Climb Cotopaxi (5897m)

Climbing Cotopaxi volcano in 7 days

Cotopaxi is the more beautiful Volcano around the World, also is one of the most active volcanoes in the planet , Cotopaxi is 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 such a 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 you our Acclimatization Packages to ensure that you enjoy your Climbing Experience!

EcuadorEcuadorEcuador Ecuador Ecuador Ecuador EcuadorEcuadorEcuadorEcuador

Travel Program


Day 1: Pasochoa 4200m
Day 2: Corazón Volcano 4788 m
Day 3: Nuevos Horizotes Refuge 4700m
Day 4: Summit iliniza north 5126m
Day 5: Quilotoa Lagoon 3914m
Day 6: Refugio Jose Ribas 4862m
Day 7: Cotopaxi Summit 5897 m

Detailed Program

Day 1: Quito 2800m - Pasochoa Volcano 4200 m
From Quito early in the morning 8:00am. Will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until getting to the Pasochoa Parking lot . We will hike across a big forest and when we are in the middle of it, a 4230-meter summit will appear. It will have steep slopes during the ascent, but once in there we will have the most privileged viewpoint of all. Then, we will return to El Chaupi.. (BL/D)

Day 2: El Chaupi 3300 m - Corazón Volcano 4788 m
We will start early in the morning after breakfast 7:30 We will driving up to the trailhead (13,120ft/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/4788m). We will have lunch during the hike that is about 8 hour long. Return to the hostal. Dinner and Lodging.(B/BL/D)

Day 3:El Chaupi 3300 m - Nuevos Horizontes Refuge 4700m
Nuevos Horizontes is a hut located at 4.750 meters of altitude, between two peaks called Illinizas. The climb up to there will help our body to acclimatise before our third high top: Illiniza Norte.(B/BL/D)

Day 4:El Chaupi 3300 m - Iliniza North 5126m
Our climbing day starts early in the morning. 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 two peaks and then further on to Illiniza Norte summit (16,818ft/ 5.126 m). The approach to the top involves an easy 3-hour scramble. Once at the summit, we will enjoy and admire the beautiful surroundings.  Our third day finishes when we get to El Chaupi after 3 hours of hiking. .(B/BL/D)

Day 5: El Chaupi 3300 m - Quilotoa Lagoon 3914m
We’ll leave from El Chaupi in the morning and will drive the Quilotoa Lagoon; during the tour we will stop at an Indian hut. After we will visit the Tigua community to observe the leather crafts that people make in these place.
The tour will take us about 4 hours later, we’ll arrive the viewpoint where you can observe the magnitude of the crater and its lagoon background.
We will descend along an irregular road; the walk will take us one hour until arrived bottom of the lagoon, there we will have taken photos and rest. After lunch we will back to el chaupi in about 3 hours driving.

Day 6: El Chaupi - Refugio Jose Ribas 4862m - Glaciar School 5100 m
From El Chaupi We will leave in the morning 10:30am. Will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until getting to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. From here will drive east to the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764ft/4.500m) then we’ll hike up for around an hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge (15,748ft/4,800m). In the afternoon we’ll head up to the glacier for ice practices and training. We’ll learn some basic techniques which will include how to handle climbing equipment (crampons, ice axe, rope, etc). We’ll go back to the Refuge for dinner and rest. (BL/D)

Day 7: Refugio - Summit Cotopaxi 5897 m – Quito
Cotopaxi (5.897m) Midnight will be our wake up time and the departure to the top (19,347ft/5.897m) will be around 01h00, not before having a light breakfast and get 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 to take pictures of the crater and surroundings, and then we’ll head down back the refuge, which it will take us 2 to 3 hours. Once at the refuge 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/2.800m). (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
  • Accomodations in Andes Alpes café 4 nights
  • Accomodations in 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, sun glasses, 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

    Bolsa de Dormir 5°C (41°F) (rent for $10)

    Mochila (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. Galápagos and amazon Jungle are 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: Minimal: 2 Maximal: 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.

    Book Now