Refugio de Montaña Cotopaxi Cara Sur
El Refugio de Montana Cotopaxi Cara Sur provides an incredible opportunity to experience the beauty and expanse of Ecuador’s volcanic heights within Cotopaxi National Park. Adventure and basic comforts are offered by welcoming hosts.
The remote and exposed location on the southern flanks of Cotopaxi volcano offers clear views of the summit from the hostel itself. Unlike the northern slopes, this is an incredibly peaceful environment inhabited only by local wildlife and volcanoes strung across the valley below.
Arriving at the hostel is an adventure in itself. Direct transfers can be arranged. For public transport, buses run regularly from Quito to Lasso, where a jeep taxi can be hired for the steep and beautiful journey up the lower slopes of the volcano. The hostel must be given advanced notice of your arrival time to ensure access to the national park.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Accommodation is made up of three cabins that sleep up to ten people in each, within dorms for three to five people. Each cabin has a communal shower room and toilet, as well as a small lounge with fireplace. Cabins can be booked for groups or used for individuals. There are both double beds and bunk beds available, with locks on each room door and basic storage and hanging space. The rooms are simply designed, very clean, colourfully decorated and receive plenty of light. The bedrooms are cold and although a duvet is provided, a quality personal sleeping bag is an absolute requirement!
The main building is a short walk away from the cabins, offering a kitchen, lounge, fireplace, and bar.
The lounge windows frame Cotopaxi volcano on a clear day, providing a bright open space for relaxing and socialising. This is a perfect place to exchange and listen to summit tales from those who have or plan to head all the way up! As there are only a few books and games and no public computer access or TV, talking and reading are the main pastimes, although most guests will go to bed at a reasonable time if they have an early start. The bar is not always open, although snacks can be bought throughout the day. There is a cosy fireplace area lit at night near the well-equipped kitchen — but it can be chilly in the day.
Full and tasty breakfasts and dinners can be ordered in advance of your stay, although there were no lunch provisions available. The owners are usually on-hand and delighted to chat and give further information.
From the hostel it is a two- to three-hour walk upward to the snow line. This is a stunning walk through meadows, over scree, and past immense rock formations. With clear weather, the route is reasonably easy to follow, but would be problematic should mist descend. If in doubt, a guide is recommended and can be offered by the hostel. The hostel can also provide expert summit attempts as well as guides for further hikes in the area. This hostel is a remarkable place to visit for relaxation and exploration of the outdoors.
by H Knight
by H Knight