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"QUITO: COTOPAXI" Ecuador Things to Do Tip by swesn

Ecuador Things to Do: 371 reviews and 740 photos

Cotopaxi, at 5,897m, is the highest continuously active volcano in the world. (There's always some superlative for whatever.)

What I describe here is the train-ride to Parque Nacional El Boliche and the path to take to v-i-e-w Volcano Cotopaxi from a respectful distance.

There is a tourist train leaving each Saturday and Sunday from Quito's Chimbacalle Train Station to Parque Nacional El Boliche. Please check with the Tourist Information Centre exactly what time the train leaves.

Take the Trole southwards beyond Santo Domingo (in colonial Quito) and get off at Chimbacalle. Cross the street and there is a path by the side of the hill. Walk northwards to the Train Station's entrance. Get there early (I forgot the exact time) and join the queue to buy the ticket. Note that you cannot buy the ticket in advance. You can only buy it on the same day.

If possible, buy a foam-cushion-seat that are enterprisingly sold by some vendors nearby, especially if you intend to sit on the roof.

There are several buses which transport the passengers from the derelict-looking Chimbacalle Train Station (with derelict-looking trains) to somewhere in the south where the real train is. There, the passengers will all rush towards the train and clamber onto the roofs. For my case, the train was actually moving slowly, but the passengers were fighting one another off to get onto the roofs. It was a little scary-looking, haha.

Right on the roof, it can actually get very hot, especially since we are at around 2800+m here in Quito. It is very easy to get sun-burnt, so be careful and apply sun-screen liberally. But when the train starts moving, the wind will make you quite cold too.

The scenery is really very pretty, with patchwork of farmlands scattered all over the hills and countrysides, spotted with black-and-white cows grazing and galloping horses. Many villagers wave as the train speeds by. You can see the Cotopaxi peak on and off if the clouds have not closed in.

More information about Parque Nacional El Boliche next.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 24, 2007
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