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Cotopaxi on horseback

Listed under Horse Riding Adventures in Ecuador.

  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
  • Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
Photo of Cotopaxi on horseback
Photo by flickr user Peter Gene
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Herds of wild horses dot the paramo, the high-altitude mountain region of Ecuador, also home to llamas, feral pigs, bulls, and wolves. Above you in the Cotopaxi National Park are condors and the 6,000-metre cone of Cotopaxi itself: the highest snow-capped active volcano in the world.

Exploring the 82,500 acre park on horseback in the company of authentic “chagras” (Ecuadorian cowboys) is demanding because of the altitude and the need for vigilance in such rugged terrain, but the satisfactions for nature lovers are great. After all, Ecuador ranks as one of the world’s most biodiverse countries: it has the greatest biodiversity of land vertebrates per area.

Not all horse outfitters in this country are as knowledgeable and attentive to their mounts as Gabriel Espinosa, a dairy rancher, polo player and horse breeder, who leads several multi-day trips in this area. They start from his comfortable hacienda about an hour south of Quito.

Hacienda La Alegria.

Written by  Claudia Flisi.

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