The Cotopaxi volcano, an almost perfectly shaped cone covered with snow is one of the most popular and widely known volcanoes in Ecuador. It stands at 5,897 meters of altitude and its beautiful slopes and unique look makes it one of Ecuador’s most well-known natural geographical, along with Galápagos. Additionally, this great symbol of our natural geography can be recognized throughout the world due to the photographic popularity of this volcano.
Thousands of mountaineers from all over the world have achieved their trek to the summit and thousands more dream of making the climb. Because it is located in the center of the Inter-Andean alley and is very close to several cities such as Quito and Latacunga, the Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most visited sites in Ecuador. It is also where many visitors to our country have had the amazing opportunity to touch snow for the first time.
The impressive and imposing Cotopaxi is one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world. It dominates the entire landscape of the National Park and its protected areas, which also includes two smaller volcanoes named, Morurco (4,880 m) and Rumiñahui (4,722 m). The Cotopaxi is located in what is known as the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, a name that the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt gave to the set of volcanoes of the central and northern Sierra of Ecuador in 1802 after climbing the summits in record time. The predominant ecosystem in
the park is the páramo, with its unique flora and fauna, so the main vegetation is pajonal or scrubland, with small, short shrubs covering much of the land.
The Cotopaxi, which also happens to be the second highest mountain in the country, is an active volcano and sometimes you can even see fumaroles. While it is an active volcano, it is not as active as the neighboring Tungurahua and Sangay, which are more difficult to safely climb.
No matter where you are in the Cotopaxi National Park, you can look around and take in the exceptional view that will awaken a feeling of absolute freedom inside of you. You will exist in harmony with the various species of flora and fauna that are native to the area such as: cougars, wolves moors, white-tailed deer, alpacas, and llamas.
Not only is this National Park a center of extreme adventure, it is also a brilliant culinary destination for those who want to experience the delicious and characteristic dishes of the area including such dishes as chugchucaras which are made with fried pork, mote, potatoes, bananas, empanadas, canguil, and pork hogs, and are accompanied by a delicious hot pepper sauce, made with chilies, tomato, cilantro, and onion. Other characteristic dishes one can try are llapingachos and roasted guinea pig.