The Corazon is an eroded and extinct volcano. It is located about 40km (24 miles) southwest of Quito in the “Illinizas Ecological Reserve”. The ascent is an easy hiking tour through the Paramo vegetation and perfect for acclimatization, as well as for people who simply want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Cotopaxi and its neighboring volcanoes with the valley below. The hiking route is straight forward and requires no rock equipment or experience. Climbing Corazon is perfect for a first approach to altitude. Pre-conquest ruins have been reported on the northeast slopes but they are very overgrown and have yet to be investigated.
This hike offers spectacular views of the mighty Cotopaxi, fertile farmlands, cloud forest and surrounding volcanoes.
Edward Whimper was the first one to climb the Volcano Corazon in the 19th Century. At this time the volcano was still capped by a glacier. In Spanish “El Corazon” means “the heart”. The name refers to the two gullies on the northwestern slopes. They appear to join together in the shape of a heart when contemplated from the west at a distance.
We recommend staying at Hosteria PapaGayo Cotopaxi the night before the climb. Prices start from $45 per night.
The weather in the area is very unpredictable and you must be prepared with warm clothing.
The hike takes approx. 3-5 hours reaching a height of 4199m (15984,25 ft). It is important that you are prepared for this kind of altitude, we recommend acclimatizing at least one day around 3000m (9842ft).
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