Latacunga, located on the skirts of the imposing Cotopaxi volcano, is at the heart of the country- 90 km south of the capital, Quito. Its privileged location makes it a strategic point that connects the Coast, the Sierra and the Amazon.
The Avenue of the Volcanoes is a majestic route that covers multiple indigenous nationalities, cities that have been recognized as cultural heritage, thousands of artisan hands, innumerable traditional dishes, a rich festive culture, the impressive Cotopaxi (5.897m), the two sister peaks of Iliniza Norte (5.125m) and Iliniza Sur (5.263) and El Boliche, a resting site where you can enjoy nature in its purest state.
At an elevation of 5.897m, and only 33 km away from the city, this impressive volcano is the guardian of the valley of Latacunga.
At the skirts of Cotopaxi, born from natural fountains and ice from the mountain, Limpiopungo is a lagoon where you can observe a variety of endemic birds from the Andean paramo.
These beautiful landmarks of the Andes Mountain Range which stand at 5.263 and 5.125 m, are located only 40 km north of Latacunga.
Quilindaña Lagoon and Volcano
The surface of supervolcano Chalupas makes for a beautiful scenery. Located 47 km north of the city of Latacunga, at 4.989m, it is the ideal place to appreciate the Andean landscape.
With an altitude of 3.515m above sea level, this is the birthplace of many mythological stories and legends. Its unique shape and location have given it the name “Hill of Water” because it is believed that its interior holds the vital liquid. It is one of the most important elevations surrounding the valley of Latacunga and it makes for an exceptional natural viewpoint. From here you can appreciate the most imposing mountains in the central area of the Andes Mountain Range such as the Chimborazo, Tungurahua, Cotopaxi and Ilinizas.
MAlso known as the “Head of the Inca” towers of rocks resemble a man’s profile. This is the remnant of an ancient volcanic building which was destroy during the Pleistocene with the violent volcanic activity of the Cotopaxi Volcano.
Another result of the Cotopaxi’s volcanic activity! This rock is 6m high and has a diameter of 50m. On one of its sides, you can see the image of Virgin Mary stamped on the rock, which is motive for pilgrimages to this sacred site.
Born from the water that trickles down the Iliniza Sur, an 11 m free fall. Let yourself be captivated by the waters’ yellow tone, resulting from the high contents of iron and sulfur (produced by the volcanic activity in the zone).
At 4.000 m, in the foothills of Iliniza Sur, groundwater is trapped in natural pools, resulting from volcanic activity. It is believed that these waters have healing powers that benefit those who dare to endure the icy blizzards in the area.
Between the sister peaks (Iliniza Norte and Iliniza Sur), a lagoon rests at 4.700 m. Formed by the melting ice from the mountains, its green color comes from the presence of algaes. These algaes attract Andean ducks!
On your next visit to Latacunga, don’t miss these incredible natural attractions!