Tours: Cotopaxi Volcano 1-day trip

Tour Itinerary

Andean Condor
Photo by Roger Ahlman

Located 1˝ hours southeast of Quito on the eastern Cordillera, this wide-open area provides easy birding and breathtaking landscapes making a perfect add-on to any tour. Here are opportunities to see many high altitude and local specialties, which are absent or difficult at other sites. In addition, coming at the end of an East or West slope tour allows for altitude acclimatization.

An early departure from the hotel in Quito brings us to the lower slopes of Cotopaxi, a mix of grassland páramo and pine plantations. Here we may see Ecuadorian Hillstar feeding on the orange thistle-shrubs Chuquiraga while Many-striped Canasteros and Andean Tit-Spinetails skulk in the bushes and Tawny Antpittas call all around.


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Watching Páramo Ground-Tyrants
Photo by Charlie Vogt

Higher up on the plateau we scan for Páramo Ground-Tyrant.  Arriving at Lake Limpiopungo with our box lunch, we survey the wetland bustle of Andean Gulls, Coots, Teals and Lapwings.  Walking the marsh we may flush the Noble Snipe and tease out the Ecuadorian Rail.  On the ridge above we look for the Streak-backed Canastero and as always keeping an eye out for Andean Condor. 

Hacienda La Cienega
Photo by Charlie Vogt

Continuing on up towards the refuge parking lot we walk the tussock grass for Andean Snipe and rocky areas for Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe.

Late afternoon down at the charming colonial Hacienda La Cienega, we look for the Subtropical Doradito, Black-backed Grosbeak and Chiguanco Thrush.  These are mostly southern species at the northern tip of their range.  Heading back to Quito with a pretty sunset en route, we arrive at the hotel for dinner.

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Tour Information

Price per person: Click here for prices
Included: All lodging, meals, expert bilingual birdguide, transportation, hotel transfer and entrance fees.
Not included: Last night dinner; drinks; tips.
See our Payment and Cancellation Policy page for important information.


   Vermilion Flycatcher by Kristian Svensson


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