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THE COTOPAXI VOLCANO

Let me tell you a little bit more about this Ecuadorian colossus.


Source: Aya Huma Free Walking, 2021


GENERAL INFORMATION


National Park Cotopaxi

Location: Cotopaxi, Napo, Pichincha

Extension: 33,393 ha.

Year of creation: 1975

Altitude: 3400 - 5897 masl


The Cotopaxi volcano, an almost perfect snowy cone that rises to 5,897 meters of altitude, the Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most visited and surely where many people touch the snow for the first time.


Cotopaxi is located in the area called "Avenue of the Volcanoes", a name that the German naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt in 1802 gave to the set of volcanoes in the central and northern Sierra of Ecuador.


Source: Aya Huma Free Walking, 2021


The predominant ecosystem in the park is the moor, with its special flora and fauna, so the main vegetation is grassland and small tall shrubs.


GEOGRAPHY


Cotopaxi, the second highest mountain in the country, is an active volcano. On the eastern banks of the Cotopaxi and along the Pita River, which runs north, are large rocks and volcanic material, a consequence of the last eruption of the volcano in 1877.


CULTURAL ASPECTS


His name, although there is no unanimity on the matter, seems to be of Kichwa origin. According to this, the most widespread translation indicates that "coto" means neck or throat, and "paxi" refers to the Moon, so its meaning would be "neck of the Moon."


Source: Aya Huma Free Walking, 2021


LIMPIOPUNGO LAGOON


The Limpiopungo lagoon is located at an altitude of 3,800 meters and covers approximately 200 hectares. It does not have a clear edge like other lagoons, but the terrain around it is gradually becoming muddy. It has many cattail plants among which ducks’ nest; Andean seagulls and other birds fly around the lagoon.



HOW TO GET TO COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK?


From Quito Caspi control entrance. To enter the park, continue along the southern Pan-American highway (Quito - Latacunga section) until kilometer 42, where you will find the detour to enter the Park. From here it is 15 minutes on a paved road to get to the checkpoint.

North control entry. Take the Panamericana Sur to Machachi and then continue to the town of Güitig. From here you continue along the cobbled path until you reach El Pedregal. In 20 minutes you reach the control booth.


Source: Ministerio del Ambiente, 2021




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