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COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK


A great moor with volcanic landscapes, natural habitat of condors, deer and other animals conform the Cotopaxi National Park, founded on July 26th, 1979. Tempting route for chancy "andinistas" that do not doubt to Ecuador Pictures - Ecuador Nature Photoschallenge the climate and the height in their desire of reaching the summit of the Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world.
Waters coming from gelid glaciers sculpted the bases of an old volcano to form the cone of the powerful Cotopaxi that was considered as a sacred place by the native quechuas during centuries.

History refers that in 1534, in the middle of a combat with the Spaniards, the Cotopaxi (Cone of Moon in Castilian), erupted and caused panic among the spaniards, while the natives began to worship to the furious volcano.
Since the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the Cotopaxi has erupted several times. The biggest tragedy happened in 1877, when the glaciers that came off of the volcano, erased off the map the city of Latacunga.

The first one in climbing the Cotopaxi, following the oriental route of the mountain, was the German Wilhelm Reiss in 1872. The most used road is the north route and it was the one used one decade later by the British Edward Whymper. However routes are constantly varying according to the fall of snow.

Next to the National park of Cotopaxi (with an extension of 33,393 hectares), there is a beautiful forest of pines that conform the National Area of Recreation El Boliche. The coniferous were sowed by Lucio Andrade Marín in 1928, to verify if these trees would adapt to the ecosystems of height.

The pines constitute the main forest trees of this Ecuador Pictures - Ecuador Nature Photosrecreation area and they occupy 50 percent of the same one. Some years ago, they were affected by a mushroom that tints of brown their trunks and branches, that at the same time has harmed to the other species.

The main attractions of this park whose temperature average at day is 7º centigrade and in the nights descends until the 0 degrees, are:

The Cotopaxi volcano: whose summit becomes a challenge for the andinistas. When arriving at Ecuador Pictures - Ecuador Nature Photosthe mountain refuge José Ribas (4,800 m.a.s.l.) -located in the nor-oriental side- you can admire the Valley of Limpiopungo and its volcanic panorama with rakes of old eruptions. To ascend to the summit, you must use special equipment and be accompanied by a guide.

The Rumiñahui volcano: reaches about 4,757 meters of altitude and is located next to the Cotopaxi and the Sincholagua volcanos. Occasionally there can be condors in their rocks.

The lagoon of Limpiopungo: Excellent pointEcuador Pictures - Ecuador Nature Photosto take pictures, surrounded by the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua and Rumiñahui. In this area, there are deers, rabbits, llamas and other species of mammals living.

Lagoon of Santo Domingo: supplied by a spring and adorned with vestiges of stone walls of the Incan time.
Mirador and planicie of Sunfana: At the base of the mirador, the visitor will appreciate the green pine forests on a vast plain.

Pita River: where sport fishing of trouts with previous authorization of INEFAN is allowed. It is an 8 meters wide river, but it is not very deep.

In the same area there are pre colombinan remains of platforms and stone enclosures, built apparently by the old worshipers of the snowy volcano.

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