Cotopaxi was the first place I got to discover when I arrived in Ecuador. I was so excited and delighted to go on this tour. Even though the weather was foggy and prevented us from seeing the Cotopaxi volcano summit, the fact remains that Cotopaxi National Park is a wonderful and otherworldly place permeated by silence and peacefulness, reddish-brown soil on the volcano, and a plethora of wildflowers and wild horses in the national park. I love horses so it was extraordinary for me to be able to see so many wild horses close to me. The bus driver first brought us to the parking lot at 4600m where we started the hike.
It was cloudy and snowing but I think it added to the charm of the place, even though it was probably not the view I expected at first. The bus trip was very entertaining because the road was very bumpy. I would probably have been a bit scared in other circumstances, but it seemed that the bus driver knew what he was doing, which felt reassuring! The tour guide told us about the history of the volcano and brought to the fore its specificity, which was interesting and made me feel closer to the place. From the parking lot, we hiked until the Refuge at 4800m. The whole place was atmospheric and carried me to another world. Once in the refuge, I got to rest a bit and tried coca tea. I was not able to go up to the Glacier at 5000m because of altitude sickness, but I heard that the view was astounding up there! As we went down, the view progressively opened onto the beautiful national park. Finally, we were given the possibility to cycle down until the Limpiopungo lake viewpoint. Then the weather started to change, and the sun and warmth replaced snow and chill.
Cotopaxi National Park Day Tour allowed me to discover fully the place and the different sceneries it offers. I am not sure the experience would have been the same if I would have traveled on my own. This trip allowed me to let myself be carried along and enjoy every different thing the place has to offer: from the volcano and its red volcanic soil to abundant and plentiful vegetation surrounded by horses; and from the relaxing atmosphere of the Refuge to the adrenaline of the mountain-biking downhill. Despite the weather, this tour was an incredible first experience of Ecuador!
Written by Florence Courtois