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Climbing Cotopaxi with the best acclimatization in 8 days

Pasochoa Volcano
Cotopaxi mountaineering tour
Cotopaxi Volcano
Ecuador volcanoes mountaineering tour

Explore the summits of Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Illiniza and Corazón under the guidance of Edgar, an IFMGA certified mountain guide.


8 Days

Jan, Feb, Oct - Dec




At the beginning of the 19th century, the German explorer Alexander Von Humboldt named the mountain range that crosses Ecuador from North to South as the "Avenue of Volcanoes". It is an inter-Andean valley that spans over 300-kms with more than 70 volcanoes that dot it.

On this trip, I offer you to hike up to the summit of four of the most popular Ecuadorian volcanoes, including the Cotopaxi (5,897 m). These mountains of granite and lava offer some of the most extraordinary landscapes in South America. From their summits, you will enjoy unforgettable panoramic views of this incredible mountain range.

In Quito, on the day you arrive, we can visit the Equator Line and the Intinan museum. Then, the next day the real mountaineering adventure begins!

Our first summit will be the Pasochoa Volcano (4,200 m). On the way to its summit, there is a very well preserved Andean forest. More than 60 species of native trees, birds (such as the gallinazo and the condor), and mammals (such as foxes, wolves, and pumas) inhabit the forest.

During the next few days, we will reach the summits of Corazón (4,786 m) and North Illiniza (5,126 m). In Corazón, we will find ancient ruins and a protected forest with native medicinal plants. Illiniza, a potentially active volcano, has two snow-covered peaks. Upon Iliniza Norte, which requires basic climbing skills, we will complete the acclimatization for the final experience.

Finally, I will take you to the summit of Cotopaxi, the symbol of Ecuador. Located in Cotopaxi National Park, it is surrounded by virgin forests, mountains, and lakes. The hike starts at midnight from José Ribas Refuge and takes about 6 to 8 hours. At the top, we will enjoy a panoramic view of vegetation-covered slopes and mineral traces of old eruptions.

So, are you ready for this amazing trip to the Ecuadorian volcanoes? Contact me and let's start planning today! I promise we will see some of Ecuador's most beautiful and unique natural areas.

And if you are looking for a shorter tour, I also propose this Two-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi Volcano. Check it out!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees

- Rope

- Harness

- Helmet

- Crampons

- Ice axe

Price details

Price includes: Land transfers / Accommodations in tourist class hotels (double room) and refuges / Breakfast in the hotels / Breakfast and dinners during the hikes and climbs

Does not include: International flight tickets / Meals and drinks in hotels / Personal climbing equipment


Day 1: Arrive at Quito

If you land in Quito (9,186ft/2.800m) in the morning, we will visit the Equator line and the Intiñan museum. Overnight in the hotel (-/-/-)

Day 2: Quito - Pasochoa – Machachi

We will leave from Quito (9,186ft/2.800m) early in the morning and drive southeast for about 2 hours through the Andean highlands until we get to the trailhead (10,827ft/3.300m). The hike goes through an amazing primary Andean forest, great for bird watching, as we will arrive on the summit (13,878ft/4.230m) and if the weather allows, we will be able to see the surrounding snow capped mountains such as Antisana, Cayambe, Illinizas, Cotopaxi and even Chimborazo far away to the south on clear days.

It will take us about 6 hours. Transfer to Machachi by late afternoon. Overnight in the hotel (B/-/-)

Day 3: Machachi - Corazón

We will leave from Machachi early in the morning and drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we get to the village of “El Chaupi”. We will continue driving up to the trailhead (13,123ft/4.000m), where we start our hike. The first part of the hike takes us up through the small Andean grass. Then we will get on the sandy and scramble section, which leads to Corazon summit (15,702ft/4.786m). We will have lunch during the hike that is about 8 hour long.

Return to Machachi by late afternoon (B/-/-)

Day 4: Machachi - Nuevos Horizontes Hut

We will leave from Machachi in the morning and drive through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we get to the village of “El Chaupi”. We will continue driving up until we get to “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3.900m). Once there, we will start a 3-hour hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,583ft/4.750m). We will relax for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served by late afternoon (B/-/D)

Day 5: Hut - Illiniza Norte Summit - Machachi

Our climbing day starts at 5 am. We will have a light breakfast, pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge an hour later. We will continue hiking up towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then to Illiniza Norte summit (16,818ft/5.126m). The approach to the top involves an easy 3-hour scrambling. Once at the summit, we will enjoy and admire the beautiful surroundings. Overnight in the hotel (B/-/-)

Day 6: Machachi - Cotopaxi Refuge

We’ll drive to Cotopaxi National Park and hike for one hour to José Ribas Refuge (3,895 m). Training at the glacier. Dinner and rest in the refuge. (-/-/D)

Day 7: Refuge - Cotopaxi Summit - Quito

We will wake up at midnight and depart to the top (5,897 m) of Cotopaxi Volcano. The climb will take us about 6 to 8 hours, and the return between 2 and 3 hours. Drive back to Quito. Overnight in the hotel. (B/-/-)

Day 8: Flight back home

Breakfast and transfer from the hotel to the Airport.


About the guide

Guide profile image

-Edgar & Guides' team



Mountain Guide

UIAGM/IFMGA-ASEGUIM Mountain Guide from Ecuador.

I am a mountain guide, but also a passionate traveler, climber in rock and ice, and photographer. I spend my free time and holidays exploring new destinations, discovering new mountains and cultures.

I have more than 27 years of experience climbing mountains and volcanoes not only in Ecuador, but also in other South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, and in the Alps in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Nepal. I also summited KhanTengri peak in the Himalayas, Aconcagua in los Andes and Mt. McKinley in Alaska. This experiences prepared me to lead expeditions in challenging routes all around the world.

I studied 6 years of Tourism in the University, and followed ASEGUIM courses to become a mountain guide. I’ve also been evaluated by ENSA, and completed first aid courses in the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

I like guiding people from all around the world, and help them discover and enjoy the mountains, while reaching their objectives. I speak Spanish, English, German, Italian, and a bit of Russian.


Russian | Italian | German | English



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What people are saying about -Edgar & Guides' team



Great service and guide! Highly recommend!



Unable to complete this trip so review is not relevant



Unfortunately we were unable to complete any of the climbs due to political unrest in Ecuador. However the guide service took very good care of us make sure we were safe drove us everywhere and make sure we got to the airport safely. If we were to repeat a trip to Ecuador we would definitely use these guides again



End-to-end this was very well organized with good communication. The guide was very knowledgeable and took the climb seriously. He was also easy to talk to, spoke good English and went out of his way to tell me about climbing in the region, the volcanoes and anything else I was I interested in.



Edgar is an amazing guide. He is incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging. The combination makes you feel confident in the things that he teaches you and in your ability to reach the summit.

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