Climb Cotopaxi Volcano in 3 days

Climb Illiniza Norte 5126m & Cotopaxi Volcano 5897m

Cotopaxi is regarded as the most beautiful volcano in the world, as well as one of the most active volcanoes in the world and the second highest volcano in Ecuador. The climb up to the summit of Cotopaxi is not highly technical, but it does require a pre-climb glacier travel course. You will take part in this course the afternoon before the ascent. The course includes the use of crampons, ice axes and ropes. Leaving from the refuge around midnight climbers begin the ascent of the volcano arriving at the top of Cotopaxi after sunrise at 6am. We recommend to you our Acclimatization Packages to ensure that you enjoy your climbing experience!

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Travel Program


Day 1: Iliniza norte 5126m
Day 2: Refugio Jose Ribas 4862m
Day 3: Cotopaxi Summit 5897m

Detailed Program

Day 1: Quito 2800m - Iliniza North 5126m - El Chaupi 3300m
We will leave Quito in the morning and reach “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3900m) after two hours. Once there, we will start a 3-hour hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,580ft/4750m). We will relax for couple of minutes and take the opportunity to put on our helmet and harness to continue hiking towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then up to Illiniza north summit; it will take us between 2 to 3 hours to get to the summit (5126m) and the way back to the parking lot will take us about 2 hours. We will then drive back to El Chaupi, Overnight at the Hostal Andes Alpes. (BL/D)

Day 2: El Chaupi - Refugio Jose Ribas 4862m - Glaciar School 5100m
From El Chaupi we will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. From here we will drive east to the Cotopaxi parking lot (4500m) then hike for around an hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge (4864m). In the afternoon we’ll head up to the glacier for ice training. We’ll learn some basic techniques which include how to handle climbing equipment (crampons, ice axe, rope, etc). We’ll then go back to the Refuge for dinner and rest. (B/BL/D)

Day 3: Refugio - Summit Cotopaxi 5897 m – Quito/Latacunga
Midnight will be our wake up time and the departure to the top (19,347ft/5897m) will be around 1am, after having a light breakfast and getting our stuff ready for the ascent. The climb will take us about 6 to 8 hours and once at the summit we’ll take our time for pictures of the crater and surroundings, and then we’ll head back down the refuge, which will take us 2 to 3 hours. Once at the refuge we will pack our belongings, have something to eat and go down to the parking lot, where our transportation will be ready to take us back to Quito (9,186ft/2800m). Overnight in the hotel. (D)

What's Included

Services included in the prices:
  • 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 equipment (Mountaineering Boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet)
  • Land transportation and transfers to Cotopaxi National Park
  • Hostal Andes alpes 1 Night
  • Cotopaxi Refuge Jose Rivas 1 night
  • All meals during the hikes and climbs (shown above with B: Breakfast, BL: Box lunch and D: Dinner)
  • Glaciar School

Not included:
  • Personal mountain gear (warm cloths, sleeping bags, sunglasses, head lamp, etc.)
  • International flight tickets
  • Hotel in Quito
  • Tips
  • Insurance of any kind Travel accident and health insurance
  • Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
  • Other non-specified expenses


What to Bring?

  • Ecuador

    Equipment for Rent

    Sleeping bag 5°C (41°F) (rent for $10)

    Backpack (rent for $10)

    Camelback type vessel for water

    Inside polar gloves

    Energy drinks and snacks


    Sun cream

    Head lamp (rent for $10)

    Warm walking trousers


    Puffer jacket or similar & Wool hat

    Walking sticks

    Face mask

    Large rucksack (50-70 liter)

    Reasonably day pack(35 liters) (needed from the refuge to Cayambe summit to accommodate plenty of water, crampons, warm gear including puffer jacket etc)


  • Prices & Dates

    In Ecuador you can Climb all year, but these are the seasons

    High Season: June to August / December to January
    Low season: February to May / September to November

    Ecuador is a fantastic destination that offers plenty of options for travel lovers. In addition to the Andes, Galápagos and Amazon Jungle are also part of this amazing land.

    Difficulty: Demanding
    Dates & Prices: To be determined / Contact us!
    Places: On this trip, places are still available. *Available
    Trip-code: Number ►Ec-1981
    Duration: 2 days
    Participants: Minimum: 2 Maximum: 12
    Country / Location: Ecuador
    Mountain Guide: Fernando Iza
    Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

    Legend Booking-information
    EZZ - Single room supplement
    On this trip, places are still available On this trip, places are still available.
    On this trip, only a few places left. On this trip, only a few places left.
    This trip is sold out / closed. This trip is sold out / closed.