Updated February 25th, 2020.
The 2-day tours depart three times per week:
*Please note – If you start the tour on a Thursday, you will do the Quilotoa Crater Lake on Day 1, followed by Cotopaxi Bike and Hike on Day 2. The first breakfast on Day 1 is not included if you start the tour on a Thursday.
Day 1: Cotopaxi Bike and Hike
You will be picked up around 7.00 am in New Town, Quito. There will be a breakfast stop before you travel to Cotopaxi National Park. Once you arrive, you will visit the Interpretation Centre where you will learn about the Cotopaxi National Park. Inside the centre, there are showrooms, a coffee shop and souvenirs for purchase.
After your visit to the centre, you will head to the parking place where you will receive an explanation about Cotopaxi volcano itself, as well as the flora and fauna characteristic of the area.
You will hike up to the refugee which is situated at 4864 m. The hike can be challenging due to the altitude so it is likely you will be grateful for the rest once you reach the destination! At the refugee, you will have a rest and be able to enjoy the views of the National Park.
You will begin downhill cycling to Limpiopungo Lagoon after the break. This will take around an hour. After you enjoy your hard-earned lunch, the transport will take you to your evening accommodation. Depending on availability, you will stay at Papagayo Hosteria or Chuquiragua Lodge.
Day 2: Quilotoa Crater Lake
You will be picked up from your lodge accommodation between 8.00 – 8.30 am. Here you will enjoy breakfast before starting the tour.
The trip begins with a visit to an indigenous market which varies depending on which days you do the tour. On Thursdays, you will visit Saquisilí and on Sundays, you will head to Pujilí. Visitors who have already seen the Otavalo market will appreciate the contrast between the two different kinds of markets.
After your market trip, you will head to Quilotoa Crater to take in the views of this natural beauty from the mirador at the top. From here, you will make your way down to the lake. There is an option to rent kayaks and the bottom (not included in price). This is a tough hike and those not wanting to brave the ascent back up can rent a horse or mule for the journey (not included in price).
After the trek is over, you will visit the Tigua community who are well known for their handicrafts. Your return to Quito will be around 6.00 pm.