Mountain biking at Cotopaxi

Mountain biking at Cotopaxi

It’s not every day you can ride around a volcano, let alone one of the highest active volcanoes of the world!

Cotopaxi is an active volcano high up in the Andes Mountains and the second highest summit in Ecuador. It’s 50km south of the nation's Capital, Quito and 33km northeast of the city of Latacunga. Since 1738, Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times, resulting in the creation of numerous valleys formed by lahars around the volcano. Pretty exciting!

As one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, and with a nearly perfect conical shape, Cotopaxi attracts more visitors than any other volcanoes in the country. Mostly, Cotopaxi is well-known as a destination for climbing, but it's also an ideal mountain biking destination.

The Cotopaxi National Park was established around the volcano, offering an awesome mountain biking destination with stunning volcano scenery. The trail network here is incomparable. With a unique lunar-landscape, volcanic vista, and diverse flora system, the singletracks here will take you out of this world.

For wild mountin bikers, a downhill from the volcano is something you must try for truly high-altitude adventure, and to know how it feels that your adrenaline can even reach those levels!

One note: Make sure you acclimatize yourself before heading to Cotopaxi. You can stay for a day or two in Quito or nearby areas to get used to having less oxygen.

When to go

If you want to get the most out of your trip to Cotopaxi National Park, you should avoid rainy months (March-April). The best time to visit Cotopaxi is between June and October.

However, it’s difficult to say whether you will see Cotopaxi itself or not due to weather changes. The best time of the day is from sunrise to midday. In the afternoon, there's usually a higher chance of clouds obscuring your vision to the volcano.

All the info

What's happening

Where to ride

Where to stay

Where to eat and drink

Bike stores and rentals

Most of the accommodations near Cotopaxi National Park offer rental bicycles including gear and other accessories. They even provide bike tours.

If you travel from Quito, you can easily find a good bike store in the capital city. Here are some recommendations you may want to consider.

Book a tour