Explore-Share logo and link to home
 
 
 
 

Climbing Cotopaxi

The beautiful Cotopaxi stands high in Ecuador, welcoming all those who wish to climb it to its stunning summit!

One of the highest active volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi 5,897 m (19,347 ft) is located in the province of Cotopaxi, in Ecuador. Combining moderate technical difficulty with a high mountain experience, this peak is a great choice for those wishing to take their mountaineering skills a step up. To reach the summit, you’ll have to hike up Cotopaxi’s massive glaciers and tread carefully around its field of crevasses. A certified mountain guide is essential for an enriching and safe experience. Explore-Share.com only promotes mountain trips led by certified guides.  
 
 
 
 
 

Top mountain climbing trips | Cotopaxi:

 
 
 

What people are saying about these trips

Oliver Bruessow

5.00

September, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime is a fantastic and very experienced guide, the tour was very well organized: We were picked up in Quito and slept at Tampopaxi lodge for one night, a beautiful place. On the first day we did an acclimatisation hike which was quite rewarding. Then we drove/hiked up to the Cotopaxi refuge and started our ascent at midnight. Unfortunately we didn't make the summit due to the winds and our headlights died. The whole trip was still very interesting and definitely a great experience. Jaime and Elizabeth provided us with all the information we needed for the trip, helped with the gear and ensured a safe hike. Jaimewas very strikt with the safety rules. If we go for another hike on Cotopaxi we would definitely choose Jaime and the team again. Thanks so much for the great days.

James Patrick Ragan

5.00

August, 2022

8-day Chimborazo (6,268m) Ascent in Ecuador with Iliniza and Cotopaxi acclimatization

Juan is awesome! This is my second trip with him and I am planning on a 3rd trip back to Ecuador!!

Lauren Kuklenski

5.00

August, 2022

Climb Cotopaxi, 4 volcanoes in 5 days (Ecuador)

Great experience. We did Rumiñawi, corázon, and Illiniza Norte as acclimatization hikes. All of them were beautiful. We attempted Cotopaxi but had a snow storm and heavy winds during the night of the summit and we were forced to turn around. The 3 initial climbs prepared us well for Cotopaxi and the altitude. There were some technical scrambling portions on corazon and Illiniza which were very cool. Overall would highly recommend!

Blake Eden

5.00

July, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

This was wonderful! Jaime did a great job and everything leading up to the trip (communication, etc.) was great. Thank you so much!

Michael Beamer

5.00

July, 2022

8-day Chimborazo (6,268m) Ascent in Ecuador with Iliniza and Cotopaxi acclimatization

Juan Carlos was an excellent guide. In preparing for the hike in the months before he was responsive and he made it easy. I felt very well taken care of during the whole experience. He treated us warmly with care. When it was time to climb he was very experienced in both technique and route. He got me as far as we could go with each mountain. I would gladly have him as a guide again. I would trust him completely. Thank you Juan Carlos for an amazing adventure. Michael Beamer

Benjamin Stewart

5.00

June, 2022

2-day Cotopaxi Volcano ascent

Fernando was a fantastic guide who got me to the summit despite extremely difficult weather conditions! I would highly recommend him to anyone hoping to climb Ecuador's big peaks.

Omar Saade

5.00

May, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

It was an incredible experience. Jaime is an extremely professional and knowledgeable guide.

Justin Johns

5.00

April, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Great guide and experience! Highly recommend!

Keith Cockrum

5.00

April, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime is experienced guide and went the extra mile to make sure I had all the right equipment to climb.

Gabriel Mardale

5.00

March, 2022

7-day Cotopaxi “Trek & Climb” expedition near Quito, Ecuador

The trip was simply great in all aspects! I will return for more

Andrew Brown

5.00

March, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime may be one of the most kind and capable human beings we’ve ever met. He let us know exactly what we needed to do to be safe on our summit, while also making it a fun and exciting experience. We were not as fit and experienced as we should have been, and Jaime made sure to not push us past any limits. We had an amazing time (even got engaged at the summit!). Coordination from Elisabeth beforehand was also clear and top-notch. An amazing trip that will forever be in our memories!

