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Cotopaxi and Cayambe 11-day mountaineering tour


Come with Jaime Vargas, a certified ASEGUIM mountain guide, on this 11-day mountaineering tour and climb the Cotopaxi and Cayambe peaks.

Not specified


11 Days

Oct, Nov, Dec




Join me on this 11-day mountaineering tour and reach the top of the second and third highest mountains of Ecuador: Cotopaxi and Cayambe.

I invite you to challenge yourself with the ascent of the essentials summits from Ecuador. Meanwhile, you will be able to enjoy an amazing and relaxing view. I will be happy to guide you through beautiful peaks, lakes and mountains on this 11-day mountaineering tour.

Cayambe is an active stratovolcano located in the north of Ecuador. With its 5790 meters, it is the third highest volcano in the country. The second highest one is Cotopaxi with 5897 meters above sea level. Cotopaxi is located in the south of Quito and it is one of the most important volcanoes in the world. Since last October Cotopaxi has been reopened for climbers.

Our meeting point will be in Quito. On the following days, we will reach the summit of Fuya Fuya (4263 meters), Imbabura (4609 meters), Cayambe (5790 meters) and Cotopaxi (5.897 meters). As you can see, during the tour we will be getting a bit higher on each challenge. Furthermore, we will visit the park called ‘Mitad del Mundo’, the Cuicocha Lagoon and different local markets.

Please find a more detailed itinerary below and keep in mind that it is important to have previous experience in mountaineering and a good fitness level.

So if you are ready to explore these fantastic mountains from the Ecuadorian Andes do not hesitate and contact me! It will be a pleasure to guide you through this incredible experience!

If you are interested in a different mountaineering tour in Ecuador, you can join me on this 13-day mountaineering trip from Quito to Chimborazo.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Dinner

Price details

Pick up on the first day and drop off on the last day can be arranged according to your accommodation.


Day 1: Quito

Arrival in Quito and transfer to the hotel. In the evening we’ll meet up to introduce each other.

Day 2: Middle of the World

We leave Quito and visit the park “Mitad del Mundo” in the north of Quito. Further we’ll go to the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve and afterwards we’ll continue to Otavalo, where we’ll spend the night.

Day 3: Laguna Cuicocha

On this day, we’ll drive to Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and walk around the Cuicocha Lagoon (3450 m). This activity takes about 4 hours.

Day 4: Fuya Fuya

We’ll have breakfast and go up to the Laguna de Mojanda. Fuya Fuya (4263 m) is the next peak on our itinerary. The hike to the summit takes approximately 2 hours.

Day 5: Otavalo

We’ll spend a market day shopping and walking around Otavalo’s famous market.

Day 6: Imbabura

We’ll get higher on our last acclimatization peak: Imbabura (4609 m). We’ll reach the summit in about 6 to 7 hours.

Day 7: Refuge Ruales Oleas Berge

We’ll drive to Cayambe, up to the Ruales Oleas Berge Hut. We’ll hike up to the glacier for some glacier training in the afternoon. Early dinner and rest.

Day 8: Cayambe Summit

Early wake up and breakfast. We will ascend to Cayambe (5790 m) in about 6 to 7 hours. Descent to the hut and drive to our hotel.

Day 9: Local markets Pujili or Saquisili

Depending on the day, we can visit the local markets of Saquisili or Pujili.

Day 10: Refuge José Ribas

We’ll drive to the Cotopaxi National Park and hike up to the José Ribas Hut, which takes approximately 50 minutes. Early dinner and rest.

Day 11: Cotopaxi Summit

Early wake up and breakfast. Ascent to Cotopaxi (5897 m), which takes about 6 to 7 hours. Descent and return to Quito where the program ends.




Hotel Refuge Ruales Oleas Berge Refuge José Ribas

More info

Climbing equipment upon request.

Meeting point


About the guide

Certified IFMGA - ASEGUIM Mountain Guide, National guide, Rescue Team Member GRA & Lawyer.

As passionate mountaineer and with almost 20 years of guiding experience, I worked with clients from all over the world. Each tour is a unique experience and I will pleased to guide you to the marvellous summits of Ecuador and South America. My journeys have allowed me to guide and summit several mountains in Peru, like Alpamayo, Chopicalqui & Tocllaraju amongst others and to experience some mountain climbing in the Alps of Austria and Italy.

I’m based in Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador’s famous piece of heaven, where we run together with my Austrian girlfriend a small tour operator and a consulting office.

Continuous improvement and keeping up with the State of the Art is our mission:in 2017, I completed the IFMGA certification and, recently, in 2018, I received the National guide certification from the ministry of Tourism.

President of Baños Trail Running Club, I run every week with my team. My achievement of 2018 : Finishing 1st of my category for the 100km Ruco Ultra Trail.

