Like a mirror that reflects the beauty of the surrounding peaks, Limpiopungo Lagoon, tucked in a valley of the Cotopaxi National Park at over 12,400 feet (3,800 meters) above sea level, forms part of Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Head south from Quito and enjoy the constantly changing scenery along the Pan-American Highway, with unrivaled views of volcanic peaks including the majestic, snow-capped Cotopaxi.
Near the lagoon, there are hiking and bike trails as well as opportunities for horseback riding. The lagoon is home to at least 24 species of birds, including native waterfowl such as the rare Andean ibis, slow-swimming Andean ducks and coots and the endangered Andean condor. Mammals that roam the areas surrounding the lagoon include llamas, deer and rabbits.
All of this natural beauty is ideal for taking pictures, and a walk around the lake highlights different viewpoints.
It’s wise to arrive early, before the clouds cover the mountains and before the wind picks up, so that the calm lake perfectly reflects the surroundings. Remember that it’s cold at that altitude, with temperatures around 45 F to 57 F (7 to 14 C), so dress accordingly.