Waterfalls paradise: a route to Cotopaxi


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The heartbeat of nature is incessant in these lands. But not because of the roars of Cotopaxi, but because of the countless rivers and waterfalls that run through these lands full of places to enjoy it. With Budget rent-a-car, we lived such an experience.

We set off in Rumiñahui, passing through the valleys of Quito, with one of the most imposing views of the Cotopaxi volcano as our destination. Here, dozens of water sources are born from the melting of the volcano to strongly nourish their environment. We could say that this adventure prepares us to connect with the very essence of life.

This road, in reality, is a detour. A place little traveled, but full of postcards for the eyes and heart; a close alternative to discover the rainforests and moors that surround us. The waterfalls and viewpoints that we find on our way are authentic jewels that, whoever wishes, have them at their disposal.

Some waterfalls have mysterious names, such as La Encantada. Others are more conventional, such as Santa Anita. What unites them, in addition to their beauty, is the proximity that allows you to visit them in the same day. Keep in mind that there is an icon of this area that you will not want to miss: the Cóndor Machay, one of the highest and most majestic in the province of Pichincha.

Night falls and, if you like camping, the area is full of settlements with intimate contact with the environment and, usually, starry nights. We contacted the Santa Rita Biological Reserve. Any of its camping areas are a good option to visit with family or friends, as they have areas equipped for cooking and campfires.

The next day, we toured the reserve and its nooks and crannies. A place where conservation is a utopia close to the city that is lived daily. There are also adventure activities, hiking and summits with panoramic views that, on clear days, can be enjoyed for hours. They even told us about other wonders of the protection of this environment and that, with a lot of luck, they have been able to see condors in the sky and pumas hidden from human contact.

A few kilometers away (a little more than 10), is our last destination: Hacienda El Porvenir. A special place where a new concept is being developed: regenerative tourism. Here, we not only enjoy its vast protected lands, or the possibility of riding with their beautiful steeds, but we can also learn about the traditions, clothing and culture of the chagras, the protectors of these moors. Everything is connected in the same experience that aims that the tourist not only visits the place, but also has a positive impact on the people and the environment visited.

This route is perfect for a weekend (or more) to rest from the hustle and bustle and connect with nature in its purest state. A trip that makes us reflect on our relationship with the planet and invites us to be more aware of our responsibility in its conservation and what we have in our closest sorroundings.

Photos: Juan Fernando Ricaurte

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