Mitchell Smith

5.00

February, 2022

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime was a fantastic guide and I had for both the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo expeditions. Very knowledgable and you never feel too out of it when you're with him. He was consistent on checking if I was doing okay which I really appreciated. Eliz, who I worked with for coordination, was also great. Super on top of it on making sure things ran smoothly. They both were quick to ensure I had the proper gear to take on these summits too. Highly recommend.

Eliotte Wong

5.00

January, 2022

7-day Cotopaxi “Trek & Climb” expedition near Quito, Ecuador

Great trip. Summiting Cotopaxi was intense but gave us the most stunning sunrise I've ever seen in my life. The acclimation program was well thought out and the hikes were beautiful. Our guide was very knowledgeable and organized. I had a wonderful time. Bring heavy sunscreen (at least SPF 50 or better yet, 70). Also, train. I'm relatively fit--I run and climb regularly--but I wish I had done more specific training for this trip.

John Cicero

5.00

December, 2021

7-day Cotopaxi “Trek & Climb” expedition near Quito, Ecuador

This was a fantastic trip from beginning to end. Javier, I especially appreciate how well Javier took care of my daughter's (gluten free) dietary restriction, and that he arranged to take my daughter and I for the covid tests required for our return to the U.S. at the end of our trip. The entire team of guides were all knowledgeable, professional, personable and highly attentive to the group's needs. I appreciate how well thought out the itinerary was planned. The daily hikes along the Avenue of the Volcanoes increased in elevation every day in order to acclimate to the higher altitude, giving the best chance of success in reaching the summit of Cotopaxi-the main event-at the end of the week. Cotopaxi is a VERY tough hike, unlike anything that I've ever done before and certainly outside my comfort zone Again, simply a fantastic trip from beginning to end.

Baara Washishi

5.00

November, 2021

7-day Cotopaxi “Trek & Climb” expedition near Quito, Ecuador

Absolutely Incredible trip!! Couldn't recommend enough. Amazing terrains, hikes, food, people and guides! Such good value for money also. Cotopaxi summit day was the most challenging but worth it!

Tatsiana Shakhmuts

5.00

November, 2021

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

Great trip

Alexey Volegov

5.00

November, 2021

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

It was amazing trip, Jaime is professional climber and the person who safety guide us to the top of Cotopaxi and back.

Johannes Nothdurft

5.00

September, 2021

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

Edgar was great. I could talk with him over all questions (equipment, acclimatization, ...) before the tour easy via WhatsApp. I always feel good and save with him in the mountains. His motto „lonely summits“ was completely fulfilled.

Kirsten Yehl

5.00

September, 2021

Climb Cotopaxi and 3 other volcanoes in 8 days

Fernando was an outstanding guide. We (my 16 yo son and I) spent a week with Fernando and did 3 acclimatization hikes and a successful Cotopaxi climb. All were amazing. On the last two, Illiniza Norte and Cotopaxi, Fernando was very attentive to safety. He also read and understood our strengths and weaknesses after the first few hikes and used that insight to guide us up the mountain. We stayed most nights at Fernando’s hostel, it was very comfortable, a great experience. His family is lovely and the meals were delicious. Was an unforgettable experience and we truly appreciate Fernando, both his guidance and hospitality.

Jan Zehnder

3.00

July, 2021

Climb Cotopaxi, 4 volcanoes in 5 days (Ecuador)

Even though Fernando is a fun and an experienced guide, I can't give him more than two stars. I was quite sick for the first three days so I could not keep up my normal pace. On my first hike I even had really bad balance disorders. This did not bother Fernando at all. Most of the time he was walking very far ahead. While descending he suddenly started walking so fast that I even lost him out of sight. I found him 2km later lying in the grass on his phone. I passed him and he just kept on being on his phone without even bothering about my medical situation. Beside his impatience the second thing is, that Fernando is always on his phone. I felt a lot better on my last day so we went on climbing Cotopaxi. He promised us a glacier school (since I've never used these tools before) but then at the refugee he just said that it's learning by doing. So when I tried to put on the crampons in the middle of the freezing night it of course took me a while. He didn't even bother to help, so my friend had to put on my crampons for me. Instead he just kept on walking. This repeated itself at our descent. I found him 20 minutes later sitting in the hut already. The only reason I decided not to give one star is his lovely wife. She is an excellent cook and kept the house clean and tidy.

