The Cotopaxi excursion features the perfect combination of strength and gentleness. In one hand, Cotopaxi is one of the highest and most impressive volcanoes in Ecuador with its 5897 meters. But in the other hand Cotopaxi is a national park, hosting diverse species of flora and fauna.
When we book for the Cotopaxi Tour, the only thing that we wait for is admiring the volcano… But sometimes, because of the weather, that’s not possible. Actually, it was my case. I did the tour when the weather was quite bad. It was pouring rain when we left Quito, but fortunately, at the park the weather was a bit better. Am I disappointed for not being able to see the volcano? Yes, but grateful to enjoy all the magnificent views at the national park. Still I’m including photos of this sleeping giant for your viewing pleasure!
To reach the reserve, we drove on the Panamericana road around one hour and half, a road which links Alaska and Chile and crosses the entire American continent.
Arriving there, I realized that the park was a place where mountains stretch as far as the eye can see and where the silence is only broken by almost inaudible wildlife noises. We stopped close to the Limpiopungo lagoon where we walked along for a while, allowing us to discover different endemic bird species around. The fog was there too, making the site mysterious and out of the time. With binoculars, you can live this experience of watching animals waking up; birds bringing food back to their natural habitat and chicks trying to fly around this vast expanse of water. I felt lucky to see this, enjoying the environment without being pushed by a bunch of tourists.
After the Cotopaxi Park, you would take the bus until the Saquisili market. When you arrive there, you can immediately feel the friendly generated atmosphere. All people seem to know each other. There you could appreciate meeting local people selling food, preparing dishes or working behind their sewing tables. If you want to have an idea of the rural life in Ecuador, you would appreciate this area. I met an old woman who was creating items thanks to balls of yarn she just made before. She was really nice, with a touching smile. I hope you could experience this kind of meaningful encounter yourself.
When it was time to eat, we went to the hacienda. The old and colonial style of this place makes it unforgettable. You would have a choice between several dishes depending on your expectations and preferences between Ecuadorean and international cuisine. We had music while eating, 4 excellent musicians were playing and singing in the background. My knowledge about South-American music is a disaster, but I managed to recognize the Guantanamera song!
Before coming back to Quito, we had time to visit a part of the hacienda with its large rooms and long corridors. Wood, piano, old sofas, pictures and paintings … a way to go back in time. A charming park and chapel can be visited too for a colonial style experience.
Where time is synonym of past as well as present and future, the Cotopaxi Tour is the excursion that you must experience.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
PS: My name is Audrey and I am a French student in Ecuador currently doing my internship at Gray Line Ecuador.