6 Days Cotopaxi Program

Cotopaxi volcano with 5.897 m / 19.347 ft of height is the second tallest mountain in Ecuador and lies two hours south of Quito inside of the Cotopaxi National Park. It is one of the most visited natural attractions because of its unique, beautiful shape and the gorgeous surrounding Andean landscapes. It is without a doubt, the most climbed mountain in Ecuador by mountaineers from around the world.

If you are passionate for hiking and mountaineering, this short program allows you to climb the second highest elevation in Ecuador, also considered the tallest active volcano in the world! In addition, this program is ideal for people without much experience, since do not required high technical skills. Besides the experience of climbing the giant COTOPAXI, you will also know the Andean cultural richness reflected in the colorful indigenous markets, beautiful colonial towns, old haciendas and the Andean farming lands.

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Days of Tour 6
Summits

Pasochoa 13.780 ft / 4.200 m

Corazón 15.682 ft / 4.780 m

Northern Illiniza 16.818 ft / 5.126 m

Cotopaxi Volcano 19.347 ft / 5.897 m

Fitness Level Very difficult
Technical Level Intermediate

 

*Depending on the season and conditions of the rivers

ITINERARY

Day 1: Santa Rita Eco-Reserve Hike (10.500 ft / 3.200 m)

Santa Rita is a private Ecological Reserve located at 3,100 m on the Volcano Avenue, at the eastern slopes of the Pasochoa volcano, north of the Cotopaxi National Park.

Being strategically located between the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge and the Cotopaxi National Park, the Santa Rita reserve not only constitutes an important ecological corridor, but it is also a privileged place to enjoy beautiful mountain landscapes. So, it will be the perfect place to start our acclimatization process hiking enclosed by Andean forest, rivers and cascades. (B/BL/D)

Day 2: Pasochoa Volcano (13.780 ft / 4.200 m)

Pasochoa is an old volcano, home to hundreds of species within the remaining Andean forests that lies in its collapsed caldera. Continuing with our adapting process to the altitude, we will hike about 2.5 hours to the summit and enjoy this natural lookout from where you can appreciate the avenue of the volcanoes in their entire splendor! (B/BL/D)

Day 3: Corazón (15.682 ft / 4.780 m)

This extinct volcano is located inside of the Illinizas Ecological Reserve in the western Ecuadorian Andes. We will drive to the southeast flank of this beautiful mountain to start hiking at 12.140 ft / 3.700 m through the moor until take the southern ridge, which has enjoyable rock sections with amazing views. Finally, after approximately 4 hours of ascend we will reach the summit! (B/BL/D)

Day 4: Northern Illiniza (16.818 ft / 5.126 m)

This day, we are ready to make our first climb over 16.500 ft / 5.000 m! The Illinizas are two peaks left by the original volcano located within the Illiniza Ecological Reserve.  Northern Illiniza, is beautiful rocky mountain of 16.818 ft / 5.126 m that offers the opportunity to reach this height without much technical difficulties.

We will start the ascend hike at 12.800 ft / 3.900 m by a steep sand ridge until get the Nuevos Horizontes hut in between the two peaks at 15.400 ft / 4.700 m. After a break, we will start the final climb with some easy scramble rock passages that will take us to the summit! (B/BL/D)

Day 5: Cotopaxi Glacier Practices (16.400 ft / 5.000 m)

We will drive to Cotopaxi National Park and hike 45 minutes to José Ribas hut at 4,800 m/15,748 ft and settle-in, prepare equipment and get ready for practice basic techniques for glaciers travel.

In the afternoon, we will return to the hut to prepare equipment and rest for a while. Early dinner at 18:00 and sleep time, since we will wake up at midnight to attempt the summit! (B/BL/D)

Day 6: Cotopaxi Summit (19.347 ft / 5.897 m)

We will wake-up at midnight, dress up and have breakfast. The ascent hike start around 1:00 and takes approximately 6-7 hours to get the summit depending on the pace. After enjoy the summit for a while start the descent that takes about 3 hours.

Once in the hut, we will have time to have a nap and then pack up everything and start the hike down to take the car. On the way to Quito, we will have a well deserve farewell meal and some beers the end of this amazing program!  (B/BL/L)

INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW!

  • Santa Rita Eco-Reserve
  • Pasochoa Volcano (Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge)
  • Corazón Volcano (Illinizas Ecological Reserve)
  • Illinizas Volcanoes (Illinizas Ecological Reserve)
  • Cotopaxi Volcano (Cotopaxi National Park)
  • Andean communities and towns
  • Andean farming life
  • Flora and fauna of moorlands
  • Airport transfers
  • Transportation for the entire program
  • Bilingual certified ASEGUIM guides
  • Meals: (B) breakfast, (BL) box lunch, (L) lunch, (D) dinner
  • Safe drinking water during the whole program
  • Accommodation in huts and hotels during the whole program
  • Permits and park fees
  • Climbing gear: helmet, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axe, rope and carabineers
  • Flight tickets
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra sports and alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips

REQUIRED

  • Day backpack for the acclimatization hikes (20 L)
  • Comfortable backpack for the climbs and hikes to huts (30-40 L)
  • Comfortable, warm clothing (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Rain jacket and rain pants (3rd layer)
  • Winter hat and/or face mask
  • Thermal and waterproof gloves
  • Liners and thermal socks (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Cap, sunglasses and sun screen
  • Hiking boots
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Personal grooming kit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Bottles or thermos to refill water

RECOMMENDED

  • Camera
  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Personal first aid kit and medicines
  • Extra thermal gloves
  • Comfortable backpack for the climbs (30 L)
  • Comfortable, warm clothing (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Rain jacket and rain pants (3rd layer)
  • Winter hat and/or face mask
  • Thermal and waterproof gloves
  • Liners and thermal socks (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Brimmed hat, sunglasses and sun screen
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Personal hygiene kit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Camera
6 DAYS COTOPAXI PROGRAM
DAY ACTIVITY HIKING TIME FITNESS LEVEL SKILL LEVEL  HIGHEST ELEVATION LOWEST ELEVATION
1 Santa Rita Eco-Reserve 4 hrs easy novice 10.825 ft / 3.300 m 10.170 ft / 3.100 m
2 Pasochoa summit 5 hrs easy novice 13.780 ft / 4.200 m 11.150 ft / 3.400 m
3 Corazon summit 7 hrs moderate beginner  15.682 ft / 4.780 m 12.140 ft / 3.700 m 
4 Northern Illiniza 8 hrs difficult beginner  16.818 ft / 5.126 m 12.800 ft / 3.900 m
5 Cotopaxi Hut 45 min moderate novice 15.750 ft / 4.800 m  15.100 ft / 4.600 m
6 Cotopaxi Summit 10 hrs very difficult intermediate 19.347 ft / 5.897 m 15.750 ft / 4.800 m 
TOTAL 35 hrs very difficult intermediate  19.347 ft / 5.897 m 10.170 ft / 3.100 m
6D COTOPAXI PROGRAM
4P or more 3P 2P 1P
$1690 $1990 $2090 $3490

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