5. From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip
Explore the Cotopaxi National Park on a day trip and horseback ride. Enjoy a comfortable ride from Quito, learn about the fascinating Chagra culture, and enjoy a traditional canelazo welcome drink. The “Chagra” culture is the product of miscegenation between the Andean Indians and Spanish settlers. This mestizo culture was the one that contributed more to the economic and social development of the countryside in the Sierra region, based on cattle breeding, like bulls for bullfighting. And, of course, here you have the opportunity to experience during a day trip the joy, adrenaline, and nostalgia that our Chagras live day by day while they are working in the high mountains of the Andes! Begin your tour in Quito and head southeast to El Pedregal, which sits between the Rumiñahui, Pasochoa, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi volcanoes. After a 1.5-hour drive, disembark at a traditional hacienda or farm. Sip on a traditional canelazo drink and try on a traditional Chagra outfit. Head outside to find your horse and embark on a 2.5-hour horseback ride through the stunning countryside. Return to the hacienda, say goodbye to your horse, and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park. Visit the looming Cotopaxi Volcano, standing at 19,347 feet high. Marvel at the ancient dried lava flows, mountains, lakes, and wild horses. Watch as the plants, flowers, and trees change as you gain altitude. After your visit to the national park, return to your Quito hotel at around 5:00 P.M.