Along the range of the Andean Mountains we can find the Cotopaxi National Park filled with an exceptional variety of flora and fauna species; also, it is home to the active volcano Cotopaxi (5,897 meters above sea level). The Limpiopungo lagoon is located at the foot of the volcano and here one could enjoy the view of the Andean Paramo and take incredible shots of the lagoon and the volcano. Next day we arrive to the Quilotoa Zone, our first stop will be in the “Shalalá” overlook which you would recognized by its transparent structure. There we will be able to admire the beautiful Quilotoa Lagoon with its incredible turquoise waters. From this point, we will descend to the lagoon where you will have free-time to visit it, the ascent is thru a path that connects us to the lookout of the community. (The ascent is over steep, so it is recommended to go up on a mule for people who are not in good physical condition).
ItineraryDay 1: QUITO - COTOPAXI Stop At: Cotopaxi National Park, Cotopaxi ProvinceOn the border of the province of Pichincha, there is the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological reserve that combines the landscape of the Andean páramo, volcanic soil and the lagoon that emerge from the snow-capped mountains. Its main attraction is the volcano that bears its name which in Spanish means 'moon neck' given because of the conical shape of the crater. The elevation of the volcano is of 5,897 meters above sea level and is the second highest in the country. Visitors can discover different species of plants and animals like: wolves, rabbits, condors, and among others that live in that territory. Visit The Interpretation Center: All information about the Cotopaxi National Park is available at the Interpretation Center, or better known as the Park Museum. The Center has showrooms, a souvenir shop and a coffee shop. It is located inside Mariscal Sucre Station (or Control Caspi entrance). Walk To The José Rivas Refuge (4864 Masl): Since the 70s, this refuge has been a welcoming place for professional mountaineers and amateurs coming to visit the Cotopaxi Volcano. Its name is in honor of the priest José Ribas who built it with the Mountaineering Club of San Gabriel High School. This place is located on the slopes of the volcano and an hour's walk from the parking lot.Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Bed in a mixed dormitory room (bunk beds) with shared bathroom and lockers for your thingsDay 2: COTOPAXI - QUILOTOA - QUITOStop At: Laguna Quilotoa, Cotopaxi ProvinceVisit to the viewpoints of Shalala and Quilotoa: The beginning of the lagoon of Quilotoa is Shalala viewpoint, a space built in 2014, with sustainable materials, that allows to contemplate the beauty of nature from 3900 meters above sea level. This is a project of the community, which was supported by the Ministry of Tourism. Its design was a winner of the second place of the 2015 Work of the Year Award. Hike and visit to the Quilotoa Lagoon: The crater of the dormant volcano forms a bowl that collects the azure waters of the lagoon. Its color is due to the accumulation of sulfur. According to legend, this was the scene of the battle between the Quilotoa gods who lived on the surface and Toachi, who was under the lake, because that aroused envy the ability of the first to reflect the color of the sky. This natural attraction is 15 kilometers away from the town of Zumbahua and is characterized by the icy winds that run the place. Visit to the artisan workshop in the community Of Tigua: Color is the protagonist of the stories that narrate the crafts of Tigua, works that are manufactured by the community of the same name. These paintings bear geometric and figurative forms, typical of the pre-Columbian and colonial times respectively. The traces expose the passage of time, which is an important element of the Andean worldview. Most are masks made of pine wood and paintings created on sheep skin, which tell experiences of everyday life.Duration: 6 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • LunchNo accommodation included on this day.