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Climbing Cotopaxi and Aconcagua

Join one of the ASEGUIM Mountain Guides from Ecuadorian Alpine Institute in this unforgettable adventure climbing Cotopaxi and Aconcagua Mountains!

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration22 days
Offer periodJan, Nov, Dec
Type of tripNot specified


This unique expedition begins in the middle of the world in Ecuador, South America with beautiful volcanoes to get well acclimatized. It then continues down South America to the Andes massif Mt. Aconcagua.

We will spend 9 days in Ecuador to properly acclimate for climbing the 5 summits along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 4 in Ecuador and 1 in Argentina, the roof of America “Aconcagua” (6,962m)!

The climb will begin in Ecuador with acclimatization at Pasochoa (4,199m), Guagua Pichincha (4,794m) or Ruco Pichincha (4,627m). We then propose the following mountains to prepare for the “real” adventure climb: Iliniza North at (5,125m) and Cotopaxi volcano (5,897m). The volcanoes of Ecuador are well known among climbers.

The 22-day trip enables us to experience the landscape, culture and people of the Andean country. During the expedition, we climb 5 volcanoes. The first two high objectives in Ecuador provide good acclimatization before we move south on to Aconcagua in Argentina.

The team spends one wonderful night in Mendoza enjoying good food, plenty of wine etc, while arrange and get the permits for Aconcagua National Park.

NOTE PLEASE THAT: Aconcagua is not a trek only, it is a mountaineering expedition as well. Although it is a non-technical ascent, it is a long and extremely tiring climb at high altitude.


Day 1: Arrival at Quito. Pick up at the airport, transfer IN to hotel. Hotel Embassy

Day 2: ACCLIMATIZATION Pasochoa (4,199m/13,773ft). 30km south of Quito, Cerro Pasochoa is an ancient and highly eroded volcano, which has been inactive since the last ice age. This easy ascent will take us 3-4 hours to reach the summit. We’ll rest for an hour, having lunch during this time. Drive back to Quito in the afternoon. (B./BL./–)

Day 3: Ruco Pichincha (4,794m/15,724ft). Very good mountain for beginning the process to acclimatize, we take the route and hike up to arrive at the summit, the other one is more interesting, you learn to climb the volcanic rack, we do climb direct ,we use ropes to ensure a safe climb with the harness and pruxicks. From here you can see Quito City, as well as other very nice panoramas, too. Our primary goal here is to help each team member to start testing his or her response to higher elevation and to give our bodies a chance to get used to altitude, while enjoying the many photographic opportunities. (B./BL./–)

Day 4: Refugio ILINIZAS (4,600m/15,088ft). After breakfast, we make a mid-morning departure from Quito to the Ilinizas parking lot. From here it is a 3 hours hike up to the refuge with our full back pack on. The refuge is located at 4,600m, (15,092ft). We’ll have dinner and sleep in the refuge. B/L/D

Day 5: ILINIZA NORTH (5,125m / 16,815ft)
We’ll get up early in the morning at 5:00 A.M. for breakfast and depart for our summit attempt on Iliniza Norte. On one part of the route we will use a fixed rope to pass or negotiate “Death Pass.” After this pass we’ll reach the summit. The average time to the summit is 3 hours. Our private car (4×4 transportation) will take us to a hotel near Cotopaxi, in the Cotopaxi National Park for a very restful night. (B/L/–)

Day 6: Cotopaxi Glaciers SCHOOL. Drive to the Cotopaxi parking lot, located at 4,550m (14,924ft). From here we have a 45 minute hike, with full packs to the Jose Rivas Refuge on the Cotopaxi northwest flank at 4,800m (15,744ft). We can go to the glacier and work on the moderate glacier section, a good area to familiarize ourselves with the various climbing techniques and equipment. You’ll learn and practice rope-handling, glacier travel, snow climbing, basic crevasse rescue skills, and safety techniques. After 6 hours training, we’ll return to the refuge around 5:00 P.M. (B./BL./–)

Day 7: COTOPAXI JOSE RIVAS HUT. Resting in the morning. After a big lunch in Tambopaxi, we can move up to the Cotopaxi Refuge, 4,800m (15,744ft). We’ll rest and end the day with a relaxing evening and delicious dinner. Of course, we prepare our mountain gear for a midnight departure for Cotopaxi summit. Early dinner and early to bed, usually by 6:30 P.M. B/L/D

