Exotic Wildlife

Attractions & Activities In Cotopaxi, The Avenue Of Volcanoes


Many visitors come to the 80,000-acre Cotopaxi National Park to scale its majestic, eponymous volcano, but for those who prefer to see the sights without undertaking the climb can do so on less strenuous, cross-country treks. Though the marvelous, unspoiled scenery is reason enough to explore, the real delight for many is the park’s animal inhabitants. Andean condors, one of the largest birds of prey in the world, survey potential targets from the skies, while endangered spectacled bears – named for the eye markings which resemble glasses – hide out on the remote eastern slopes. These bears are the only surviving short-faced bears on Earth and the only bear species left in South America.

Joining the condors and spectacled bears are several other furry and feathered inhabitants including the red brocket deer, guanaco (an elegant llama-like creature), Andean gull and the thick-haired Andean fox, a solitary roamer most frequently seen in the grasslands.

Just 47 miles south of Quito, Cotopaxi National Park makes an excellent trekking or wildlife-watching stop-over during luxury or family tours of Ecuador.

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