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Cotopaxi and Climbing School 8-day Tour

Ecuador and its famous Avenue of The Volcanoes are one of the best places of the world for those who love mountaineering activities, variety of landscapes and challenging surfaces. On this expedition we will focus on education, building technical skills, and gaining mountaineering experience on an attempt to summit Cotopaxi, the second tallest peak in Ecuador. Cotopaxi’s highest point is at 19347 feet (5,897 meters) and it is the mountain with a glacier closest to Quito.

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Day 1

Transfer airport 4905,512 ft. / 2800 m

We will pick you up from Quito airport to the accommodation where we will meet each other and get ready for the following day. Overnight at the hotel in Quito.

Meals: (-/-/-)
Accommodations: (Hotel)

Day 2

Hike Pasochoa 13,778 ft. / 4230 m.

We will pick you up at 8:00 am. Then we will drive for two hours to get to Pasochoa parking lot. We will then hike through a large forest and when we are in the middle of it, the 4230-meter summit will appear. There is a steep sloop on the ascent, but once there we will have beautiful views. We will drive to El Chaupi village. Overnight at the Lodge.

Meals: (-/Box Lunch/Dinner)
Accommodations: Lodge

Day 3

Corazón Volcano Summit 15708.66 ft. / 4788 m.

From El chaupi village. We will start early in the morning after breakfast 7:00 We will be 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 6-hour long. Return to the Lodgel.

Meals: (Breakfast/Box Lunch/Dinner)
Accommodations: Lodge

Day 4

Hike Camp at La Virgen 12795 ft. / 3900 m.

We start in the morning 10;00 am. We will be driving up until to get “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3.900m). Once there. We will put our 4 season tents, where we will spend the night. We will have lunch and then walk a little around the enchanted forest of polylepis (árbol de papel or visit the Nuevos Horizontes Refuge). Dinner and overnight.

Meals: (Breakfast/Box Lunch/Dinner)
Accommodations: (Overnight in 4-season tents)

Day 5

Tambopaxi 12139 ft./ 3700 m.

Raise the tents and pack everything to go down to the Chaupi where a delicious breakfast waits for us. After this we take all equipment then continue to the Cotopaxi National Park where is the beautiful Lodge Tambopaxi. The rest of the afternoon the guide will have several indications of all the material that you should bring the next day to your glacier school. Dinner and Overnight.

Meals: (Breakfast/Box Lunch/Dinner)
Accommodations: Tambopaxi Lodge

Day 6

Cotopaxi Refuge and Glacier School 15958.01 ft. / 4864 m.

In the morning 7:00 am you will leave to the parking lot (14763 ft./4.500m) then we’ll hike up for around an hour to the Jose Rivas Refuge (4,864m). Here you will leave your sleeping bag and things that you do not need to take to the glacier. We will continue to the glacier that is at 5200 m. Here is where your glacier school will begin... We’ll go back to the Refuge for dinner and rest until to midnight.

Meals: (Breakfast/box Lunch/Dinner)
Accommodations: (Cotopaxi Refuge Jose Rivas)

Day 7

Cotopaxi Summit 19347ft. / 5897 m.

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 gear 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 and drive to Quito.

Meals: (Breakfast/-/-)
Accommodations: Hotel

Day 8

Final Point

Transfer to the airport depends on the time of your flights, remember to be close to the time of your flight and return to home.

Meals: (-/-/-)
Accommodations: (-/-/-)

  • Acclimatization Climbing Program
  • Ecuadorian qualified and experienced local Mountain Guide (ASEGUIM/UIAGM) 
  • A registered and fully licensed Tour Operator
  • Technical mountain equipment (crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet)
  • Land transportation and transfers
  • Accommodations:
  • nights at the Lodge 
  •  night in hotel in Quito
  • night at 4-season tents
  • night in Tambopaxi Lodge
  • night at Jose Rivas Refuge
  • All meals during the hikes and climbs (shown above)
  • Mules
  • International flight tickets
  • Meals and drinks in hotels (lunch, dinner)
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Tips
  • Travel accident and health insurance
  • Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
  • Other non-specified expenses
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We kindly refer to our Terms and Conditions page which can be found in the footer of our website.

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

No prior climbing experience is required. Climbers should be in good physical condition and it is highly recommended that they have some backpacking experience.