I’m looking forward to exploring our beautiful mountains together with you.


German | French | English




Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador

What people are saying about Jaime Vargas

Adam Jung


February, 2023

Jaime Vargas and Sebastian were both excellent! Would not hesitate to book with them again! Knowledgeable, helpful, personable, and always mindful of our safety. Treated our team as fellow climbers. Enjoyable and rewarding experience!

Corey Tingey


January, 2023

We didn't actually ever work with Jaime but the guides we did have were all pretty good. We had a big group (12 people) and they were able to accommodate us very well. Christian was the head guide and he did a great job communicating with us about our options and making sure we're being safe. Some of the guides didn't speak much English and that was a little difficult for the members of group who didn't know any Spanish.

Michael Caffrey


December, 2022

My wife and I had an exceptionally fine experience on our climb. We initially had planned the Cotopaxi trip, however volcanic activity pre-empted that and we shifted to Cayambe, Ecuador's third highest peak. Our guide was Jose Salazar and from the inquiry and planning stages we had extremely attentive and responsive service from Elisabeth Gschosser at the guiding service. No question was left unanswered. I have worked with many guiding firms- RMI, EMS, Exum to name several and Jose was by far the best guide I have worked with. IFMGA Certified, multi-lingual, a man of letters, extremely patient, an absolute gentleman, and most importantly Jose focused on us- his clients. His goal was not to run up the mountain at his speed so that the next group or clients can be ushered through the climb as in a "cattle-call". Rather, he initiated a pace that he knew would work for clients out age (63 and 54) who had never been above 14,440' prior to coming to Ecuador. He was focused on safety, technique, pace, resting, hydrating and nourishment- and of course how his clients were performing and feeling. We learned much about ourselves and our capabilities on Cayambe- but most of all we learned what a professional mountain guide was. I intend to return to Ecuador and it will be on Jose's rope that I will be climbing. A truly wonderful experience- thanks to all at Explore-Share and Andean Summit Adventure.

Travis Davis


December, 2022

My Guide Paul did a fantastic job and I had a great time on our Hikes. Unfortunately Cotopaxi was closed, but we were able to adjust and climb Cayambe instead, which was still a challenging and rewarding hike. Overall I had a great time. Thank you

Nobuo Yamazaki


November, 2022

Mr. Jaime was very experienced guide. He correctly evaluated my weak points during the first acclimatization climb. Modified climb plan from 2nd day, during climb, he guided to cover those weak points. It was impressive that he accurately assumed every course time. On the other hand, he always encouraged me to continue moving, without him I think it was not possible to reach summit of Iliniza Norte. Unfortunately, we couldn't get summit of Cayambe (substitution of closed Cotopaxi for possible eruption) due to risk of possible avalanche, however it would be better for me to have another chance to visit Ecuador more prepared. I definitely recommend. Explore-Share service was very effective, easy to settle with credit card.

Bogdan Damian


September, 2022

This trip to the summit was awesome. Jaime is a high prefessional guide with a lot of experience and good motivation skills. It was hard but I would do it again. I already thinking abaout the Chimborazo. In 2 years i will be back, so be ready for the Chimborazo, Jaime. :) Thank you!

Oliver Bruessow


September, 2022

Jaime is a fantastic and very experienced guide, the tour was very well organized: We were picked up in Quito and slept at Tampopaxi lodge for one night, a beautiful place. On the first day we did an acclimatisation hike which was quite rewarding. Then we drove/hiked up to the Cotopaxi refuge and started our ascent at midnight. Unfortunately we didn't make the summit due to the winds and our headlights died. The whole trip was still very interesting and definitely a great experience. Jaime and Elizabeth provided us with all the information we needed for the trip, helped with the gear and ensured a safe hike. Jaimewas very strikt with the safety rules. If we go for another hike on Cotopaxi we would definitely choose Jaime and the team again. Thanks so much for the great days.

Øystein Sagosen


July, 2022

The trip was great and our guide Jaime was very professional and got us safely to the peak and back again. Really was a great experience. The only thing that could have been better was the information before the trip. With so many platforms to communicate (email, explore-share chatting system, WhatsApp with several different agents) it was hard to keep track of where I should reply and who I should be asking questions. I also missed information on recommendations for acclimatisation before the trip. Luckily we read up on it ourselves and prepared accordingly.

Blake Eden


July, 2022

This was wonderful! Jaime did a great job and everything leading up to the trip (communication, etc.) was great. Thank you so much!

Omar Saade


May, 2022

It was an incredible experience. Jaime is an extremely professional and knowledgeable guide.

Justin Johns


April, 2022

Great guide and experience! Highly recommend!

Keith Cockrum


April, 2022

Jaime is experienced guide and went the extra mile to make sure I had all the right equipment to climb.

