Explore-Share logo and link to home

Climb Cotopaxi and 3 other volcanoes in 8 days

Cotopaxi Volcano
Cotopaxi Volcano
Cotopaxi Volcano
Pasochoa Volcano

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

Not specified

Andes

8 Days

Jan, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec

Fit

Intermediate


Description

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. On this 8-day program, 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, then make sure to send your request for more information today! In addition, you can also join us on an amazing tour to the beautiful Quilotoa Lake.

Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 1820 Each

Group of 2

USD 925 Each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

Price details

This trip's price includes all meals on hikes, but doesn't include meals in your hotels. Personal climbing equipment is not included either.


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive 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 2: Quito 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 3: Quito 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 4: Quito 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 5: Hut 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 6: La 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). 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.

Day 7: Refuge 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. At the entrance of the glacier, your guide will explain all necesary tips needed for using crampons and ice axe if needed. 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 8: Flight back home

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

 

Details

Accommodation

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.

Meeting point

Quito

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.

Languages

German | French | English

Certificates

ASEGUIM

Residence

El Chaupi


What people are saying about this trip

Kirsten Yehl

5.00

September, 2021

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.




 

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.