you are not used to climbing! As they say, it is as if you have an elephant sitting on your chest!
Then, believe me.. going up the mountain is a LOT harder than getting down again. Since most parts of the trail consist of fine volcanic ash you just let go and literally RUN down! Don't stumble however, before you know it you will be ROLLing down..
In the picture you can see a group of local schoolchildren climbing up to the refugio. Yes, even children were panting the whole way up!
Part of the Ecuador and the Galapagos (2005) travel blog
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