Pavel Janecek

4.00

June, 2021

2-day Cotopaxi Volcano ascent

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Matthew Fleischman

5.00

March, 2021

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Super fun! Jamie is awesome. The experience was way more than I expected.

Renata Fialho de Oliveira

5.00

February, 2021

9-day Climbing to Chimborazo and Cotopaxi

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Kateryna Deputat

5.00

February, 2021

9-day Climbing to Chimborazo and Cotopaxi

Rafael was an amazing guide with many years of experience. The trip was planned very well from the begging till the end as well as acclimatisation. I get well prepared for high altitude. Highly recommended.

Paul Ludgate

5.00

December, 2020

Cotopaxi (5,897m), 5-day ascent with acclimatization on Rucu Pichincha & Iliniza Norte, from Quito

Fantastic people ! They were all friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable . I recommend them without reservation

Maxwell Gregory

5.00

December, 2020

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime was an awesome guide! Everything was taken care of, he was very aware about going at the best pace for me, and did everything possible to ensure a successful and safe summit.

Gerald Tien Pan Loo

5.00

December, 2020

7-day Cotopaxi “Trek & Climb” expedition near Quito, Ecuador

Javier delivered an outstanding expedition from end to end. Everything was seamlessly organised - from transfers between haciendas/campsites to equipment hiring. Pace of the acclimatisation programme was just right, with rest days in between the summit attempts on Pasochoa, Ruminahui and Cotopaxi spent in beautiful accommodation with great food throughout. The other guides Pablo and Marco were exceptional: personable and professional - we felt very safe in their hands.

Sarah Hill

5.00

November, 2020

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

We summited Cotopaxi with Jamie Vargas as our guide. It was an unbelievable and perfect experience. Jamie was very knowledgeable, skilled, and personable. He shared just enough information with us for each part of the trip for us to be prepared but not too overwhelmed. It was very easy to communicate with our guide and the company before the trip. The food was really nice and the whole experience staying at the refuge and meeting other climbers and guides. We were very confident in Jamie’s skills and ability to keep us safe. His saying “never give up!” was very motivating for our successful summit. The gear was all very nice and up to date, we were given every tool we needed. I felt every emotion during this day from excitement, to fear, to fatigue, to gratitude, I cried very much at the summit because it was so beautiful and it was such a big accomplishment for myself and my husband. Overall this experience was our favorite for our time in Ecuador and even one of my favorites of my whole life! Highly recommend Jamie with Andean summit adventure. Worth every dollar as an investment for an experience of a lifetime!

Benoit Feyen

5.00

February, 2020

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Michelle Lostracco

5.00

February, 2020

Two-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi Volcano

End-to-end this was very well organized with good communication. The guide was very knowledgeable and took the climb seriously. He was also easy to talk to, spoke good English and went out of his way to tell me about climbing in the region, the volcanoes and anything else I was I interested in.

R.Romendes

4.00

December, 2019

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Philippe Coopmans

3.00

December, 2019

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

I found it pretty expensive to have a private guide. The climb was only 8 hours in total and costs me €570,-. Well, that’s the only complain i have. The service all over was great. Jaime was not my guide so i can rate him, it was Juan of course. He was an ok guide, sometimes a bit hurry up. And next time it would be good to get some more explanations about the dangers of the glacier. I’ve spoken to some real mountaineers and found out there were far more dangers then i realized when climbing the cotopaxi. Maybe something for you guys to consider next time. Best regards, philippe coopmans

John Irish

5.00

December, 2019

9-day Climbing to Chimborazo and Cotopaxi

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Nora Hertig

5.00

November, 2019

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Devin

5.00

May, 2019

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Amazing experience. Wonderful guide Diego. Can’t wait to get back and summit another volcano.

