Hiking
Trip Style
Thursday & Saturday
Departures
8 – 9 Hours
Duration
Full-Day
Trip Type

2-Day Trip of Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Tour from Quito

Embark on a Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Tour! Take a 2-day trip through the Avenue of the Volcanoes towards two of the most important landmarks in the Ecuadorian Sierra: Cotapaxi and Quilotoa Tour. On day one, visit Cotopaxi Volcano and climb up to the first refugee, take an optional bike ride afterwards. Lodge in the comfy Chuquiragua lodge and get ready for your next adventure. On day two, ride towards Quilotoa Crater Lagoon for an amazing hike and visit Tigua artisan’s town to end you adventure before returning back to Quito.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Drive through the unforgettable mountain villages settled on the Avenue of the Volcanoes on your trip to Quilotoa and Cotopaxi.
  •  Enjoy a stunning scenery, crisp mountain air at Cotopaxi National Park at a short drive from Quito.
  •  Step into the Paramo biodiversity at Limpiopungo Lagoon, climb up to the glaciers (depends on weather conditions).
  •  Enjoy an optional biking adventure on the ladders of Cotopaxi Volcano.
  •  Visit the different towns and get enriching encounters with local culture
  •  Walk and down to the beautiful turquoise waters of Quilotoa Caldera

SHARED DEPARTURE Thursday & Saturday
PRIVATE DEPARTURE Every day (extra cost)
DEPARTURE LOCATION Q” Restaurant, located at Barrio Mariscal at Mariscal Foch y Juan León Mera
RETURN LOCATION Q” Restaurant, located at Barrio Mariscal at Mariscal Foch y Juan León Mera
DEPARTURE TIME Around 07:00 am.
DURATION  8 – 9 Hours Approximately
WEAR Comfortable clothing, hiking shoes, hat, jacket and sunscreen.
INCLUDED Bilingual Professional Guide.
Transportation to/from Quito.
Accommodation in a Double Room in Chuquiragua Lodge in Machachi (Standard Room)
Lunch (Days 1 and 2) and Breakfast (Day 2)
Dinner on the night of Day 1
Bike & helmet for Cotopaxi
NOT INCLUDED Quilotoa entrance fee.
Cost of extra activities not listed (bikes, kayaks etc)
Optional mule ride to the Quilotoa.
Hotel pickup and drop-off (meeting point is Barrio Mariscal – See notes)
Additional food and drinks.
Hotel in Quito (we can arrange your hotel accommodation if need)
Tips & Gratuities (optional)

 

Day 1

From Quito to Cotopaxi Volcano

Meet at 6:45am with the guide and the group at the designated meeting point in Quito.

At 7am we leave by car driving south of Quito for approx. 1.5-hour through the Pan-American highway aka. Avenue of the Volcanoes. We’ll then reach the park entrance of Cotopaxi National Park and the get ready to enjoy a fresh Andean-style breakfast.

Drive through pine forest and soon reach the Interpretation Center Mariscal and get to know the volcano and its unique fauna and flora.

Afterwards, and depending on the physical abilities of the group, drive towards Limpiopungo Lake located at 3.800 m or Rinconada camping zone, to enjoy a hike around this stunning environment to observe birds and the magnificent view of Cotopaxi Volcano

Get your helmets, gloves on and begin your bike adventure. Bike on dirt roads through volcanic ash and a tundra landscape for about 7 kilometers until the North gate of the Park and continue along the Paramo landscape until reaching the main entrance of the park. 10 km. approx. – ride on paved road). Cross the main gate and bike along a short pine forest single trek to reach the main road (optional).

A stop between activities will give us time to enjoy a well-deserved lunch to regain strength.  

Say goodbye to the volcano and get in the van again to drive back. Drop-off at Chuquiragua Lodge in Machachi (Standard Rooms).

Day 2

Machachi to Quilotoa Lagoon and back to Quito

Pick-up form Chuquiragua Hotel. The first stop will be Latacunga City at Cotopaxi Province. From this point, head west for a 1-hour drive through the unforgettable Andean scenery towards the village of Quilotoa.

Visit a local town and get in contact with the Andean culture (either Saquisilí or Pujilí). Get the chance to mix with the rich Andean culture of the local community that inhabits the surrounding area by visiting either Saquisil, Pujili or Zimbahua Indian markets (depends on the day). 

The lovely town of Zimbahua comes right before we start hiking down towards the turquoise colored Quilotoa Lagoon. Trek around this natural wonder of water holding strong minerals, formed by the collapsed volcanic caldera. From the rim hike down towards the banks of the lagoon and then climb back up.

Have lunch at a local restaurant and then stop at the small town Tigua (famous for the Tigua art – paintings made with chicken feather brushes over sheep hide canvas – a celebration of the mountain life, the festivals, the legends, and traditions of the area). In the late afternoon, head back to Quito.

NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Please keep in mind that due to the nature of this tour and the given that Cotopaxi is an active volcano, this itinerary may vary.

 

 

USEFUL INFO FOR YOUR COTOPAXI AND QUILOTOA TOUR

Climate & Altitude Conditions (IMPORTANT)

Though this tour is categorized as soft adventure, please note that you will be traveling from an altitude of 4,810m (15780 ft) above sea level once reaching the first refugee at Cotopazy and at 5,000m if you choose to ascend to the Cotopaxi Volano glaciers (depending on the weather conditions). It is important that you are prepared beforehand for this kind of altitude and make sure you are up to the hiking and biking challange. There are smoother options for this trip as well if you don’t feel like climbing to the first refugee. We recommend acclimatizing first. Please inform us of any known medical conditions before the excursion.

The weather in the area of the Quilotoa Lagooa is unpredictable so please bring warm and waterproof clothing. Quilotoa is located at 3,800 masl and the temperatures usually hovers around the 12°so we recommen acclimatizing at least one day. Please, don’t make this excursion you first right after arriving Ecuador. The hike is easy and you need no climbing expertise, however, we do recommend to climb back up from the lagoon on a mule or horse. Swimming in the lagoon is not recommended.

What to bring:

Warm clothes,
Eaterproof jacket
Gloves
Sunscreen
Hat
Hiking shoes
Extra pair of socks.
Extra pants

Clothing Suggestions:

Comfortable and warm clothes (appropriate for location)
Comfortable hiking shoes
Waterproof jacket
Sunglasses, hat or cap with visor, gloves and sun screen
Extra pair of shoes and socks
Walking stick

Tipping:

Please feel free to tip your local guides and drivers if you are content with their services. Even if not compulsory, it is regarded as gratitude gesture to the people who will take care of you during the trip. But please remember, it is not a must.

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Please be aware that the prices may vary, so in order to GET THE BEST PRICE for the dates you desire please fill out the request form below.

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