Rio Pita Highlights

The Cotopaxi National Park is located approximately two hours away from Quito. The national park is known for the Cotopaxi volcano, which is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, attracting thousands of visitors each year. With activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding and bird watching to look forward to, visitors come to the national park to enjoy its magnificence. There is one more major site within the park, namely Rio Pita, which has its own breathtaking attractions to share.

The Rio Pita is an ice cold river that flows through the park into the Andean Forest, and its freezing temperatures are fed by the ice and snow that melt off Cotopaxi. It once was a river filled with endemic prenadilla fish, but is now only home to a few trout species. As the river snakes its way through the park, there are no less than eighteen waterfalls to marvel at. There is more to this river than just its waters, there are a number of recommended sites and activities for visitors to explore.

Cotopaxi was revered as a god for centuries by the native people and they therefore constructed worshiping platforms as well as a fortress to control the flow of people to the volcano. These ruins and the fortifications that were constructed by the Inca can still be seen along the Rio Pita today. There are two waterfalls that are the most visited namely the Chorrera de Molinuco and the Chorrera de Pita, which is known for its breathtaking views. Traveling along the Rio Pita trail, visitors will also come across a swimming hole and if crossing rivers and climbing rock faces seems a little too strenuous, there a few other activities visitors can enjoy here.

Travelers will be able to camp along the Rio Pita at various camping areas that offer basic facilities and children’s play areas. Fishing for trout is another relaxing activity that visitors can enjoy and many travelers opt for taking on the trails near Molinuco on mountain bikes. No matter how the Rio Pita is explored, it is a river that has much to offer, as the lush landscapes surrounding it ensure that a great variety of birds and wildlife can be spotted.