John Stansfield

5.00

January, 2019

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

Edgar is an amazing guide. He is incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging. The combination makes you feel confident in the things that he teaches you and in your ability to reach the summit.

John Stansfield

5.00

January, 2019

Three-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi summit

Edgar Parra is a great guide: thoroughly professional, safety conscious, always on time and with an engaging personality. He came highly recommended and I can only heap additional praise. He guided my son and I up Cotopaxi to a successful summit and made it a trip of a lifetime. In so far as putting my money where my mouth is, I plan to hire him in the future (2020) with my entire family for a trip to Machu Picchu. No better praise than a repeat customer.

Piotr

5.00

January, 2019

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Jaime was absolutely amazing. He always made sure that safety is the priority, even when I was tired and had problems with altitude. I'd climb any mountain with him!

Tyler Long

5.00

January, 2019

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Daniel Davidson

3.00

December, 2018

Climbing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador

I did not guide with Fredy, I was passed off to another guide (who was IFMGA certified and great), just fyi, if this is something that is important to you. Accommodations are basic but good. I would add only that Chimborazo is a VERY difficult mountain with a ~10% success rate, so you really need to know what you are getting into. Do NOT rush acclimatization. You may consider doing Cotopaxi and then after choosing either Cayambe (same level as Cotopaxi) or Chimborazo, depending on how you feel.

Alec

5.00

November, 2018

9-day Climbing to Chimborazo and Cotopaxi

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Sergiy

5.00

November, 2018

Climbing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador

All went perfect. Thanks!

Bryan McBride

5.00

July, 2018

2-day Cotopaxi Volcano ascent

Fernando was a wonderful guide. Even though we didn't make it to the top we had a great experience. We plan to return in the future and make it to the top! We hope to have Fernando guide us again.

Mike Burkus

4.00

July, 2018

2-day Cotopaxi Volcano ascent

Fernando is a wonderful guide who understands the Cotopaxi route well. I recommend the climb for anyone looking for a tough mental and physical challenge.

Tim Edinger

5.00

June, 2018

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

I had an excellent experience with Andean Summit Adventure during my recent climb of Volcano Cotopaxi. Elisabeth did a tremendous job coordinating all of the logistics details for my trip while I was still in the United States. Jaime Vargas, my guide, provided a first-rate, safe, and excellent experience during the climb itself. I was completely happy with the support that Andean Summit Adventure provided me and I highly recommend them as a tour/guide service for outings in South America.


 

There are many reasons for choosing Mountain Climbing in Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is located in the Ecuadorian Andes, and is the second-highest peak in Ecuador, which makes it an ideal vantage point to catch sight of awe-inspiring views of all that surrounds it.

 

Good to know:

Country Code

+593

Currency

US Dollar

Language

Spanish, Quechua

Best time to visit

Between June and September

How to get there

Cotopaxi is around 50 km (31 mi) away from Quito, Ecuador's capital. You can fly to Quito and from there, arrange transport

Weather

Temperatures in Cotopaxi are mild year-round without much variation, but October, November, March, and April are quite rainy. Also, temperatures at the summit of the mountain do get very cold

More info about Mountain Climbing in Cotopaxi:

The majestic Cotopaxi is just 50 km (31 mi) away from Ecuador’s capital, Quito. This beautiful mountain, considered sacred in the local traditions, is also a great training ground for more demanding climbs. Most programs to the summit include glacier training before the final climb to the top. There are three main routes to the summit: the normal route, the “rompe corazones” (heart breaker), and the southwest route. They all have a Grade II/PD grading although they are not always all open to climb. Going with a certified guide is a must, and at Explore-Share.com you will find just the right one to take you to the top of this breathtaking volcano in the Andes

Need help discovering your next adventure?

 

 

Find more mountain climbing trips in Ecuador

 

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.