Climb Cotopaxi and 3 other volcanoes in 8 days

On this 8-day trip, ASEGUIM certified mountain guide Fernando will lead you to the summit of 4 volcanoes. Climb Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Illiniza, and Pichincha.




Trip Duration

8 days

Mountain Range


People per Guide

2 people

Trip Level


Offer Period

Jan, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec

Type of Trip

Not specified



    Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. At 5897 m, it even appears in the Quito skyline on a clear day. If you want to climb Cotopaxi, then I have the trip for you. During 8 days, we will climb 4 beautiful Ecuadorian volcanoes, concluding with the majestic Cotopaxi. 

    If you’re not already convinced, here are some reasons why you might want to climb Cotopaxi. First, the volcano has an almost perfect conical shape. It is magnificent as the centerpiece of Cotopaxi National Park. Next, it is the second highest mountain in the country and the most popular high altitude climb. Though Cotopaxi is a technical climb, it is not too difficult. Therefore, it will be an enjoyable challenge.

    Before we climb Cotopaxi, it is very important to do some acclimatization ascents. On this trip, we will climb some other mountains in the area to help us adjust to altitude. We will hike the Pasochoa Volcano, Rucu Pichincha, and Illiniza Norte. Pasochoa (4230 m) is an extinct volcano southeast of Quito. Rucu Pichincha (4698 m) is the volcano closest to the capital. On the hike, we’ll be able to look down and see Quito. To summit Illiniza Norte (5126 m), we’ll spend the night at the mountain refuge and then approach the snowy peak.

    After some great experiences on these three volcanoes, we’ll be ready to climb Cotopaxi. The volcano is in Ecuador’s Central Cordillera. We’ll reach this area by driving south through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” As we drive into the national park, we’ll pass through pine forest, then flatlands. The park is home to a wide variety of animals. We might see wild horses, llamas, and many types of birds. After we arrive, we will hike to the refuge and prepare for our early-morning ascent.

    The trip will be a great adventure. If you’re interested, contact me now! I can give you more information and answer your questions. In addition, I lead tours to the beautiful Quilotoa Lake.

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    Price per person

    Group of 1
    1620 USD

    Group of 2
    840 USD


    Price includes

    • Guiding fee
    • Accommodation
    • Transportation from your hotel/airport (if in area) to the start of the trip and back
    • Transport during the trip
    • Luggage transfer during the trip
    • Permit and entrance fees
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     This trip's price includes all meals on hikes, but doesn't include meals in your hotels. Personal climbing equipment is not included either.


    • Day 1Arrive in Quito (2800 m)

      I will await your arrival in Quito. If you arrive in the morning, we can visit the equator line and the Intiñan museum. You’ll spend the night in your hotel.

    • Day 2Quito to Pasochoa (4320 m)

      We’ll leave Quito early and drive for about 2 hours southeast through the Andean highlands until we get to the Pasochoa trailhead (3300 m). The hike to the summit goes through an amazing primary Andean forest that is great for birdwatching. We’ll arrive on the summit (4230 m) and if we have good weather we’ll be able to see the surrounding mountains of Antisana, Cayambe, Illinizas, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. The roundtrip hike will take about 6 hours. We’ll be back in Quito by the late afternoon and spend the night in the hotel.

    • Day 3Quito to Rucu Pichincha (4698 m)

      Rucu Pinchincha towers just above Quito, so it will only take us 15 or 20 minutes to get to the parking lot (3300 m). From there, we’ll take a cable car for 15 to 20 minutes up to the trailhead. The trail follows a long ridge that takes us to the base of the summit. After traversing north, we’ll continue gaining altitude by hiking on sandy terrain to the summit (4698 m). The total hiking time will be around 6 hours. We’ll return to the hotel by late afternoon.

    • Day 4Quito to Nuevos Horizontes Hut (4750 m)

      We’ll leave Quito in the morning and drive through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” until we get to the village El Chaupi. We’ll keep driving up to the Illinizas parking lot. From there, we’ll hike 3-4 hours to the Nuevos Horizontes Refuge (4750 m). We’ll spend the rest of the day and night relaxing and eating at the hut.

    • Day 5Hut to Illiniza Norte Summit (5126 m) to La Estación

      We’ll start early in the morning, having a light breakfast and packing our climbing equipment. We’ll hike up to the saddle formed between Illiniza North and Illiniza South. Our rout to the top of Illiniza North involves 3-4 hours of easy scrambling. Once at the summit (5126 m), we’ll enjoy the beautiful surroundings. It will take around 7 hours to complete the hike. We’ll spend the night at Hacienda La Estación.

    • Day 6La Estación to Cotopaxi Refuge (4800 m)

      We’ll get up and drive from the Hacienda to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. We’ll park at the parking lot (4500 m) and then hike up for around an hour to the Jose Rivas Refuge (4800 m). In the afternoon we’ll head up the glacier to practice our ice climbing skills. We’ll learn some basic techniques with crampons, ice axes, and rope. We’ll return to the refuge to have dinner and rest.

    • Day 7Refuge to Cotopaxi Summit (5897 m) to Quito

      We’ll wake up at midnight to start our hike to the top. We’ll have a light breakfast and get our stuff ready for the 6-8 hour climb. Once at the summit, we’ll take our time taking pictures of the crater and surroundings. Then we’ll head back down to the refuge, which will take us about 2 or 3 hours. At the refuge, we’ll pack our things, eat, and head down to the parking lot where our transportation will be ready to take us back to Quito. You’ll sleep that night in your hotel in Quito.

    • Day 8Flight back home

      I’ll pick you up from your hotel in Quito and take you to the airport.


    Other details

    Skill level required


    Fitness level required


    Meeting point



    Hostels and mountain refuges

    More info

    In Ecuador you can climb all year, but these are the seasons: High Season: June to August / December to January. Low season: February to May / September to November.

    For safety reasons, there's a 2:1 ratio on this trip. If more people sign up, other guides will join the group.


    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 a great mountaineering experience of more than 12 years of climbing in all Ecuador, and I also climbed in South America, Switzerland and France.

    I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have a professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as Natural guide organized by 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 hostal and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south from 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 kichua.



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    What People are Saying about Fernando Iza


    Great experience climbing with Fernando: Well organised and we made the summit with him on Chimborazo. I\'d recommend him for guiding in Ecuador.
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    Adam Burrage
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    Dick Fields
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    Barbara Matter
    Fernando is an excellent and knowledgeable guide, and the itinerary is a nice balance of climbs and recovery time, including time to explore a couple of cities. He also made sure we were well-equipped for the climbs. The guides are geared more toward getting you up and down than toward building any technique. It\'s not billed as an instructional course, so that\'s not a complaint -- just pointing it out for those who like to use one experience to build to another rather than just reach the summit.
    Read review
    The Reality Twister

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