Climbing CotopaxI - 5 Volcanoes in 6 days

Climbing Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Corazón, Illiniza Norte, and Quilotoa in 6-days

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: Pasochoa 4200m
Day 2: Corazón Volcano 4788m
Day 3: Iliniza North 5126m
Day 4: Quilotoa Lagoon 3914m
Day 5: Refugio Jose Rivas 4862m
Day 6: Cotopaxi Summit 5897 m

Detailed Program

Day 1: Quito 2800m - Pasochoa Volcano 4200m - El Chaupi 3300m
We will leave Quito early in the morning around 8am. We will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until the Pasochoa Parking lot. The hike will start 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 2: El Chaupi 3300 m - Corazón Volcano 4788m 
We will start after breakfast at 7:30am, then drive up to the trailhead (13,120ft/4000m), where we start our hike. The first part of the hike takes us up through the small Andean grasslands, then we will get onto the sandy scramble section, which leads to the Corazon summit (15,702ft/4788m). We will have lunch during the hike, which takes a total of about 8 hours. Return to the hostal for dinner and lodging. (B/BL/D)

Day 3: El Chaupi 3300 m - Iliniza North 5126m
We start early in the morning and after breakfast at 7:30am we will drive up to the “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3900m). 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 Norte 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. (B/BL/D)

Day 4: El Chaupi 3300m - Quilotoa Lagoon 3914m 
We’ll leave from El Chaupi in the morning and drive the Quilotoa Lagoon. During the tour we will stop at an Indian hut and visit the Tigua community to observe the leather crafts that they make here. The tour will about 4 hours, then we’ll arrive the viewpoint and admire the size of the crater and its lagoon. We will then descend along a varying road which will take us an hour until we arrive at the bottom of the lagoon. There we will take photos and rest, then after lunch we will be back in El Chaupi after 3 hours driving. (B/BL/D)

Day 5: El Chaupi - Refugio Jose Rivas 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 6: Refugio - Summit Cotopaxi 5897 m – Quito 
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. (B/-/-)

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, 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?

  • 1.- Head torch
  • 2.- Helmet (includes)
  • 3.- Sun Glasses
  • 4.- Buff/ Warm cap  
  • 5.- Backpack
  • 6.- First layer
  • 7.- Second layer
  • 8.-Third layer (Waterproof Windbreaks, Waterproof pants)
  • 9.- Mittens/Gloves
  • 10.- Harness (Includes)
  • 11.- Inside gloves
  • 12.- Carabiners (Includes)
  • 13.- Thermal pants
  • 14.- Ice ax (includes)
  • 15.- Dynamic Rope (includes)
  • 16.- Thermal Lycra
  • 17.- Gaiters (includes)
  • 18.- Socks Mountain
  • 19.- Crampons (Includes)
  • 20.- Mountaineering boots (Includes)
  • 21.- Sleeping Bag
  • 22.- Battery Groups AAA
  • 23.- Sunscreen
  • 24.- Trekking Poles
  • 25.- Thermo / Canteen fro Water
  • 26.- Energy bars




21-26 July 2018

4-9 August 2018
11-16 August 2018
18-23 August 2018
25-30 August 2018

Other dates / additional info: Contact us!



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Country / Location: Ecuador

Important Details

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
Places: On this trip, places are still available. *Available
Trip-code: Number ►Ec-1981
Duration: 2 days
Participants: Minimum: 2 Maximum: 12
Mountain Guide: Fernando Iza
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

Legend Booking-information
EZZ - Single room supplement
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