Cotapaxi Volcano

Bringing this trip up to date (2020)

This visit to Ecuador was of two parts. Firstly horse riding around the Cotopaxi Volcano and secondly a visit to the Galapagos Islands.


This page shows the horse ride around Cotopaxi Volcano.

Horse Riding around Cotopaxi

This was part of a longer trip and started on May 6th 2006 and lasted one week.  We started in the Antisana Hills and the riding was mainly along established tracks.  Our first night was spent at a simple working Hacienda with magnificent views.  Next we rode around the foothills of Sicholagua, good riding but rather muddy in places.  Then we drove to the excellent San Francisco Hacienda.  Back in the saddle we rode alongside the Rio Pita and into the Cotopaxi National Park to the hostel El Porvenir.  A pleasant ride and despite the dormitory type accommodation with curtained rooms, proved to be one of the favourite hostels.  The next day was to involve some hard riding.  Firstly we rode up to a saddle on Ruminahui mountain before disappearing into the clouds, down to and across the Pan Pacific Highway to a very different type of hostel.  Our route started by following the railway line before climbing up into the foothills of the twin peaks of Illiniza.  To-night we stayed in a very luxurious private Hacienda.  The following morning we left by minibus to visit the market at Saquisili.  This market is well known in Ecuador for it's Thursday Animal Market.  It was interesting to watch buyers and sellers just standing in open ground discussing their animals finer attributes!  Later in the morning we joined up with our horses at the entrance to the National Park.  We climbed up around the base of Cotopaxi through some heavy rain to enjoy some long canters across the Paramo.  This area at 3750m provides the third highest canter in the world.  Overnight again at El Porvenir gave us the chance to see an amazing double rainbow.  Our last day riding took us high up below Sincholagua with wonderful views.  The minibus met us late afternoon for our ride to Quito through a tremendous storm.  The end of a very enjoyable weeks riding at high altitude.