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Cotopaxi is 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 to the summit of Cotopaxi is not highly technical, but it does require the use of crampons, ice axes and ropes. Departing from the refuge around midnight climbers begin the ascent of the volcano reaching at the top of Cotopaxi after sunrise at 6 am. Here, climbers can enjoy the breathtaking views of Cotopaxi's crater and on clear days, it is possible to see all of Quito. We recommend to you our Acclimatization Packages to ensure that you to enjoy your climbing experience!!

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Day 1

Hike and Summit Volcano Rumiñahui

We will leave Quito early in the morning around 8 a.m. and we will drive south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we reach the town of El Chaupi, there we will prepare all the necessary equipment for the ascent, the meeting point will be at Tambopaxi lodge. Drive to the place called “Limpiopungo” (12,139ft/3.700m). where is a beautiful lake in the heart of the national park with wonderful views of the magnificent volcano Cotopaxi. The hike starting along the lake up through small Andean grass. Then we will get on a sandy section, which leads to the last sections, which involves some short and technical walls, much scrambling, and loose rocks, we will get the summit of Rumiñahui after 4 hours of hiking and a bit of climbing; on the descend we will scramble down and the rest of the trail we will just walk down to the parking place. Finally, we will return to our comfortable Lodge.

Accommodation: Tambopaxi Lodge
Meals: -/Box Lunch/Dinner

Day 2

Tambopaxi Lodge

From Tambopaxi Lodge will drive to the Cotopaxi parking lot (4.500m/14,763 ft) then we’ll hike up for around an hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge. Then we will have dinner and rest until midnight. At this point we will pack our belongings and get ready to make our final ascent.

Meals: Box Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Tambopaxi Lodge

Day 3

Cotopaxi Summit

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. At the entrance of the glacier, your guide will explain all necessary tips needed for using crampons and ice axe if needed. 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.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Qualified and experienced Ecuadorian local Mountain Guide (ASEGUIM/UIAGM - max 2 climbers per 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
  • Accommodation at Tambopaxi Lodge 
  • All meals during the hikes and climbs
  • 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
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In Ecuador you can hike all year, but these are the seasons:
- High Season: June to August / December to January
- Low season: February to May / September to November