The Cotopaxi Volcano provides a dramatic backdrop to the valley that surrounds it, and its permanent snowcap towers 5,897 metres above the valley.
Typical mammals frequenting the park include redbrocket deer, Andean fox, Andean puma and white-tailed deer, and, of course, the rare Andean speckled bear. There are also huge herds of guanacos. Birdlife is plentiful here too with the orange-faced falcon and Andean gull present to around 4,000 metres, and, if you are lucky, Andean condor.
Located some 75 kilometres south of Quito in the Ecuadorean Andes, Cotopaxi is easily visited as a day trip, or you can overnight at a hacienda. You may also consider exploring this area on the Chiva Express, a purpose-built ‘bus on rails’ that follows various routes taking in Cotopaxi, and the attractive towns of Cuenca and Riobamba.
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