Explore the most popular regions in Ecuador with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Laguna Cuichoa

hiking
10 days ago

Great 4 - 5 hr easy hike, beautiful surrounds with snow capped Cotocachi Volcano, and Cayambe Volcano in the distance. Absolutely beautiful, trail is marked whole way and offers benches to rest after the few steep climbs, perfect!

I love Cotopaxi. I’ve always wanted to climb it even last year (where I came so unprepared). I didn’t even make it to the Refugio. This time we signed up with two guides to try to reach to the top. Weather in June is not great. Terrible winds (maybe 40-50 miles per hour). Super intense. I still didn’t make it to the top. The Refugio is nice and clean. They definitely have TP. Although toilets don’t flush but at least they have buckets of (glacier) water so u can use them to flush the toilets yourself. For those that climb the mountain at night they have nice rooms with bunk beds to sleep. They provided dinner ( nice corn soup). Although, I didn’t summit again this time, it was a great experience and I will try it again hopefully next year.

Loved it. Incredible view from the top as well as from the bottom of the mountain . We left early in the am ( 6:45am) and reach the bottom in 45 min. Climbing up took us 1:45 min .

I love Cotopaxi. I’ve always wanted to climb it even last year (where I came so unprepared). I didn’t even make it to the Refugio. This time we signed up with two guides to try to reach to the top. Weather in June is not great. Terrible winds (maybe 40-50 miles per hour). Super intense. I still didn’t make it to the top. The Refugio is nice and clean. They definitely have TP. Although toilets don’t flush but at least they have buckets of (glacier) water so u can use them to flush the toilets yourself. For those that climb the mountain at night they have nice rooms with bunk beds to sleep. They provided dinner ( nice corn soup) although I didn’t summit again this time, I will try it again hopefully next year.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Visited at the end of April 2018. Did not trek to the summit. You need a guide to do so. Did a day hike. Took the Zig Zag trail up to Jose Rivas Refuge and continued on to the Lower Glacier. Quite strenuous due to the high altitude! Not steep, no rock scrambling or anything, just thin air. The slightest movements take effort. Elevation is around 15,000 ft when you start the trail at the parking lot. Never really saw the sun on our hike, clouds rolled in and out (which was neat), got snowed on for about 25 minutes on the way up, but yes, we did see the summit on several brief occasions- magnificent! Loose pebbles on the way down. I slipped and fell a few times. Our hike was 2.6 miles roundtrip, took us almost 4 hours- 1 hour of which was spent chilling out at the refuge and over by the glacier. At the refuge, we used the bathroom (no TP, toilet did not flush) and got our passports stamped inside. Crowded inside, drinks/snacks available, lots of flags hanging on walls- people sign them. We drove up and entered the park via the north entrance- it was sunny along the way, bumpy road, incredibly scenic. Saw llamas and wild horses too! Overall, great experience! Prior to this hike, we did one acclimating hike at Pasochoa (did not reach the summit) and spent one other day in Banos. We were definately effected by the altitude on this Cotopaxi hike. We both felt swimmy-headed and fatigued from the get go. Stuffy nose, massive headache on the way down. I suppose it doesn't help that we are from the flat lands of Florida!

3 months ago

Very beautiful. It often rains in the mid-afternoon during rainy-season, so try to plan starting your hike in the morning. Locals say hike takes 4-5hrs.

4 months ago

Ever changing lake views with a profusion of unique native flora and fauna. Well maintained trail. We hired a guide to explain the various uses of the medicinal plants.

5 months ago

Extremely difficult. Plan 2-3 hours for ascent.

Excellent trail with some steep slopes.

trail running
6 months ago

perfect!!!!!

ModerAte to hard. It gets to 3900 meters high about 12700. Steep ups and difficult ascents but doable. Beautiful views of the crater. It’s hard to believe but they are farming to this altitude.

Extremely hard. They do not believe in switchbacks. Expect to go from 11000 to 14000 in 3 miles straight up. The trail down is even harder. Beautiful at the top.

hiking
10 months ago

It is important to stress that my hike include ONLY going to the Jose F. Ribas Refuge at an elevation of 4800m and NOT to the summit of Cotopaxi.
The weather can be unpredictable as it was sunny and warm at the carpark and cold, wet, and rainy on the trail. Some type of head protection, and gloves are helpful. The trail is not technically difficult, but the effects of the altitude on the body become evident rather quickly. Trekking poles are a help. You can take the trail straight up (which is what the locals do) or you can be like us gringos and take the trail with the switchbacks. The smell of sulfur on the air is a gentle reminder that this is an active volcano.
The Refuge offers hot chocolate and a place to rest, but not much else. It is the "base camp" for the summit treks, from what I understand. Photo op with the flag and sign. The route is very heavily trafficked as most of the locals come here - especially on the weekends.

Very steep but very doable. Summer months are the best for seeing good views

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Started from the road next to Mojanda Lake. It looks like there are a few spots to begin the hike, but the trail up to the left of the peaks of Fuya Fuya is pretty self evident. My twelve year old and I made it up to the top and back in about 2.5 hours. It was partly cloudy, but we still saw a few snow capped peaks in the distance. Nice hike if you are staying in or around Otavalo.

hiking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Great hike above a spectacular lake. Climbs up through the bushy highlands in Ecuador. Highly recommended!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

hiking
Sunday, February 05, 2017

trail running
Sunday, July 10, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 15, 2016