Explore-Share logo and link to home

2-day guided climb to Cotopaxi summit

Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit
Cotopaxi summit

Jaime, a certified IFMGA Mountain Guide with 20 years of experience, invites you to take part in a 2-day climbing adventure to the Cotopaxi summit.



2 Days

All year




  • 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.


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

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.

As for the itinerary, 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

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Snacks

Price details


- 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.



José Ribas Hut

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

Baños, Riobamba, Ambato, Machachi and Quito.

About the 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.


German | French | English



What people are saying about this trip

Adam Jung


February, 2023

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 Tingey


January, 2023

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.

Michael Caffrey


December, 2022

My wife and I had an exceptionally fine experience on our climb. We initially had planned the Cotopaxi trip, however volcanic activity pre-empted that and we shifted to Cayambe, Ecuador's third highest peak. Our guide was Jose Salazar and from the inquiry and planning stages we had extremely attentive and responsive service from Elisabeth Gschosser at the guiding service. No question was left unanswered. I have worked with many guiding firms- RMI, EMS, Exum to name several and Jose was by far the best guide I have worked with. IFMGA Certified, multi-lingual, a man of letters, extremely patient, an absolute gentleman, and most importantly Jose focused on us- his clients. His goal was not to run up the mountain at his speed so that the next group or clients can be ushered through the climb as in a "cattle-call". Rather, he initiated a pace that he knew would work for clients out age (63 and 54) who had never been above 14,440' prior to coming to Ecuador. He was focused on safety, technique, pace, resting, hydrating and nourishment- and of course how his clients were performing and feeling. We learned much about ourselves and our capabilities on Cayambe- but most of all we learned what a professional mountain guide was. I intend to return to Ecuador and it will be on Jose's rope that I will be climbing. A truly wonderful experience- thanks to all at Explore-Share and Andean Summit Adventure.

Bogdan Damian


September, 2022

This trip to the summit was awesome. Jaime is a high prefessional guide with a lot of experience and good motivation skills. It was hard but I would do it again. I already thinking abaout the Chimborazo. In 2 years i will be back, so be ready for the Chimborazo, Jaime. :) Thank you!

Oliver Bruessow


September, 2022

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.

Blake Eden


July, 2022

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

Omar Saade


May, 2022

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

Justin Johns


April, 2022

Great guide and experience! Highly recommend!

Keith Cockrum


April, 2022

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

Andrew Brown


March, 2022

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


February, 2022

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.

Alexey Volegov


November, 2021

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

Matthew Fleischman


March, 2021

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

Maxwell Gregory


December, 2020

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.

Sarah Hill


November, 2020

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!


You may also like



Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.