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Guided Climb to Cotopaxi Summit

Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit

Join Jaime, a certified IFMGA Mountain Guide with 20 years of experience, on a thrilling 2-day expedition to the summit of Cotopaxi, Ecuador's iconic volcano!

Private

Andes

2 Days

All year

High

Intermediate


Highlights

Reach the summit of one of the most important volcanoes in the world.

Go through the Cotopaxi National Park and get to see the local wildlife.

Contemplate the incredible volcano's crater from the top.

Description

Come and discover the most popular volcano among climbers in Ecuador, where a snow-covered mountain peak arises from an ocean of clouds.

Standing high at an altitude of 5897 meters, Cotopaxi is the second-highest mountain in the country and one of the most important active volcanoes in the world. It is located to the south of Quito and the northeast of Latacunga.

Join me on a 2-day climbing tour to the Cotopaxi summit and explore one of the most beautiful touristic attractions of Ecuador. We’ll also visit the Cotopaxi National Park and contemplate the wildlife at Laguna Limpiopungo, walk from the José Rivas Hut to the Cotopaxi volcano, and marvel at the impressive crater at its roof!

You can arrange the tour for the day that you prefer. The possible pick-up points are Baños, Riobamba, Ambato, Machachi, and Quito. Cotopaxi is a great volcano for those that are starting to enjoy mountaineering, not too difficult but exciting! Although this climbing tour requires a low technical level, it is important to have good acclimatization and fitness.

On the first day, we will drive to the parking lot of the Cotopaxi National Park, where we will start the ascent to the José Ribas Refuge. In the afternoon, we will improve our skills in glacier training.

On the second day, we will start climbing the Cotopaxi by midnight and after 6 – 7 hours, you will be able to admire the wonderful crater at the top of the volcano. The descent will take us another 3 hours and then we will enjoy a well-deserved lunch.

So, are you ready for an unforgettable Cotopaxi experience? Then contact me and get ready for an incredible Andean adventure. It will be a pleasure to guide you to the top of one of the most beautiful volcanoes in Ecuador.

Also, you can take a look at this program that I lead to the top of Tungurahua in Ecuador.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Snacks

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

Price details

Included:

- 10 am pickup

- Lunch on day 1

- Snack for the ascent

- Accommodation at refuge with dinner and breakfast

- Permits

- Equipment rental possible but subject to an additional fee.

- Pick up on the first day and drop off on the last day can be arranged according to your accommodation.


Details

More info

If you´ll be staying in Quito for a couple of days prior to the ascent, a good acclimatization routine would include visiting the old town, climbing the towers of Basilica del Voto Nacional, doing Rucu Pichincha Summit (from TeleferiQo) - up to 4.696 m. Another good option is going for Middle of the world and go for a hike at Pululahua Crater. As for the equipment, we can help you with technical equipment, but you need to bring shoes with you.

Meeting point

Quito or any point between Quito and the way to the mountain.

FAQs

What experience and how fit do I need to be to climb this mountain? Is this program suitable for children or older people?

You need good fitness (cardio, endurance and a strong mind), ideally some previous glacier travel experience. Due to the altitude, it would not be ideal for kids. Older people can climb if they are fit.

Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?

If you do not want to bring your gear, there are rental options. We can provide part of the equipment (package price). The following equipment is recommended for a Cotopaxi Climb:

Technical equipment:

  • crampons
  • ice axe
  • climbing harness
  • helmet
  • trekking poles (optional)
  • sun/glacier glasses
  • back bag (40 - 50 l approx.)
  • sun protection
  • headlamp
  • thermos bottle (optional)
  • sleeping bag (1°C / 37°F / warm)

Clothing:

  • waterproof jacket
  • waterproof / -resistant pants
  • layer jacket (down or fleece)
  • soft-shell jacket (optional)
  • soft-shell pants (optional)
  • shirts/pullover
  • hiking pants/leggings
  • underwear (long sleeve)
  • mountaineering gloves
  • soft-shell gloves
  • balaclava/buff
  • hat
  • socks (2 pairs)
  • mountaineering boots
  • gaiters (optional)

Will there be porters to help to carry group and personal equipment?

No

How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?

Catering day 1: - / L / D, day 2: B / - / - (snacks for the ascent will be provided)

What is the guide-to-client ratio to climb this mountain?

