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Cotopaxi Refuges - Guesthouse Cotopaxi National Park - Ecuador

Within Parque Nacional Cotopaxi are three refuges that offer dorm-style lodging. The two on the flanks of Volcán Cotopaxi are limited only to those who will be climbing the volcano. You should bring your own sleeping bag.

· Refugio José Ribas – This the main mountain refuge that almost everyone scaling Cotopaxi stays in. It's on the northern slope (4,850 m / 15,912 ft) of Volcán Cotopaxi is the most-used facility in the park. Restricted to those who will summit the volcano, the Alpes-styled hut has room for 60 people. The first floor has two dining halls and equipped kitchens. On the second story are the dorm-styled accommodations and bathrooms. The hut has electricity only for two hours at night. Do not expect to have a quality sleep due to noise from other climbers and the high elevation. Most alpinists wake at 11 p.m. to start their trek up the mountain. Refugio Ribas is also exceptionally damp and cold, so a good sleeping bag necessary. Lockers provide reasonable security for your gear, but be sure to bring your own padlock. The refuge is a 30 minute high elevation walk from the top parking lot.

· Albergue Paja Blanca – Located that the Estación Mariscal Sucre complex (3,600 m / 11,808 ft), this refuge has two cabins, with capacity for 20 persons total. It has a common bath with one hot-water shower.

· Refugio Cara Sur – This refuge, perched on the south face of Volcán Cotopaxi, has two parts, depending on the type of activity the tourist will do. At 4,000 meters (13,120 ft) is Albergue Cotopaxi Cara Sur: two cabins with rooms for two, three and five persons (total capacity: 10), that have bathrooms, common room with fireplace and restaurant. Cara Sur’s second refuge, Campamento Alto (4,780 m / 15,679 ft) is a three-hour climb above the albergue. This refuge provides large tents for climbers attempting the mountain from this side. To reach this refuge, enter the park at the Lasso entrance off the Pan-American Highway, and travel to the community of Ticatilín; from there it is a three-hour walk to the albergue.


Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador


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By Darrel Nitsche

ESL teacher, travel writer and travel photographer. �My next destination will take me to the Zona Cafetera,...

27 Sep 2013

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