Cotopaxi Glacier. Secret Garden, Ecuador.

Cotopaxi glacier, cone shaped, picture perfect, one of the highest active volcano in the world.

Initially Iza and I were going to climb to the top, which reaches 5,897 meters (19,344 feet) above sea level. It would have required us to climb up all night and reach the top for sunrise and come back down. However, for whatever reason we decided not to climb, mainly because it was quite expansive and instead we splurged in Secret Garden.

Secret Garden is a posada up in the Cotopaxi region far away from everything, owed by an Australian couple. We paid $28 a night which included all meals snacks, jacuzzi, broken bikes and dormitory style sleeping. Really what made this place was the view of Cotopaxi on a clear day. Absolutely amazing, green grass, horses, cows, lamas, bulls, potato fields, more grass and a cone shape glacier, as a cherry on top.

They offered many trips like horse back riding, hikes, and the glacier trip. Since we didn’t climb we end up going to the glacier. A car picked us up and took us to the parking lot where we had to climb up 700 meters to the refuge lodge at 4,800 meters (15,748 feet) above sea level and from there 200 meters more to reach the glacier at 5,000 meters (16,400 feet).

Now!! This sounds simple, just walk up and climb! But it was quite difficult. When you are that high in elevation every step you take feels like you just ran around a block. So we frequently stopped and squeaked while breathing.

It was cold, windy, hard to walk up and far away. Going up is when Danka kept coming to mind. She is a total extremest who loves to climb and is high of the adrenaline kick. She was also married to my uncle for quite a while and recently climbed the Mt. Aconcagua which is at 6,960 meters high (22,834 feet). Wow big big shout out to her, for me just this bit was so hard to walk up, I can only imagine climbing Mt. Aconcagua.

When we finally made it to the glacier we were excited barely breathing, and rewarded with some cool photos. Coming back down to the refuge was way easier and yey we got a nice hot chocolate with banana bread.

This was the highest we climbed to. So definitely something to check off from the list. Deep inside I regret not climbing to the top top, but I am satisfied with the height we’ve reached.

When we were coming back to the posada, we got high of the gasoline fumes that were coming out of the car. Maximum headache, blurry vision, and almost puked. With all complains we refused to pay the full price for the trip. After all they already scammed so much money for just staying at the Secret Garden.

This was a stop that we will for sure remember quite well as the views of a picture perfectness don’t happen often.

But as all things it was time to move to the next destination, so we snapped some more pictures, packed out backpacks and headed south towards Cuenca.