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Cotopaxi is Ecuadors most renowned but not necessarily most active volcano. In any case it definitely offers specials views.

Other travelers had recommended the Secret Garden Hostel just outside the national park. We were first unsure due to the relatively high rates but it was definitely worth it.

The hostel is easily reached from Quito or latacunga by bus to the village of Machachi where the hostel transfer picked us up for the last 1 hour drive by van.

The hostel is set on farmland with breathtaking views on highlands and volcanoes. From nearly every place in the hostel including toilet and shower you have a clear view on Cotopaxi. 

We treated ourselves to a hobbit home (just like in the movie) with panoramic windows. Every morning we woke up to sunshine and beautiful views. 

We stayed 2 nights on a package including all meals, an afternoon hike to a waterfall and a morning hike to one of the extinct volcanoes. We were lucky with the weather, added another night and enjoyed a half day horse back riding tour on farmland just outside of Cotopaxi.

It was hard to leave this peaceful place majorly run by friendly volunteers. We were able to enjoy beautiful nature, relax in hammocks, play with their dugs and have fun playing cards with travelers from around the world. 


  • Book ahead since the place is often fully booked
  • Bring some booze (wine, liquor,..) since there is only limited and pricey choice there
  • Take some good books
  • Never rely on the weather and take a raincoat at all times, since it can get cloudy within half an hour. 

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