Soaring more than 19,000 feet above sea level, Volcán Cotopaxi, the mighty Cotopaxi Volcano, is one of the world’s highest volcanoes, and it takes the record as the planet’s tallest continuously active peak. Ecuadorians are rightly proud to call it their own, though they regard its power with a reverential respect.
It is perhaps one of the most majestic and serenely solitary sights you’ll ever see, standing on the wide páramo, or highlands, where cougars roam in search of rabbits and weasels. You can take a closer look during Discovery Tours’ new Galapagos, Ecuador, Andes & Amazon trip. You’ll visit Cotopaxi National Park outside of Quito and take a walk around a pristine lake at the base of the mountain. Here’s a taste of what you will see and learn about this magnificent natural wonder:
- Like Japan’s more famous Mount Fuji across the Pacific, Cotopaxi has a symmetrical cone.
- Also like its counterpart, it wears its snow cover like a well-fitted hat trimmed at the same elevation all the way around the cone.
- Cotopaxi is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a circle of active volcanoes that surround the ocean. It is one of 452 volcanoes in the ring.
- Cotopaxi is home to one of the world’s only equatorial glaciers, which begins around the 16,400-foot mark.
- The volcano boasts not one, but two crater rims. The inner one, remarkably for an active volcano, is covered with patches of ice.
- Cotopaxi is part of Ecuador’s famed Avenue of the Volcanoes, a 200-mile stretch of peaks – seven in total – that stand more than 17,000 feet tall.
- An 1862 painting of this magnificent peak by Frederic Edwin Church, an American landscape painter from the Hudson River School, hangs in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Visit Cotopaxi National Park during our new Galapagos, Ecuador, Andes & Amazon trip!