Climb cotopaxi - 4 volcanoes in 7 Days

Climb Pasochoa, Rucu Pichincha, Illiniza Norte and Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi stands at 19,348 ft (5897 m) in Ecuador’s Central Cordillera and towers high above three other major peaks, Ruminahui (15,602 feet), Sincholagua (16,360 feet), Quilindana (16,134 feet) and the paramo, an area reminiscent of the Scottish moors. After your acclimatization ascents we drive into Cotopaxi National Park, first passing through pine forests and then moving through more open country. You will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of animals, such as wild horses, llamas, and an abundance of bird life. These and many other exciting species of mammals and birds inhabit this unique ecological zone.

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Travel program


Day 1. Arrive in Quito (9,186 ft/2800 m)

Day 2. Quito – Pasochoa (13,778 ft/4230 m)

Day 3. Quito – Rucu Pichincha (15,413 ft/4698 m)

Day 4. Quito – Nuevos Horizontes Hut (15,580 ft/4750 m)

Day 5. Hut – Illiniza Norte Summit (16,818 ft/5126 m) – La Estación

Day 6. La Estacion – Cotopaxi Refuge (15,748 ft/4800 m)

Day 7. Refuge – Cotopaxi Summit (19,347 ft/5897 m) – Quito

Detailed Program

Day 1: Arrive in Quito (9,186ft/2800m)
If you land in Quito (9,186ft/2800m) in the morning, we will visit to the Equator line and the Intiñan museum. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 2: Quito – Pasochoa (13,778ft/4230m)
We’ll leave Quito early in the morning around 8am. Will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until the Pasochoa Parking lot. We will hike through a big forest and when we are in the middle of it, the 4230-meter summit will appear. We will then have to ascend steep slopes to get to the summit, but once there we will have excellent views. Then, we will return to El Chaupi. (BL/D)

Day 3: Quito – Rucu Pichincha (15,413ft/4698m)
Being one of the closest mountains to Quito, Rucu Pichincha is one of the most popular peaks for acclimatization. It towers up just above Quito, so it’ll take us 15 to 20 minutes to get to the parking lot (10,827ft/3300m) by car. From here we’ll ride on the cable car (teleférico) one of the highest in the world, for 15 to 20 minutes up to the trailhead (13,451ft/4100m). From this point, we’ll follow a long ridge which will take us to the base of the summit. After traversing north, we’ll continue gaining altitude by hiking on sandy terrain which will lead us to the top (15,413ft/4698m). Total hiking time will be around 6 hours. Return to Quito by late afternoon. Overnight in the hotel (B/BL)

Day 4: Quito – Nuevos Horizontes Hut (15,580ft/4750m)
We leave from Quito (9,186ft/2.800m) in the morning and will drive through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until getting to the village of “El Chaupi”. We’ll continue driving up until getting to “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3900m) and then start the 3 to 4 hour hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,580ft/4750m). Once there we’ll have something to eat then relax for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served by late afternoon. Overnight in the hut. (B/BL/D)

Day 5: Hut – Illiniza Norte Summit (16,818ft/5126m) – La Estación
Our climbing day starts early in the morning. We’ll have a light breakfast, pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge. We’ll hike up towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then on towards the summit which involves an easy 3 to 4 hour scrambling. Once at the summit (16,818ft/5126 m) we’ll admire the beautiful surroundings. It’ll take us around 7 hours round trip. Overnight in the old Hacienda. (B/BL)

Day 6: La Estacion – Cotopaxi Refuge (15,748ft/4800m)
From the Hacienda we will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. From here we'll drive east to the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764ft/4500m) then hike for an hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge (15,748ft/4800m). 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) then return to the Refuge for dinner and rest. (BL/D)

Day 7: Refuge – Cotopaxi Summit (19,347ft/5897m) – Quito
Midnight will be our wake up time and the departure to the top (19,347ft/5897m) will be around 1am, not before having a light breakfast and getting our stuff ready for the ascent. The climb will take us about 6 to 8 hours. Once at the summit we’ll take our time for pictures of the crater and surroundings, and then head back down to the refuge, which will take 2 to 3 hours. Once at the refuge we'll pack our belongings, have something to eat and go down to the parking lot to return to Quito (9,186ft/2800m). Overnight in the hotel (B/BL)

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner BL= Box Lunch

What's Included

Services included in the prices:
  • Land transportation and transfers
  • Professional ASEGUIM mountain guide (ratio 2 climbers -1 guide in the glacier Peaks)
  • Accommodations in Tourist Class Hotels (double room) and Refuges
  • American breakfast in the Hotels
  • All meals during the hikes and climbs (shown above with B: Breakfast, BL: Box Lunch and D: Dinner)
  • National Parks entrance fees
  • Group equipment (ropes, snow pickets, ice screws)

Not included:
  • International flights
  • Meals in Hotels (lunch, dinner)
  • Personal climbing equipment
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Other non specified expenses

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: 7 days
Participants: Minimum: 2 Maximum: 12
Country / Location: Ecuador
Mountain Guide: Fernando Iza
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

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