After our brief tour of Colombia the next stop on our journey was Ecuador! We flew into Quito, but as we hadn’t heard great things about the city, we decided to head straight to Latacunga, which was about 2 hours south.
One of the main attractions of Latacunga is the active volcano close by: Cotopaxi. With our hostel you could book onto a tour to go up to the refuge camp which was at 4864m above sea level – which would be the highest I’ve ever been! Luckily the tour gave us all hats and gloves or I think we would’ve been freezing… you will see how stylish we all look later.
We arrived at the entrance of the park and had a look around the museum – as well as enjoying some coca tea to help with the altitude.
We then began our drive up towards the volcano where we would start walking at 4500m (cheating a bit I know), and on the way we were able to get some good snaps of the volcano and the surrounding mountains.
It was really hard to get a good shot before it was covered in cloud!
Our tour guide was really into getting arty shots in front of the volcano…
Our group ready for the day!
We made it up to 4500m, wrapped up warm and got ready to walk to the refuge camp. But as soon as we got out of the car we were absolutely freezing! The wind was so strong, lucky we had our hats and gloves!
We opted to go for the steeper route up to the refuge camp as it was more sheltered from the wind. The whole way up we had to walk SO slowly to make sure we didn’t get sick from altitude, and we had to keep taking short breaks for water. It was crazy that you would get out of breath when you really weren’t walking fast at all!
The refuge camp is the little orange building you can see in the middle.
And we made it to the camp! We had a short break for some hot chocolate (which was amazing) and a chance to warm up before heading back down to the car. No one is currently allowed to the top of the volcano as it has been recently active, so isn’t safe to ascend to the top.
Some views along the way…
To get back down, Vicky, Annabel and myself literally ran down… it was so much easier and the floor was so soft it was like running on a trampoline.
On the way back down we stopped at one of the lakes.
And we tried our best to get some cool shots in front….
We descended back down to Latacunga, to rest up before starting the Quilotoa loop the following day.