What to do

Cotopaxi

Andes

Located in the East Andes Cordillera, 80 km (50 miles) or 2 hrs drive from Quito, following the Pan-American Highway, southbound, then entering the park area through the “Caspi” gate.
Cotopaxi, the second highest mountain in Ecuador, is the most popular, snow-capped volcano in the country, due to its close proximity to Quito, Ecuador’s capital, as well as its ease-of-access and quality facilities.
“Yanasacha”, a large dark wall of stone, which looms, on the North Face, just below the summit, is Cotopaxi’s identifying characteristic.
The most popular hikes for non-experienced climbers are the 45 minutes loop around “Limpiopungo Lagoon” – a nice hike on flat land – and the 45-60 minutes trek from the parking lot at 4,600 m (15,091 ft.) to the hut, at 4,864 m (15,958 ft.). From the hut, one can continue up to the glaciers. Warm clothes and good walking shoes are recommended.
To reach the summit, requires at least two days, as well as appropriate technical and climbing gear, such as crampons, ice axe and crevasse rescue gear. Mountain-climbing experience is recommended.

Useful Data

Elevation:
5,897 m (19,347 ft.)
Last eruption:
1904
First climbers:
Wilhelm Reiss & Angel Escobar
Best months for climbing:
Climbable year round; however the best climbing months are: June, July, December & January. Rainiest Months: April & May

Suggested Route

Cotopaxi is located in the East Andes Cordillera, 80 km (50 miles) or 2 hrs drive from Quito, following the Pan-American Highway, southbound, then entering the park area through the “Caspi” gate.

Distances

Quito: 80 km

Facilities

José F. Rivas hut, 4,864 m (15,958 ft.)
Other facilities, such as toilets, can also be found at the main entrance and at the Mariscal Sucre Visitor Center.

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