back to: Quito (and vicinity) Ecuador
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Location: Cotopaxi National Park, Cotopaxi, Ecuador | Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Category: Tours & Sightseeing
Postcard-worthy views of Cotopaxi from the Limpio Pungo lake
Scenic train ride through volcanic terrain & the Andean landscape
Chance to see high-altitude red & yellow chuquiragua flowers
Traditional Andean lunch in a historic, colonial hacienda
Opportunity to see roses grown at a mountain flower farm
Guided tour of Cotopaxi National Park
Roundtrip transportation to and from select Quito hotels
Commentary in English and Spanish
Set out for a mountain adventure, reaching the high-altitude scenery of the Andes to Cotopaxi National Park by train. Take in views of the snow-capped peak, see Limpio Pungo lake and a forest of chuquiragua flowers, and enjoy a traditional lunch in a colonial hacienda.
After you're picked up from your hotel, make your way to the Chimbacalle railroad station, followed by a nearly 2-hour scenic train ride towards Machachi. Next, hop on a bus to Laguna Limpio Pungo, a charming high-altitude lake at the base of the volcano, and keep your eyes peeled for Andean condors, deer, and foxes in the brush.
Time and weather permitting, continue on to the chuquiragua forest; these “flowers of the Andes” bloom pale yellow and orange at an altitude of nearly 14,000 feet (4,200 m). Enjoy some free time for lunch at an Ecuadorian restaurant in the historic Hacienda of San Agustin de Callo—authentic Andean dishes on offer include llapingachos (fried potato cakes), steamed tamales, quinoa soup, and locro (a rich potato and cheese soup with avocado).
After lunch, visit a flower plantation, where you can see the charming varieties of roses that flourish in the fertile volcanic soil before your return trip to Quito.
Cancellation Policy: 72 hours
Know before you book:
Children 2 and younger are complimentary.,
The Flowers Plantation is open Monday–Friday.,
The train operates Tuesday–Saturday.
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