How to get to Cotopaxi Volcano?

  • The entrance time to the Cotopaxi National Park is 08:00 a.m. at 3:00 p.m.
  • There is no public transport within the National Park, you must rent a 4X4.
  • It is forbidden to enter Motorcycles, it is a norm of the Park.
  • There is no bank teller and you cannot pay by credit card (Restaurant, Handicrafts; Guide service) so you must carry cash.
  • Transportation service from the entrance to Cotopaxi Reservations + 593-998756619 (Total 80 USD, 40 USD Transportation and 40 USD Guide for 1 to 4 people), you can coordinate a vehicle according to your needs.

Hello friends from all over the world who will come to visit this volcano today, this guide will help you reach the Cotopaxi easily and safely.


Depending on which part of Quito you are in, the first step is to get to the Interprovincial Bus Terminal of Quitumbe. (South Station), how to get there! Disembark from the unit you have taken, to enter you must not cancel any value, once inside, the ticket offices are at the top, so take the ramp and look for No. 20-21 or 22, which have the legend » COTOPAXI «, all transport companies that go to the south of the country pass through the entrance to the National Park (PANAMERICANA E-35).

I recommend that you buy your ticket in these windows that cover the Quito-Latacunga-Quito Route, if for some reason you go from this point, the farthest you will arrive is to the Latacunga bus terminal, which is about 25 minutes away of the Cotopaxi National Park.

Ticket Office Terminal Quitumbe

These units leave every 15 minutes from the terminal, the value of the ticket is USD 1.80 so do not pay more, these buses are named CIRO (yellow), July 22 (Red with white stripes), Cotopaxi ( blue color with white stripes) and Latacunga (Tomato with blue stripes), look for the platform No. 22 and 23).

Do not lose your ticket as it is the only proof to travel or you will have to pay again.

The trip to the park entrance takes around 1H20 to 1H30 minutes (one hour twenty to one hour thirty minutes depending on traffic), at the exit of Quito is Tambillo, it is a stop where more users take if the bus has With space, from here you can observe some of the mountains and volcanoes, everything will depend on how clear this is, so, have your camera at hand, you can see the Pasochoa, The Rumiñahui Volcano, The Heart, The Ilinizas Volcano, the very same Cotopaxi volcano.



As you should have announced that you would disembark at the entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park, the bus assistant will tell you that you are arriving and prepare to get off.

Entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park (Panamericana E-35)

In this round as we call it in Ecuador («Rotonda», etc, etc) is where you have to rent a 4X4 vehicle to reach the volcano’s parking lot at 4,600msnm, this place is 40 kilometers from the Panamerican Highway, many think that at Get off the bus and you will find the volcano, but that is not the case. Getting to the parking lot by vehicle takes about an hour.


3. Parking  Lot  4.600m

The problem is transportation, so if you go alone, you have two options, pay 80 dollars so you can do the whole tour inside the park or wait for another person or group to arrive and be able to pay 25 dollars each, (minimum 4 people ), the only way to enter the park and know its attractions is by vehicle. Once the tour will take 4 to 5 hours, your guide will leave you at the Panamerican Highway so you can continue with your route, either returning to Quito or taking a bus to the south of the country.

Parking at 4,600 meters above sea level

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