Cotopaxi Volcano, waking up after almost 100 years

The Cotopaxi volcano wakes up after nearly 100 years, and after a period of continuous seismic activity on its slopes, began erupting a plume of ash and gas 5 km high on 15th August 2015. The Cotopaxi is a volcano of the Andean belt or pacific ring fire, it is 5897 meters high and only 50 kilometers away from Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Nevado Cotopaxi volcano

Cotopaxi National Park

Exactly in front of the bridge which is the entrance gate to the city of Latacunga, a young boy tell us to go up on its rickety bus. It’s early in the morning, we begin the travel towards the covered by snow and perfectly conical top of the Cotopaxi volcano. The road rises inexorably: three, four, five thousand meters, the landscape becomes even more impressive. The silence owns these windy places, lived by the only animals have been able to adapt to the hard Andean climate (alpacas, condors, pumas, wild horses). For a moment we dream to go up till the top of the Cotopaxi crater to dominate an exterminated horizon, but climbing the highest active volcano of the world is not an adventure that could be organized in five minutes… some horses, pride of their freedom, follow us suspiciously while we walk around the Limpiopungo lagoon. Three big condors of the Andes caress the lost in clouds peak of the Rumiñahui volcano, where a warm and blinding sun (the god Inti in the Incaic culture, indeed) tries to open itself the way in the foggy cover.

On the way back we pass near Saquisili, a village which is center of one of the most colored Ecuadorian markets, every Thursday.

Cotopaxi volcano snowcapped National Park Andes Ecuador