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Cotopaxi 2-day guided ascent, Ecuador


Ascend the snow-covered summit of the active Cotopaxi volcano with IFMGA-certified Pablo guiding you atop Ecuador’s stunning second highest peak.

Not specified


2 Days

Sep, Oct, Nov




  • Reach the second highest peak of Ecuador.
  • Scale the active volcano of Cotopaxi, one of the world's highest.
  • Witness incredible views and the strength of nature.


Conquer the snow-covered coned volcano peak of Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s second highest peak that soars to 5,897 meters (19,347ft).

Just 55 kilometres (34 miles) south of Quito, the region is famous for its incredibly clear weather due to its geography. So for most climbs you will be able to witness beautiful panoramas of the Andean landscape, like the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

Reach the summit and enjoy incredible views of the Cotopaxi crater, which measures 800 meters (2,624ft) in diameter, and releases a steady stream of gases and steam.

Being an active volcano, Cotopaxi erupts roughly every 100 years. The last eruption lasted from August 2015 to January 2016, but the first ever recorded was in 1534 during the Spanish conquest.

It once erupted during a battle between the Spanish conquistadors and the Incas that caused both sides to run for their lives. For the Incas, Cotopaxi was a significant spiritual symbol, and believed the eruption was an ominous sign. The Spaniards, who had never experienced volcanic activity, were simply terrified of its deadly powers.

Wilhelm Reiss, a German geologist, and Angel Escobar, from Colombia, were the first to climb the rim of the crater in 1872. Their ascent took them over a lava flow that was still warm. In 1880, Edward Whymper, a British mountaineer, climbed Cotopaxi from the north, which to this day is the most popular route to the summit.

Because of the region’s stable weather conditions, it’s possible to access the summit all year round. The level for this trip is not technically difficult, although there is one section that contains snow bridge crossings and complex crevasse patterns, requiring ice climbing gear. And in general, potential participants need a good level of fitness.

Reserve your place now to conquer Ecuador’s second highest peak, the active volcano of Cotopaxi, and witness the incredible force of nature on this 2-day guide.


Day 1: To Jose Rivas Refuge

After driving to the base of Cotopaxi at 4,600m (15,091ft), we will hike to Jose Rivas Refuge at 4,800 m (15,748 ft). Then we will review our glacier and technical skills to prepare for the ascent of Cotopaxi.

Day 2: Climb the Cotopaxi summit

Our day starts early to ensure we have enough time to reach the summit by 7:00am. After 6-7 hours of climbing we will watch the sunrise, and begin our descent. It will take 2-3 hours to return before we drive to Quito.


About the guide

UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide from Ecuador.

I fell in love with the mountains at a young age while climbing Ecuador’s volcanoes with my father. I guided in the Andes for 8 years and have been guiding for the past four years in the Northwest United States. In 1997 I expanded his adventure skills by taking on rock climbing. I represented Chimborazo province three times as the Ecuadorian National Rock Climbing Champion.

I completed his UIAGM certification with the Bolivian Mountain & Trekking Guide Association, accredited by the National School of Ski and Alpinism of Chamonix (ENSA), and completed Advanced Alpine and Rock Guides Courses with American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA).

I usually spend some months every year in Ecuador (from October to January, but it varies every year). The rest of the year I am based and guide in Europe.





What people are saying about Explore-Share

Kumari Selvakumar


Sept 14, 2022

I’m extremely happy with the ease with which I could book via your site reliable and experienced guide. Thank you so very much, and I’ve started to recommend your site to my friends. Dimitris is not only an awesome guide, but a wonderful person who was always looking out to give me the best experience I can have when he found out how much I love climbing! He is the Best!

Niklas Warren


Sept 6, 2022

I am very pleased with Explore-Share! This was my first international climb, and the communication and response time were great. Herbie is a very skilled guide and very efficient. The entire booking process & payment was smooth. I will definitely use Explore-Share again. Thank you.



Aug 23, 2022

I was looking for a local guide for a hike I was planning and came across Explore-Share. They seemed to have good reviews and so decided to give them a try. The experience was very positive and completely happy with their service. I will be using them again for next trip.

Colin Finnegan


Aug 17, 2022

Easy to set up and find the perfect trip. Informative site that is easy to use. Guides are all great to work with and communicate all arrangements needed. As simple as can be!

Lesley Weber


July 16th, 2022

Thank you explore-share for a wonderful via feratta experience. We have been wanting to learn for a long time but don't have the facilities in Scotland. The guide Mitja was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, answering all my many questions and providing advice. On the day head to take another group but he quickly arranged another guide Borut, who was brilliant. We had a fantastic morning learning via ferrata at Hvadnik in the gorge. It gave us the confidence to later hire our own equipment and go out in Mojstrana. Altogether a five star + experience. Thank you.

Richard Scrivener


July 20, 2022

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May 8, 2022

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Mark Stone


April 14, 2022

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James Dempster


March 9, 2022

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Leonardo Rodriguez


March 4, 2022

Everything went very well! Above our expectations! Thanks Explore-Share and Thanks Kiliholidays! Great support from all you! Thanks for the hard work and excellent level of commitment.

Daniel Martinez


Feb 2, 2022

Excellent job making your platform available to all mountain lovers. Our guide Gabrielle was an excellent companion



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