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Cotopaxi – Bike and Hike

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The tour to Cotopaxi National Park is an exciting and action-packed day that begins with the jaw-dropping views of the Andean landscape along the Avenida de los Volcanes – the Volcanoes Avenue, or the vast strip of land that showcases Ecuador’s peaks en route to our destination. Once in Cotopaxi National Park, we will hike for about 45 minutes to the Limpiopungo Lake while our guide shares their knowledg]e about the volcano and its surrounding ecosystem and microclimate. Not only will you experience beautiful glimpses and views of the Cotopaxi slopes, but you will also learn about the animals and plants native to the region. After our hike to the lake, we will descend by bike to the control and enjoy lunch before heading back to Quito. Note that the weather in Cotopaxi is unpredictable, and at such altitude you will want to bring warm layers!

Pick up at 7am at a central location
Arrive at Cotopaxi National Park.
Visit to Interpretation Center Mariscal.
Explanation about volcano /animals/ plants/etc.
Hiking from Rinconada or camping zone to Limpiopungo Lake (approximately 45 minutes)
Biking to the control (1 hour approximately)
Return to Quito


“I did a lot of research and compared to other companies they were cheaper and offered about the same trip experience. We had Omar and he was just excellent. He was very knowledgeable about Ecuador. He made the trip very enjoyable. He gave excellent advice and he was very helpful. The Cotopaxi trip was just awesome. The hiking was strenuous but once we reached the refuge it was great. The biking part of the trip was awesome and you could see the change in scenery that you wont be able to if you’re stuck in a car and better yet you can take your time biking.” – Jenine A

“We arrived on a late friday night with zero bookings, and were having terrible luck with booking any tours anywhere with most places either closed, or not english speaking. Emily was a blessing in disguise. We got there for the free walking tour (see separate review) and saw they had a bunch of different tours. We booked the Amazon & Cotopaxi tours and because they were so great we went back and booked the Otavalo and Quilatoa trip, including the transportation to the Middle of the Earth.

The total cost was $55 and included pick up either in the old town or Plaza Foch, breakfast, lunch and bike rentals. It took us about an hour and a half to get to breakfast (Eggs, Pancakes w/ fruit, toast w/ butter & jam, coffee or tea, fruit juice). From there we headed to the Cotopaxi National Park. If you have gloves bring them with you because the refuge will get really cold. They stop at the entrance so you can buy gloves ($2) or ear bands ($3), shawls etc. You can bargain here. I really suggest wearing layers (ideally with the last one being waterproof) and bringing water, and having your ears covered. We also bought some coca candy which apparently helps with the altitude sickness. The climb up takes over an hour and it was snowing / raining ice when we climbed up. Its not too bad a climb and I am in not so great physical shape so I imagine other people would get up with more ease. Once you get up top there is a place to buy hot chocolate and other stuff – ranges from $2 up. The climb down is more direct through the volcanic ash, and is fairly quick, although prepare to slip a few times – If you have a hiking stick – Bring it. From there we drove down a bit to start the mountain biking. I hate mountain biking so probably should have opted out but did it anyways and it is BUMPY! The bus follows you so you never feel like you’ll wind up on the side of the road, but took me a bit to get down – approximately 30-40 minutes. It is fairly steep on a bike. They give you a helmet and give you brief instructions on changing gears etc. The guide ensured everyone was safe and kept an eye on people, sometime riding back to check on me (last one in the trail of people). Once we finished here there was a small bathroom stop to buy postcards etc and they will stamp your passport if you like with the cotopaxi national park stamp and then off to lunch at the same place we had breakfast (Soup, pork with rice, potatoes, and veggies, followed by dessert and juice)” – Tadew from Mississauga, Canada.

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