The snow-capped cone of Cotopaxi volcano is surely one of the most recognizable images of mainland Ecuador. Dominating the otherwise relatively flat Andean landscape, it is quite a sight to behold!

The Cotopaxi national park is home to the snow capped volcano of the same name that towers above the landscape at almost 6000 metres above sea level. This makes it the second highest active volcano in the world. Relatively flat, grassy paramo (plains), lakes and rolling hills make up the rest of this 32,000 hectare park. Accessed by train or car from Quito in about 90 minutes, Cotopaxi is the first stop along the iconic Avenue of Volcanoes. Activities inside the park are based around hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and observing the flora and fauna of the area. There are several lodges located in and around the park offering easy access.

Best Time To Visit Cotopaxi

There is no bad time to visit Cotopaxi and this region. It is a high altitude area, so the days are temperate and the nights can get cold. Perhaps the best time to visit are the months of June until August when it rains the least.

best time to visit cotopaxi national park

Weather Averages in Cotopaxi

cotopaxi ecuador weather averages

Cotopaxi Highlights

Cotopaxi national park can be visited in a day trip from Quito, but for a more in depth experience why not spend a night or two at one of the nearby lodges. The perfect area for hiking, biking and horse riding.

  • Check out the Rumiñahui volcano
  • Hike to the Refugio Jose Rivas, base camp for Cotopaxi climbs
  • Go birdwatching at the beautiful Limpiopungo lagoon
  • Go mountain biking in the national park
  • Explore the nearby village and crater lake of Quilotoa


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