Life in Cotopaxi National Park is Full of Adventure – Ultimate Guide to Reach Here
Recognized as Ecuador’s top most mainland ecological reserve, the Cotopaxi national park is ranked 2nd in terms of annual visitors. Spanning a massive stretch of around 33,400 hectares, the Cotopaxi national park boasts one of the most picturesque volcanoes of the continent, the eponymous Cotopaxi volcano, along with two other gigantic peaks.
Adding to its charm is the vast flourishing Paramo – a high treeless plateau in tropical South America – perfect for gentle hikes past grazing animals. Ask any travel expert to weave this into your Ecuadorian itinerary; you won’t be disappointed. Here are some insights about Cotopaxi national park – a true marvel of nature – which might prove useful to you if you are planning a Cotopaxi national park tour with family or friends.
Rising up out of the plains to a gigantic height of 5,897mtrs, Cotopaxi volcano is the second highest mountain in Ecuador, and often considered the most photogenic of all its fellow volcanoes. Translated as the neck of the moon in the local Quechan dialect when the full moon is directly over the top, the effect is that of a head with a sloping neck), Cotopaxi is a perfectly symmetrical cone covered by a thick blanket of snow which captivates its climbers with its heart-stirring views.
Historically, all this sheer beauty has masked a hidden beast. Very much an active volcano even today, there is no denying Cotopaxi’s potentially deadly destructive ability. The first major eruption occurred reportedly in the year 1534 which disrupted the battle between the Spanish and the Incas; since then there have been 10 eruptions, the last major burst occurred in 1904. In August 2015, Cotopaxi rumbled once again, sending out a thin plume of gas and ash. The activity has subsided since then (no major blow-out occurred), but the locals and volcanologists are alert and watchful.
Flora and Fauna of Cotopaxi National Park:
The majority of the park is covered by widespread grasslands and the Paramo, and this is where the wildlife action happens. Cotopaxi houses commendable populations of wild, free-roaming species of deer, rabbits, Andean foxes and the endemic marsupial mouse. You can witness llamas grazing the fields and wild horses galloping across the vast terrain. It is also home to the elusive puma and the endangered Spectacled Bear.
What to Do in Cotopaxi National Park?
Cotopaxi national park is famous for different things and activities to do by visitors. Some of which are:
- Horse riding
- Day Trip
- Climbing the Cotopaxi Summit
- Camping etc
What to Pack for Cotopaxi National Park Tour?
Cotopaxi national park can get quite cold especially early in the morning and at late night. You still need proper clothing if you are only hiking to the shelter. Here is the list of essentials to bring to a trip to Cotopaxi national park no matter if you are staying the night or hiking to the shelter.
- Hiking Shoes
- Hydration backpack
- Polarized sunglasses
- Waterproof gloves etc.
So, when you are going to Cotopaxi national park for a holiday trip; do follow this guide to have a beautiful and memorable tour.