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Two-day mountaineering tour to Cotopaxi Volcano

Join IFMGA certified guide Edgar for a 2 day mountaineering tour to the top of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world: Cotopaxi.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration2 days
Offer periodJan, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov, Dec
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup


  • Reach the second tallest volcano in Ecuador.

  • Discover a beautiful mountain in the Andes.

  • Enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view from the top.


The Cotopaxi is an active stratovolcano located in the Latacunga Canton, Ecuador. With an elevation of 5,897 meters, it is the second highest volcano in the country and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. It is 50 km south of Quito and is part of the Andes.

As the geographer and explorer Alexander von Humboldt said, the Cotopaxi is the most beautiful of all the huge mountains of the Andes. It is a perfect cone covered by a white layer of snow that shines with the sun, contrasting with the blue of the sky.

Now you have the chance to get to the top of Cotopaxi in this 2-day trip, under expert guidance. The adventure begins at the José Ribas Refuge, at an altitude of 4,500 meters. The ascent to the top starts at dawn of the second day, and most of the hike is at night. This allows us to get the best ice conditions and climb more easily.

To reach the summit we have to cross stretches of volcanic sand, glaciers and snow trails. The first part is an hour hike to the glacier, where we put on the crampons and start the ascent. In certain stretches there can be rockfall, so we have to be careful. At a good pace, we will reach the summit after 4 to 6 hours of mountaineering.

From the top of Cotopaxi, the scenery is spectacular. If the sky is clear, we get an unforgettable panoramic view of Cotopaxi National Park, a protected area. Its ecosystem hosts several species of trees, mainly pines, but also cypresses, firs and ash trees. In the quiet forests live animals such as the white-tailed deer and a lot of species of small birds.

If you want to test yourself with this great mountaineering experience to the summit of Cotopaxi, contact me. I will be glad to show you the peace environment in this stunning volcano! You will never forget it!

And if you feel up to the challenge to reach the summit of another wonderful volcano of Ecuador, come and try my Chimborazo Volcano 2 Day Guided Ascent.



José Rivas Refuge




Day 1: From Quito to Cotopaxi Refuge

In the morning we will drive from Quito to the Cotopaxi National Park. We get ready and hike up to the José Rivas Refuge. In the afternoon, we will go for some technical training. Back in the refuge we’ll have dinner and rest.

Day 2: Refuge - Cotopaxi Summit - Quito

Around 01AM, after breakfast, we will start hiking to the top of Cotopaxi. The climb will take us from 6 to 8 hours. The first part is about an hour hike to the glacier, where we put the crampons on and start the glacier ascent. Once at the summit, we will take our time for pictures and then we will get back to the refuge in a 2 or 3 hours hike. At the refuge, we will eat something, rest, and go down to the parking lot, from where we return back to Quito.

About the guide

guide profile img

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 17 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 and Germany. I also summited KhanTengri peak in the Himalayas, 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.

What people are saying about this trip

Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 712 each

Group of 2

USD 361 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation

- Transportation from your hotel/airport (if in area) to the start of the trip and back

- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Price details

Price includes: Mountaineering equipment (crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet)

Does not include: Personal mountain gear (warm cloths, sleeping bags, sun glasses, head lamp, etc.) / Extra drinks in the refuge / Tips / Insurance

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