Cotopaxi stands at 19,348 feet 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.
Day 1. Arrive in Quito (9,186ft/2.800m)
Day 2. Quito – Pasochoa (13,778ft/4.230m)
Day 3. Quito – Rucu Pichincha (15,413ft/4.698m)
Day 4. Quito – Nuevos Horizontes Hut (15,580ft/4.750m)
Day 5. Hut – Illiniza Norte Summit (16,818ft/5.126m) – La Estación
Day 6. La Estacion – Cotopaxi Refuge (15,748ft/4.800m)
Day 7. Refuge – Cotopaxi Summit (19,347ft/5.897m) – Quito
Day 8. Flight back home.
Day 1: Arrive in Quito (9,186ft/2.800m))
If you land in Quito (9,186ft/2.800m) in the morning, we will visit to the Equator line and the Intiñan museum. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Quito – Pasochoa (13,778ft/4.230m)
We’ll leave from Quito (9,186ft/2.800m) early in the morning and will drive southeast for about 2 hours through the Andean highlands until getting to the trail head (10,827ft/3.300m). The hike goes through an amazing primary Andean forest, great for bird watching, as we will arrive on the summit (13,778ft/4.230m) and if the weather allows, we’ll be able to see the surrounding snow capped mountains, such as Antisana, Cayambe, Illinizas, Cotopaxi and even Chimborazo far away to the south in clear days. It’ll take us about 6 hours the round hike. Return to Quito by late afternoon. Overnight in the hotel (B/BL)
Day 3: Quito – Rucu Pichincha (15,413ft/4.698m)
Being one of the closest mountains from Quito, Rucu Pichincha is one of the favourite peaks for acclimatization purposes. It towers up just above Quito, so it’ll take us 15 to 20 minutes to get to the parking lot (10,827ft/3.300m) by car. From here we’ll ride on the cable car (teleférico) one of the highest in the world, for another 15 to 20 minutes up to the trail head (13,451ft/4.100m). 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/4.698m). 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/4.750m)
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/3.900m), once there we’ll start around 3 to 4 hours hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,580ft/4.750m), where we’ll have something to eat and relaxing time 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/5.126m) – La Estación
Our climbing day starts early in the morning. We’ll have a light breakfast, pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge which it´ll take us around an hour. We’ll continue hiking up towards the saddle formed between both peaks. The approaching to the top involves an easy 3 to 4 hour scrambling. Once at the summit (16,818ft/5.126 m) we’ll enjoy and 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/4.800m)
From the Hacienda 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: Refuge – Cotopaxi Summit (19,347ft/5.897m) – 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). Overnight in the hotel (B/BL)
Day 8: Flight back home.
Transfer from the hotel to the Airport. (B)
Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner BL= Box Lunch
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)
- International flight tickets
- 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
June to August / December to January
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.
Dates & Prices: To be determined / Contact us! ✓
Trip-code: Number ►Ec-1981
Minimal: 2 Maximal: 12
Country / Location:
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!
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