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Climb Cotopaxi, 4 volcanoes in 5 days (Ecuador)

Cotopaxi views
Cotopaxi clouds
cotopaxi descent
Cotopaxi reaching the summit
Cotopaxi sceneries

Let Fernando, an ASEGUIM certified mountain leader, and his team guide you across mesmerizing landscapes in Ecuador. Join him on this 5 days ascent to the summit of Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Corazón, and Illiniza.



5 Days

Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec




  • Stand at the top of Cotopaxi with a local and expert guide.
  • Reach the summit of Pasochoa, Corazón and Illiniza too.
  • Enjoy some of the most breathtaking sceneries in the country.


Ecuador guards majestic places, enchanting towns, vibrant cities, warm people, exquisite food and colourful traditions. But one of the most marvellous places in this country is the Cotopaxi National Park, home of Cotopaxi (5,897 m).

Join me on this 5 days expedition and reach the summit of this stunning volcano along with other equally magnificent ones such as Pasochoa, Corazón and Illiniza.

Cotopaxi is regarded as one of the most beautiful volcanoes on Earth. This active volcano is also the second highest in Ecuador.  Reaching its summit is not a highly technical ascent, but it requires some basic experience in glacier traverse.

Everyday will be a unique and marvellous adventure. Nonetheless, it will be the day on which we reach Cotopaxi‘s summit, one of the most unforgettable ones. We’ll leave the refuge around midnight. Then, around 6 am we will be arriving to the top with a hypnotizing sunrise accompanying us.

Due to the altitude of this expedition we highly recommend our Acclimatization Packages. So you can truly enjoy this mountaineering experience.

Also, please note this is a private trip. Therefore, I will take into careful consideration your requests and expectations.

Are you up for this mountaineering trip to the summit of Cotopaxi? Just send me a request and prepare to live an exciting adventure in Ecuador.

I also guide this Quilotoa Lake guided hiking day, if you want to further explore the region.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

Price details

The price includes: the fee of an ecuadorian qualified and experienced local Mountain Guide (ASEGUIM/UIAGM) ratio 2 climbers -1 guide; registration in the System SIB (System Information of Biodiversity); Technical mountain gear (mountaineering Boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet); private transportation throughout the trip; 4 nights accommodation at the Hostal Andes Alpes; 1 night accommodation at the Cotopaxi Refuge Jose Rivas; all meals during the hikes and climbs. The price does not include: personal mountain gear (warm cloths, sleeping bags, sunglasses, head lamp, etc.); international flight tickets; accommodation in Quito, tips, insurance of any kind Travel accident and health insurance, luggage insurance and trip cancellation; other non-specified expenses.


Day 1: Quito 2800m - Pasochoa 4200m - El Chaupi 3300m

Around 8 am we leave Quito. After that we’ll drive through the Avenue of Volcanoes until the Pasochoa Parking Lot. Thereupon we’ll hike and ascend steep slopes to reach the summit of Pasochoa. And at the end of the day we’ll return to El Chaupi. A box lunch and dinner are included.

Day 2: El Chaupi - Corazón Volcano 4788m

After breakfast we’ll drive to the trailhead where we’ll begin our hike, which will take us through small Andean grasslands. Later, we’ll reach a sandy scramble section that leads to the summit of Corazon. Finally, we’ll return to the hostel for dinner and to rest. The meals included on this day are breakfast, a box lunch and dinner.

Day 3: El Chaupi - Iliniza North 5126m

Early morning, after breakfast, we’ll drive to the La Virgen parking lot, from where our hike to the Nuevos Horizontes Refuge begins. Here, we’ll rest, gear up and head towards the summit of Illiniza Norte. Then, we’ll drive back to El Chaupi, and stay at the hostal Andes Alpes. The meals included are a box lunch and dinner.

Day 4: El Chaupi - Refugio Jose Ribas 4862m

We’ll depart from El Chaupi, driving through the Avenue of Volcanoes until we reach the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. From here will drive east to the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764ft/4500m) then we’ll hike for around an hour to the José Rivas Refuge (15,951 ft. / 4862 m.). We will then have dinner and rest until midnight. At this point we will pack our belongings and get ready to make our final ascent. On this day the meals included are breakfast, a box lunch and dinner.

Day 5: Refugio - Summit Cotopaxi 5897 m – Quito/Latacunga

At midnight we’ll leave to the summit of Cotopaxi, having breakfast on the way. At the entrance of the glacier, your guide will explain all necesary tips needed for using crampons and ice axe if needed. After 6-8 hours we’ll reach the top. Then we’ll begin our descent, back to the refuge and the parking lot, where our private transportation will be waiting to drive us back to Quito.




Hostels, mountain refuges and hotels

Meeting point


About the guide

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador.

I was born and raised in Cotopaxi Province – Ecuador and know the country’s peaks intimately. I have great mountaineering experience of more than 12 years of climbing in all Ecuador, and I also climbed in South America, Switzerland, and France.

I manage a guiding company, so sometimes I'm the one guiding the trips, but sometimes I'm focused on company management, and one of the certified guides of my team will be guiding you. All the guides with whom I work are professional and certified guides.

I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as a Nature guide organized by the Ministry of tourism.

Some of the guiding courses I attended are:

* Mountain Guides Course by ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides),
* Mountain Guides Evaluation by ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme) in October 2006. An event organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and ENSA of France
* Pre-Course UIAGM an event organized by ASEGUIM and ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme)
* First Aids course, Ecuadorian Red Cross

I live and manage a hostel and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south of Quito, just in between Illinizas Ecological Reserve and Cotopaxi National Park. It looks like a typical Swiss town in the Alps, and has everything to become a great mountaineering center, the ‘Chamonix or Zermatt of South America’!

I speak fluent Spanish, English, and little German, French, Hebrew, and Quichua.

The guiding team I lead is committed and experienced. Contact me to help you organize an unforgettable adventure.


German | French | English



What people are saying about this trip

Lauren Kuklenski


August, 2022

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!

Jan Zehnder


July, 2021

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.


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