Day 8: COTOPAXI SUMMIT (5,897m/19,427ft). We’ll get up at midnight for breakfast and equipment check-up. We leave the refuge at 1:00 A.M. We will enjoy one of the most spectacular color displays in the Andes from this point. We’ll see the valley below us, where the morning sunrise welcomes us with incredible colors. We start climbing glacier slopes of 35 and 45 degrees, at the top of which we will only have 15 more minutes of climbing to emerge onto Ecuador’s second highest summit: Volcano Cotopaxi. We’ll return to the refuge around 9:00 or 10:00 A.M. to rest and hike back down to the 4 x 4 vehicle and drive to Termas de Papallacta hot springs. (B./BL./–)

Day 9: Resting full day In Papallacta HOT SPRINGS. We have lunch at 3:00 P.M. then come back to Quito to take the flight down to Mendoza in the evening at 9:45 P.M., arriving in Mendoza the next day at 11:30 A.M. Transfer IN with guide.


Day 11: HOSTERIA PUENTE DEL INCA RESTING FULL DAY. SWIMMING AT THE THERMAL POOL. CHECK IN ON THE HORCONES GUARDA PARQUES. After lunch, around 2:00 P.M., our tour leader meets you to prepare everything for the next big day. All members of the group go up to the Horcones entrance with your permits to CHECK IN, because the next day we can begin to hike at 7:00 A.M. from the Horcones control gate. (B./–/–)

Day 12: PUENTE DEL INCA – HORCONES – CONFLUENCIAS – PLAZA DE MULAS. This day we begin our approach to Aconcagua. Mules will carry all of our expedition food and equipment, enabling us to enjoy this spectacular day hike with a light day pack. The trail follows the Horcones River to the junction of the Lower and the Upper Horcones River. After crossing the Lower Horcones on a footbridge, we continue up the river valley towards Confluencia, 3,400m, where we’ll pass this intermediate camp. While other climbers spend three nights at Confluencia in order to adequately acclimatize for climbing Aconcagua, we arrive here with very good acclimatization from Ecuador. This is a tough day – taking about 11-12 hours to reach the base camp Plaza de Mulas. By the time we land in Plaza de Mulas, we will have climbed nearly 1,481 meters during the day. We settle into our base camp tents at Plaza de Mulas base camp 4,200m (13,779ft), and get to know the local staff, who will support us from this point on. (B./BL./D)

Day 13: AFTER THE LONG JOURNEY WE HAD THE DAY BEFORE, YOU NEED TO RECOVER ALL THE ENERGY (RESTING FULL DAY). In the afternoon the expedition leader will prepare a list of what to take. At the same time, equipment will be prepared for the local porters to carry, which ensures you will only have to carry your own personal equipment, with all the group’s stores and food being taken by the porters who support the team. We’ll spend the night at base camp Plaza de Mulas. (B./BL./D)

Day 14: Hike to Camp 1 Nido de Condores at (5,559m/17,100ft). This usually takes 5-6 hours. We have dinner at high altitude and stay overnight at Nido de Condores to measure our acclimatization before going to our next high camp 2 Colera at 5,890m (19,437ft) (B./BL./D)

Day 15: Hike down to base camp Plaza de Mulas. Today is just to measure how our body is acclimitizing after we spent the night at high altitude. We’ll stay overnight at base camp Plaza de Mulas. (B./BL./D)

Day 16: Plaza de Mulas – Nido de Condores – Camp 2 Colera – 8 hours hike up. Colera camp is located at 5,970m, 40 meters higher than Berlin Camp. In the first 3 hours of climbing we pass Canada Camp, continue our climbing, we pass slope changes and from here we take another hour to arrive at Nido de Condores. This is a really useful day, and past experience has shown that by sleeping on the mountain at high altitude, our acclimatization will be given a huge boost that will enable us to tackle the mountain with more energy and less difficulty. We have dinner and spend the night at Camp 2 Colera at 5,970m (19,569ft). The guide checks the weather every day with the park authority by radio. If the weather conditions are confirmed by Aconcagua park, the next day we can move up to make the Aconcagua Summit. If so, we can prepare all the personal gear in the afternoon for the next morning’s climb. (B./BL./D)

