Cotopaxi Volcan road

Cotopaxi Volcano Road, a 40-km dirt track covered in potholes

Ecuador is well known for having some of the worst roads on Earth, and with good reason. But the uniquely terrifying Cotopaxi Volcan Road is in a league of it’s own. A 25-mile Cotopaxi Volcano road leads to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance by crossing a swift quickly-moving steam.

Watch every single second you take at the road, or you would never reach the National Park. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. There have been more than 50 eruptions of Cotopaxi since 1738. Numerous valleys formed by powerful lahars surround the volcano. This poses a high risk to the local population, their settlements and fields.

The Cotopaxi Volcan road connects the Pan American Highway with the Cotopaxi Volcan national park. It's a 40-km dirt track covered in potholes running through streams that like to flash flood. Not ideal if you're on a family holiday. With numerous potholes that are hidden amongst the 25-mile dirt road, and a small stream that is a source of dangerous (and fatal) flash floods with even the smallest amount of rain, this small road connecting the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcan National Park is one that claims the lives of quite a few unwary tourists annually.
Although there are many dangerous sections branching off the Pan American highway, the 40-km long dirt track that links it with the Cotopaxi Volcano National Park in Ecuador tops the list. With enormous potholes, slippery slopes, and all around precarious driving conditions make this a road a bit of a challenge. The treacherous route is peppered with holes, but the 'highlight' of the journey comes when you need to cross a bridge-less stream. It's particularly dangerous during flash floods… and flash floods seem to occur here even in the lightest of rains.



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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.