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Hiking To Cotopaxi's Refuge - Hiking Cotopaxi National Park - Ecuador

Cotopaxi’s main refuge, Refugio José Ribas, is popular destination not only for those willing to take on the challenge of reaching the top of the volcano, but also for day trippers who want to get closer to the mountain and touch the snowline. Guided hiking tours to the refuge can be booked through the park’s hotels.

From the main park entrance, follow the road for about 20 kilometers (12 mi) to a parking area below the refuge. The Park Service has placed signs at most of the key intersections and, unless it’s foggy, you will see Cotopaxi and the road leading up to it on your right.

From the parking area, situated at 4,500 meters (14,760 ft), it is a steep, one-hour climb to the refuge (4,800 m / 15,648 ft). If you intend to climb to the peak, it’s wise to settle into the refuge by mid-afternoon as you will have to leave the comfort of your sleeping bag between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.


Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador


Getting There

Guided hiking tour (booked through a park hotel): $30-80.

Travel Tips:

Price Description:

Relative price: Mid-Range

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Currencies accepted
US dollar

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

25 Oct 2013

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