Trekking in the Cotopaxi National Park
Five-day Cotopaxi trek for £850pp
This 5-day trek is perfect for people without too much experience of high-altitude trekking, taking you right through the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" so you get some amazing views of Cotopaxi, Antisana and Rumiñahui before we head on past some Inca ruins towards our final destination - the twin snow-capped peaks of Illiniza Norte y Sur.
Our last night will be spent at the base of Illiniza in a lovely old hacienda, and then the next morning, depending on how the first few days have gone, we can either have a relaxing days walking in the foothills of Cotopaxi or attempt to summit Illiniza Norte - the easiest of the twin Illiniza peaks - which is a great non-technical opportunity to reach a 5000m summit.
Day One – Trekking on Pasochoa
Leaving Quito this morning, we will head for the extinct volcano of Pasochoa, where our trek begins. As we walk uphill towards its summit (4200m) we will enjoy some gorgeous views of the neighbouring peaks such as Antisana, Rumiñahui and Cotopaxi. We will then head south on a easy-going trail along the crater edge of this extinct volcano, giving us a good chance to see condors and other birds of prey, before we descend into a lovely verdant valley where we will spend the night.
Day Two - Pasochoa to Limpiopungo
Most of our walk today will be on flat terrain as we head towards the Cotopaxi National Park and explore its northern boundaries. We will also have a short visit to the pre-Inca ruins of El Salitre, which as well as being interesting themselves, also afford magnificent views of Cotopaxi's glaciers. Afterwards we will continue down into the Limpiopungo valley and tonight's campsite.
Day Three - Rumiñahui
This will be the longest day of our trekking tour as we walk along a winding trail around the peak of the imposing Rumiñahui. We can again observe several endemic birds of prey and on the horizon we will also begin to see Ecuador's largest and arguably most beautiful mountain, the mighty Chimborazo. The twin peaks of Illinizas will also come into view towards the end of the day, as we reach the western boundary of the Cotopaxi National Park and our campsite.
Day Four - Cotopaxi National Park
Today we will keep on our trail and leave the Cotopaxi National Park by the old railway station. Continuing in a westerly direction, we will pass through woods, over rivers and across fields, until we reach a lovely old Hacienda at the base of Illiniza where we can enjoy a traditional meal and a drink or two in the beautiful surroundings.
Day Five - Climb of Corazon or Illinizas Norte
What we do today is up to you: we can either attempt a summit of the north peak of Illinizas - an easy non-technical climb and definitely recommended as training for anyone thinking of attempting Cotopaxi - or we can enjoy an easier trek along the slopes of Corazón. Whichever we choose, we will then head back to Quito in the early evening.
Our standard price for this Cotopaxi trek is £850 per person and we can fit this trek into any of our holidays in Ecuador.
That price includes all transport between Quito and Cotopaxi, overnight accommodation in local haciendas, the services of a guide, equipment, and all meals.