Max. 1 : 2

Can I join a group?

I offer only private trips, no open groups.

How will acclimatization be handled?

3 - 4 days of activities in altitude will prepare you in terms of acclimatization. If you plan to stay in Quito for a few days before the ascent, a recommended acclimatization plan would involve exploring the old town, ascending the towers of Basilica del Voto Nacional, and summiting Rucu Pichincha (from TeleferiQo) - up to 4,696 m. Another option is to visit the Middle of the World and take a hike at Pululahua Crater.

Where will we meet at the start of the trip?

We'll gather either in Quito, at your accommodation or any location directly en route from Quito to the mountain is also possible.

What's included in the price?

The price includes:

  • IFMGA / ASEGUIM mountain guide
  • Transport during the trip
  • Lunch on day 1
  • Snack for the ascent
  • Accommodation at refuge with dinner and breakfast
  • Permits
  • Pick up and drop off on the first and last days can be arranged according to your accommodation.

Will I be able to rent equipment?

Equipment rental will be available at an extra charge.

What is the difficulty level of this Cotopaxi climbing expedition?

While the technical difficulty is low, good acclimatization and fitness are essential due to the high altitude

Can I customize the Cotopaxi tour dates?

Yes, you can arrange the tour for your preferred day.

Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?

If you do not want to bring your gear, there are rental options. We can provide part of the equipment (package price). The following equipment is recommended for a Cotopaxi Climb:

Technical equipment:

  • crampons
  • ice axe
  • climbing harness
  • helmet
  • trekking poles (optional)
  • sun/glacier glasses
  • back bag (40 - 50 l approx.)
  • sun protection
  • headlamp
  • thermos bottle (optional)
  • sleeping bag (1°C / 37°F / warm)

Clothing:

  • waterproof jacket
  • waterproof / -resistant pants
  • layer jacket (down or fleece)
  • soft-shell jacket (optional)
  • soft-shell pants (optional)
  • shirts/pullover
  • hiking pants/leggings
  • underwear (long sleeve)
  • mountaineering gloves
  • soft-shell gloves
  • balaclava/buff
  • hat
  • socks (2 pairs)
  • mountaineering boots
  • gaiters (optional)

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Hotel Akros Quito Ecuador
See rooms
La Casa Sol Ecuador
See rooms
Swissôtel Quito Quito Ecuador
See rooms

About the guide

Guide profile image

Jaime

4.90

(41)

Mountain Guide

Certified IFMGA - ASEGUIM Mountain Guide, National guide, Rescue Team Member GRA & Lawyer.

As passionate mountaineer and with almost 20 years of guiding experience, I worked with clients from all over the world. Each tour is a unique experience and I will pleased to guide you to the marvellous summits of Ecuador and South America. My journeys have allowed me to guide and summit several mountains in Peru, like Alpamayo, Chopicalqui & Tocllaraju amongst others and to experience some mountain climbing in the Alps of Austria and Italy.

I’m based in Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador’s famous piece of heaven, where we run together with my Austrian girlfriend a small tour operator and a consulting office.

Continuous improvement and keeping up with the State of the Art is our mission:in 2017, I completed the IFMGA certification and, recently, in 2018, I received the National guide certification from the ministry of Tourism.

President of Baños Trail Running Club, I run every week with my team. My achievement of 2018 : Finishing 1st of my category for the 100km Ruco Ultra Trail.

I’m looking forward to exploring our beautiful mountains together with you.

Languages

German | French | English

Certificates

ASEGUIM | IFMGA

Request more information

What people are saying about this trip

Andrew

5.00

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!

Alexey

5.00

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

Philippe

3.00

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

Adam

5.00

Jaime Vargas and Sebastian were both excellent! Would not hesitate to book with them again! Knowledgeable, helpful, personable, and always mindful of our safety. Treated our team as fellow climbers. Enjoyable and rewarding experience!

Corey

5.00

We didn't actually ever work with Jaime but the guides we did have were all pretty good. We had a big group (12 people) and they were able to accommodate us very well. Christian was the head guide and he did a great job communicating with us about our options and making sure we're being safe. Some of the guides didn't speak much English and that was a little difficult for the members of group who didn't know any Spanish.


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