Day 17: Summit attempt to Acocncagua. After breakfast, we should start no later than 5:00 A.M. Around 6:15 A.M. the sunrise brings a very magnificent view of the Andes. Between Nido de Condores to Aconcagua Summit, we climb 1,399m. We take around 8-9 hours climbing up and 4-5 hours climbing down. After reaching the summit, celebrating the ascent and taking photographs, we descent using the normal route passing the Independencia Camp again to arrive at Colera, where our tents are. Here we have dinner and spend the last night in the high altitude. (B./BL./D)

Day 18: Second day to summit attempt: This day is scheduled for resting only and preparing for our next long summit day push. This gives us spare time in case of bad weather, but the summit will be attempted on the first day if possible. (B./BL./D)

Day 19: Last night on the Andes mountain. Descent down to base camp, where the staff will be waiting to share the excitement of our ascent. We should all have returned to base camp by mid-afternoon at the latest. Our final lunch and dinner will be special and no doubt accompanied by beer and wine to have a nice celebration. We spend the night at Plaza de Mulas. (B./BL./D)

Day 20: Resting full day at Plaza de Mulas. After the summit day we have a full day to rest at Plaza de Mulas, recovering our full energy for the next day hiking back down. (B./BL./D)

Day 21: Exit National Park and return to Mendoza. Trek all the way down the Horcones Valley to the National Park entrance. The walk will take about 8 hours. After arriving back at the gate, at about 4:00 P.M., we then have a 4 hour drive back to town, where we would expect to be back in the hotel in time for a quick turnaround and shower before having dinner at a restaurant at about 9:00 P.M. You’ll stay at either hotel Aconcagua (4 stars) or Plaza Hotel (5 stars). (B./BL./–)

Day 22: Fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires or Santiango de Chile. After a full day, in the early evening, we leave to the airport to catch our flights back home. (B.)(If your flight is not too early.)

We can take a city tour in Mendoza (740m) or have a resting day in the city. Exploring the charming city of Mendoza, in the heart of wine country, is always a highlight of this trip.

Please contact me if you are interested in doing this unique expedition that connects the most famous peaks in the Argentine and Ecuadorian Andes! I also offer an alternative 26 days expedition that includes Chimborazo in Ecuador and a different route for Aconcagua, through the Polish Glacier, so ask me for more details if you like this other program.

Extra details

Not Included

All International round-trip airfares.
Aconcagua Park fees.
Additional hotels, meals and transportation should the climb end early.
Unscheduled airport shuttles.
Meals, hotels and transportation outside the regular itinerary.
Personal gear.
Single-room supplement for hotels.
Medical/Evacuation trip insurance.
Charges incurred as a result of delays and itinerary changes beyond the control of
the organization. We recommend travel insurance to cover any unforeseen costs.
Tips and gratuities.
Alcohol and/or bottled drinks.
Personal porters support. (for $.1000 Dollars.)

Included in Price

Hotels accommodation in Ecuador & Argentina (7 Night at double bead with American Breakfast)(as described on the Itinerary)
Bilingual certified Mountain guide.
All private transportation.
All meals while on the climbing trip.
Porter for the group gear.
All tents, cooking gear for the climbs.
Rope and techniques climbing gear.
Mules for carry the gear at high camp, and down.
Climbing permits In Ecuador.

Price per person

USD 4.889 pax 9-10 – Guide ratio 3:1

Spots of interest

Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Aconcagua, Argentina

Aconcagua, Argentina



About the guide

guide profile img

ASEGUIM Mountain Guides from Ecuador

We are a group of ASEGUIM certified guides (Association of Mountain Guides in Ecuador) with 20 years of experience in climbing adventures, trekking, rock climbing, cycling, rafting and kayaking in outstanding destinations of Ecuador, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.

Our tours combine physical challenges with cultural experiences in the most scenic and wild places of South America. We aim to take you off the beaten tracks, exploring the best locations in a comfortable and safe experience.

We believe acclimatization is an essential factor when approaching high mountains like the Ecuadorian volcanoes. Because of that, we carefully design our programs to provide a good acclimatization through a series of gradual climbs and some training sessions between attempting big objectives.

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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 5041 each

Group of 2

USD 8763 each

Group of 3

USD 5041 each

Group of 4

USD 5041 each

Group of 5

USD 5041 each

Group of 6

USD 5041 each

Group of 7

USD 5041 each

Group of 8

USD 5041 each

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