Ecuador 🇪🇨 - Cotopaxi

· 6 min read

Tips 👏

  • Cotopaxi Volcano is the highest active volcano in the world at 5897m.
  • It’s a quite cold and windy area, so bring adequat gear.
  • ATMs are not frequent, withdraw before.
  • The hike and tour are quite long, so take water and snacks with you.

🏠 Accommodation

We slept at Chuquiragua Lodge and that was very nice. Big and modern bedroom, good breakfast, nice view on the volcano and SPA. It’s a relaxing place, but expensive (count 50£ for a private bedroom) with some details off (not super hot shower, 2$/coffee…).

🚲 Getting there

We used Ecuador Hop as good newbies. It took about 1h from Quito, more below.

⏱ Duration

We stayed one night and one full day and felt that was good.

Ecuador Hop 🚎

We found this service online by looking for transport solution in Ecuador. It’s essencially a line of tourist bus stopping in the main attractions of the country. The good part is you can go on and off the bus as you wish. The bad part is that it’s usually big group, and more expensive than local transports.

We decided to go with it for simplicity sake, and booked the transport from Quito to Baños on their website. It costed us around 50$ each, including two day activities.

Overall we quite enjoyed it since the bus was comfy, on time, and the staff were friendly. We found it way better that Peru Hop since smaller groups and nicer guides. We believed that you can find way better deals by yourself, but if you’re alone or you can’t be bothered it’s a good alternative. We also had some issues with pick-ups, but they are very responsive via mail, so we managed to fix it on time.

Cotopaxi Volcano 🌋

After an early wake-up, we got picked-up by the bus at 6:30AM in our Quito’s hotel. On the way, the guide proposed us to opt-in for the tour to the volcano for 40$/person, which we found pricy but honest in the end, since it was including all the driving, breakfast, lunch on the same day.

An hour and a half of drive later, we arrived at the Chuquiragua Lodge where we got fresh breakfast and checked-in. We had a good hour to relax in our rooms, until the other bus arrived to pick us up. We did our first stop at 3600m, 40 minutes later, to take a coca tea, acclimatate to the altitude and picked-up our two lovely local guides.


An encouter with a dear later, we carried on the drive for an extra 40 minutes up to the parking lot at 4500m below the volcano. We jumped out of the bus, put our cold gear on since the wind was strong AF, and started the hike toward the refugio. It took us around 1h of ascend in the windy steep ashes slopes of the volcano to arrive at the viewpoint, where we enjoyed the spectacular view for 15 minutes with another 2$ coca tea.


It took us then around 20 minutes to go back down to the bus. We’ve hopped on our seats and drove other 40 minutes to the super windy Limpiopungo Lagoon. We stopped for 15 minutes to admire the view on the volcano, learn about medicinal plants and even spotted two condors cruising around. After the break, we headed straight back to the lodge where our frugal lunch was waiting for us, followed by a well deserved siesta.