Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour
- Small group
- Pickup available
- Duration: 12 hours
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This is a great tour with something for everyone. There were 6 in our group, 4 x "30 somethings" and my friend and I at 60+ 1st stop was a Hummingbird sanctuary where we got "up close and personal" with these beautiful birds as they visited the feeders. Then it was into the Cloud Forest proper. The "30 somethings" opted for high octane activities like zip lining 100m above ground and repelling down a 30m waterfall (bring waterproof bag, towel, swimsuits, wet shoes & a change of clothes inc. footwear) My friend and I opted for the lower intensity activities. A 3 minute cable car ride across a 500m deep ravine accessed a 2 mile hike along well maintained trails through the cloud forest and across a roaring torrent beside a 15m high waterfall, before continuing on to a butterfly farm and orchid nursery to admire the beauty of the insects and plants. The guide and driver were really knowledgeable and helpful and did a great job accommodating our very varied interests and abilities.
This experience is so fun with many options to choose from, tons of flexibility, and an expert guide. Diego, Andrea, and Gabriel were an incredible guide team. Zip-lining gave us incredible views and we got to do way more routes than we anticipated for such a good price. Then we did a coffee agricultural tour that involved everything from picking the coffee cherry and processing it all the way to drinking it fresh. We got to do a chair lift with more amazing views and ended at a very nice restaurant that also sold tasty Mindo chocolate. Diego was very knowledgeable and accommodating, Andrea captured all our best moments, and Gabriel got us everywhere very safely. Would highly recommend, very good deal.
Despite the clouds and fog obscuring the most spectacular views of Cotopaxi and Quilotoa, we had a delightful day. Our guide was still fairly new at it, but he did a good job of explaining everything in both Spanish and English, and the driver made extra stops when a view was special so that we could get out and see it better. The meal stops were enjoyable. It was a long day but worth it! My main suggestion to the company is to remove the wrap on the bus, which made it very difficult to see the views out of the windows, which was one of the primary elements of this trip. The windows should not be wrapped on a sightseeing bus.
Very small group tour - we were only with one other couple (luckily they were lovely). We were able to choose what activities we wanted to do, but needed to balance against location (as they are not all close together) and what the other couple wanted to do. Lunch was fantastic but took a really long time... So we had to skip one of our planned afternoon activities. Also note the hike down to the waterfall and back up is quite strenuous and often slippery (wear proper hiking shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy).
Is was the highlight of my trip. Raul and Andres were punctual and very knowledgeable about every aspect of the trip. Andres was a great teacher and obviously loves what he does. He is an ideal guide.