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Family horseback riding in Ecuador

Cotopaxi National Park and Horseback Riding

Example 2 Day Tour
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Visit the Cotopaxi National Park and horseback in the shadows of the volcano during this 2 day/1 night extension from Quito. Enjoy the relaxing life on a hacienda while exploring the Ecuadorian highlands.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Horseback Riding and Hiking
Day 2 : Cotopaxi National Park | Return to Quito


  • Horseback Riding over the slopes of the extinct Rumiñahui volcano
  • Drive through ancient lava flows from Cotopaxi’s past eruptions
  • Visit the Park Visitors Centre to observe the local flora and fauna

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Family horseback riding in Ecuador Smoking Cotopaxi? Getting ready to ride horses in Ecuador! A view from the lake

Day 1 Horseback Riding and Hiking

Depart Quito early in the morning (7H30) and head to Hacienda El Porvenir, where you will be welcomed with a hot canelazo and cheese empanadas. After the welcome drink, your guides will give you a brief riding lesson before you venture out on horseback. Wearing the typical dress of the chagra (Ecuadorian cowboys), set off on a ride over the slopes of the extinct volcano, Rumiñahui. A legendary chagra from the area will join your group and share some of his deep knowledge of the country life. The ride lasts approximately 4 hours. Back in the farmhouse, a tasty local lunch will be ready upon arrival. In the afternoon you will walk on a route through the lower part of the hacienda where you will visit the remains of the andean woods and understory. During the walk you will visit the camping area and the Manto Blanco waterfall, and if you are lucky, you will be able to observe the birds of the paramo. Visit the reforestation project for the restoration of the high andean habitat, a project that was started in 1992. Arrive to the San Juanes viewpoint area, where you can observe more than 10 volcanoes, one of them Cotopaxi.

Day 2 Cotopaxi National Park | Return to Quito

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After the hacienda breakfast,  drive to Cotopaxi National Park (CNP). This is a very interesting drive through ancient lava flows from Cotopaxi’s past eruptions.  The location is the perfect place to learn about Andean Geology. On the visit, you'll reach the car park below the Cotopaxi’s Refuge, where you'll begin the short hike up to the climbing hut (Refugio José Ribas) at 4,800m. (15,744 ft).  It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the Volcano on this short hike. Once back in the vehicle, continue on your way driving down to Limpiopungo Lake, where a box lunch will be served.

If there is time, visit the Park Visitors Centre, which has interesting descriptions of the local flora and fauna as well as details of the various eruptions of Cotopaxi. En-route on your return to Quito, stop at the Pucará del Salitre, an ancient Inca fortress on the way to the Amazon basin. Near this spot there are some natural springs which rise with the icy water from underground rivers that come from the glaciers of Cotopaxi. 

Hacienda El Porvenir

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  • 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
  • 1 Nights Accommodations
    • 1 Night Lodge
  • 2 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service


  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights


  • $55 Airport Departure Tax
  • $10 Park Entrance Fee
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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