Andrew Brown


March, 2022

Jaime may be one of the most kind and capable human beings we’ve ever met. He let us know exactly what we needed to do to be safe on our summit, while also making it a fun and exciting experience. We were not as fit and experienced as we should have been, and Jaime made sure to not push us past any limits. We had an amazing time (even got engaged at the summit!). Coordination from Elisabeth beforehand was also clear and top-notch. An amazing trip that will forever be in our memories!

Mitchell Smith


February, 2022

Jaime was a fantastic guide and I had for both the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo expeditions. Very knowledgable and you never feel too out of it when you're with him. He was consistent on checking if I was doing okay which I really appreciated. Eliz, who I worked with for coordination, was also great. Super on top of it on making sure things ran smoothly. They both were quick to ensure I had the proper gear to take on these summits too. Highly recommend.

Mitchell Smith


February, 2022

Jaime was a fantastic guide and I had for both the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo expeditions. Very knowledgable and you never feel too out of it when you're with him. He was consistent on checking if I was doing okay which I really appreciated. Eliz, who I worked with for coordination, was also great. Super on top of it on making sure things ran smoothly. They both were quick to ensure I had the proper gear to take on these summits too. Highly recommend.

Richard Steiner


February, 2022

Fantastic climbs, fantastic guide (Jaime Vargas), and fantadtic crew at Andean Summit Adventures!

Alexey Volegov


November, 2021

It was amazing trip, Jaime is professional climber and the person who safety guide us to the top of Cotopaxi and back.

Matthew Fleischman


March, 2021

Super fun! Jamie is awesome. The experience was way more than I expected.

Paul Ludgate


December, 2020

Fantastic people ! They were all friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable . I recommend them without reservation

Maxwell Gregory


December, 2020

Jaime was an awesome guide! Everything was taken care of, he was very aware about going at the best pace for me, and did everything possible to ensure a successful and safe summit.

Sarah Hill


November, 2020

We summited Cotopaxi with Jamie Vargas as our guide. It was an unbelievable and perfect experience. Jamie was very knowledgeable, skilled, and personable. He shared just enough information with us for each part of the trip for us to be prepared but not too overwhelmed. It was very easy to communicate with our guide and the company before the trip. The food was really nice and the whole experience staying at the refuge and meeting other climbers and guides. We were very confident in Jamie’s skills and ability to keep us safe. His saying “never give up!” was very motivating for our successful summit. The gear was all very nice and up to date, we were given every tool we needed. I felt every emotion during this day from excitement, to fear, to fatigue, to gratitude, I cried very much at the summit because it was so beautiful and it was such a big accomplishment for myself and my husband. Overall this experience was our favorite for our time in Ecuador and even one of my favorites of my whole life! Highly recommend Jamie with Andean summit adventure. Worth every dollar as an investment for an experience of a lifetime!

Philippe Coopmans


December, 2019

I found it pretty expensive to have a private guide. The climb was only 8 hours in total and costs me €570,-. Well, that’s the only complain i have. The service all over was great. Jaime was not my guide so i can rate him, it was Juan of course. He was an ok guide, sometimes a bit hurry up. And next time it would be good to get some more explanations about the dangers of the glacier. I’ve spoken to some real mountaineers and found out there were far more dangers then i realized when climbing the cotopaxi. Maybe something for you guys to consider next time. Best regards, philippe coopmans

Nora Hertig


November, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.



May, 2019

Amazing experience. Wonderful guide Diego. Can’t wait to get back and summit another volcano.

jw and sharlene


May, 2019

we had a great time with the guide,  knows his buissnis , he took wonderfull shots from us at tungurahua during the climb. im sure he would have made great pics aswell during the cotopaxi climb,  very experienced guide indeed, and a friendly man with nice girlfriend elisabeth who went with us to tungurahua refugio,   and he can cook



January, 2019

Jaime was absolutely amazing. He always made sure that safety is the priority, even when I was tired and had problems with altitude. I'd climb any mountain with him!

Tyler Long


January, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Marcel Welte


November, 2018

I climbed Tungurahua together with Jaime in November as a preparation for successful attempts to climb both Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. The trip was perfectly organized by Elisabeth and Jaime did a great job as a guide. I would absolutely recommend Andean Summit Adventure and I hope that I can do some further tours in Ecuador in the future with them!

Tim Edinger


June, 2018

I had an excellent experience with Andean Summit Adventure during my recent climb of Volcano Cotopaxi. Elisabeth did a tremendous job coordinating all of the logistics details for my trip while I was still in the United States. Jaime Vargas, my guide, provided a first-rate, safe, and excellent experience during the climb itself. I was completely happy with the support that Andean Summit Adventure provided me and I highly recommend them as a tour/guide service for outings in South America.


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