Hiking around Cotopaxi National Park

Hello all! As two weeks of snow is the perfect dose of winter fun for me, I headed off to Ecuador for the mountains and the sun.

Cotopaxi volcano

Quito is Ecuador’s capital and also the highest capital in the world! Walking along its streets is a hurdle as the altitude brings a decrease in oxygen in the surrounding air. I was here for only two days, giving me time to acclimatize and try some of South America’s delicacies.

After two days, I was off to stay at Secret Garden Cotopaxi one of the loveliest hostels that I have been to spend some time hiking. The place offers incredible views of Cotopaxi, the second-highest volcano in the country. On my first day, I and other hikers put on some rubber boots and left the hostel on foot to explore the close-by river. At the very end was a cooold waterfall where some of us took the opportunity to drop in for a (brief) swim.

The very next day I was off for a 5-hour hike to summit Pasachoa. We summited accompanied by four lovely dogs including a fifteen-year-old corgi-sized sausage dog. The breathing was hard, the walking was brisk and we reached the top at 4 200 meters above sea level. After those adventures, I warmed up in the jacuzzi and by the fireplace ready for even more hiking the next day.

Rumiñahui is a mountain named after the brother of the Aztec general overseeing Quito. It is said he died on the mountain with a chest full of treasure. While we didn’t see any gold, we did see beautiful sights along the four-hour hike. The final climb to the summit is steep and there is some scrambling but the view from 4 721 m is well worth it. I was quite tired from the past few days and the breathing was quite difficult. Summiting was such a relief!

We arrived at the hostel in time for lunch and then I was on my way back to Quito right after. I loved my first week in Ecuador and I can’t wait to share more!

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