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“Cotopaxi Express”, 3 days to the summit with Illiniza ascent (Ecuador)

Cotopaxi clouds
cotopaxi descent
Cotopaxi reaching the summit
Cotopaxi sceneries

Fernando, an ASEGUIM mountain leader, and his team would like to invite you to this incredible ascent to the summit of Cotopaxi. Join him on this mountaineering adventure, and climb Illiniza Norte too.



3 Days

Jan, Feb, Jun - Aug, Dec




* Stand at the top of Cotopaxi right at sunrise, and enjoy its dazzling views.

* Reach the summit of Illiniza, the perfect way for acclimatization.


Discover the beauty of one of the most majestic volcanoes in the world. Reach the summit of Cotopaxi along with Illiniza, on this 3 days ascent.

Cotopaxi is not only incredibly beautiful, it is also one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. It is also the second highest in Ecuador, rising at 5,897 meters

On our first day we’ll depart from Quito early in the morning until we reach the La Virgen parking lot. Thereupon we’ll begin hiking towards the Nuevos Horizontes mountain refuge, from where we’ll gear up and ready to climb Illiniza Norte. This magnificent volcano is the ideal way to acclimatize for Cotopaxi. And it offers some of the most dazzling views of the area.

After a good night sleep at the Andes Alpes Hostel, we’ll drive through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we reach the Cotopaxi National Park. From there, we’ll hike to the Jose Ribas Refuge (4,864 m)

On our last day we will finally reach the summit of Cotopaxi. We’ll leave at midnight, having breakfast on the way. After 6-8 hours we’ll reach the top. Then we’ll begin our descent, back to the refuge and the parking lot, where our private transportation will be waiting to drive us back to Quito.

Don’t hesitate! Join me on this mountaineering adventure. Request to book this trip today and let’s live an unforgettable trip in Ecuador.

Looking to further explore the area? I also guide this Chimborazo Volcano 2 Day Guided Tour.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

Price details

The price includes: the fee of an ecuadorian qualified and experienced local Mountain Guide (ASEGUIM/UIAGM) ratio 2 climbers -1 guide; registration in the System SIB (System Information of Biodiversity); Technical mountain gear (mountaineering Boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet); private transportation and transfers to Cotopaxi National Park; 4 nights accommodation at the Andes alpes; 1 night accommodation at the Cotopaxi Refuge Jose Rivas; all meals during the hikes and climbs. The price does not include: personal mountain gear (warm cloths, sleeping bags, sunglasses, head lamp, etc.); international flight tickets; accommodation in Quito, tips, insurance of any kind Travel accident and health insurance, luggage insurance and trip cancellation; other non-specified expenses.


More info

Mountain refuges and hostels.

Meeting point


About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Leader

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador

Fernando Iza was born and raised in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador and knows the country’s peaks intimately. He is an official ASEGUIM mountain guide with more than 18 years of mountaineering experience climbing in all of Ecuador, as well as in South America, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

Fernando has worked for mountaineering companies in Ecuador, Europe and the United States from a young age. Now, he has set up his own basecamp at Ilinizas Mountain Lodge, right next to Iliniza Volcano, Rumiñahui Volcano, and the famous Cotopaxi Volcano. He has summited Cotopaxi more than 637 times and has summitted Chimborazo Volcano close to 200 times.

Fernando got his degree in Tourism Technology at Cenestur Institute, and in 2021 started studying Business administration with Cuosera.  

He has completed important courses such as:

  • 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. This event was 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)
  • Wilderness first aid courses
  • Ecuadorian Red Cross courses
  • He speaks fluent Spanish and English, as well as a little German, French, Hebrew and Kichua


The most spectacular guided tours that Fernando has done.

  • Antisana South Peak Open new rout
  • Alpamayo
  • Matterhorn
  • Denali


German | French | English



Request more information

What people are saying about Fernando



There were no briefings about the upcoming itineraries, I’d mostly find along the way, what’s the plan. He would make changes to his moods. He didn’t inform me in adavance about the specifics of each refugio/ lodge/ camp concerning the distance from car, electricity and would make fun/made snide comments “your choice” of the things I packed at the aftermath, but offered no guidance. I have read from others that he is very knowledgeable and explained a lot- that hasn’t been my experience, he surely is an apt mountaineer, but he wasn’t actively explaining or showing things, he was just always on his cellphone. He could be very short, abrasive and inpatient. At one time even another climber intervened “to save me”



Our guide Fernando was great to adapt the trip for our two little girls. A great experience it was fir us all. Thank you.



Fernando and Sergio are very good guides, not only very safe and motivating in the mountains, but very nice between the climbs. And i have learned a lot too about the culture in the country. Their hotel near Illniza is perfectly located, safe and you are received as if your were at home with Fernando's family. And they will take care of everything, so you just have to concentrate yourself on the climbs. Thank you!



Thank you for putting this trip together for me at the last minute after my group canceled on me. Fernando was a great guide who knows the route up Cotopaxi very well. The meals and lodging were also great and well worth the price, in my opinion.



Great experience. We did Rumiñawi, corázon, and Illiniza Norte as acclimatization hikes. All of them were beautiful. We attempted Cotopaxi but had a snow storm and heavy winds during the night of the summit and we were forced to turn around. The 3 initial climbs prepared us well for Cotopaxi and the altitude. There were some technical scrambling portions on corazon and Illiniza which were very cool. Overall would highly recommend!

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