4 days Cotopoxi 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.

This 4-day program is recommended for people who have already acclimatized to the altitude and are in good shape.  In a short preparation process, we will climb Northern Illiniza in the Illinizas Ecological Reserve before attempt the giant Cotopaxi!

Days of Tour 4
Summits

Northern Illiniza 5.126 m / 16.818 ft

Cotopaxi Volcano 5.897 m / 19.347 ft

Fitness Level Moderate
Technical Level Easy
Accommodation Huts
Requirements to enjoy this tour! Previous acclimatization and good shape

ITINERARY

Day 1 Nuevos Horizontes Refuge (4.700 m / 15.420 ft)

The Illinizas are two volcanic peaks inside of the ecological reserve that shares its name.  The Northern Illiniza, which lies directly next to its southern neighbor, is a beautiful, steep and rocky mountain that reaches heights of more than 5.000 m / 16.404 ft elevation and offers the possibility of actualizing interesting itineraries of varying difficulty; the normal route being an excellent option for continuing our preparation process.

On this day, we will travel to La Virgen sector at 3.900 m / 12.795 ft , from where we will begin an approach hike to the mountain that takes approximately three hours.  We will cross through some Polylepis forests and a demanding sandy section until we arrive to the Nuevos Horizontes (New Horizons) Refuge, located at 4,700 m / 15.020 ft, and our place of lodging for the night.  (BL/D)

Day 2 Northern Illiniza (5.126 m / 16.818 ft)

After a good breakfast, we will get ready to ascend the final stage of the hike to the summit of the Northern Illiniza.  We will climb up the small hill between the two Illiniza peaks, from where we will continue hiking up through winding segments of rock and sand until we come to the highest point situated at 5.126 m / 16.818 ft.  After taking everything in for a moment, we will begin our descent, completing an approximately 5-hour journey that ends at La Virgen.  (B/L/D)

Day 3 José Ribas Refuge (4.800 m / 15.748 ft)

On this day, we will drive into Cotopaxi National Park and ascend to 4.600 m / 15.092 ft where we will start a short hike to the José Ribas Refuge. Here where we will get settle in and prepare our equipment to practice the necessary techniques and basic knowledge to move around safely in the glaciers.  Once we finish with the drills, we will return to the refuge to rest, eat something, and prepare our equipment before our final objective.  (B/BL/D)

Day 4 Cotopaxi Volcano (5.897 m / 19.347 ft)

We will get up in the middle of the night to get ready, eat something and begin our ascent.  We will hike for approximately one hour before arriving at the glacier. Then we will put on the necessary equipment and we will continue hiking to the summit which will take approximately 5 to 7 hours, depending on our pace.  Finally, the light of the sun rise will give us the inspiration to reach the highest point of this magnificent volcano at 5,897 m / 19.347 ft.

After we descend to the refuge, we will pack up our equipment and begin our return trip to Quito. (B/L)

INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW!

  • Panoramic view of “The Avenue of Volcanoes”
  • Illinizas Volcanoes and Ecological Reserve
  • Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park
  • Flora and fauna of moorlands
  • Transportation for the entire program
  • Bilingual certified ASEGUIM guide
  • Meals: (B) breakfast, (BL) box lunch, (L) lunch, (D) dinner
  • Safe drinking water during the whole trip
  • Accommodation in hostel and refuges
  • Technical equipment: helmet, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axe, rope and carabineers
  • Extra sports drinks
  • Lodging and meals in Quito*
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips

*We can include lodging and meals during your time in Quito.

  • 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
4 DAY COTOPAXI PROGRAM
DAY ACTIVITY HIKING TIME FITNESS LEVEL SKILL LEVEL HIGHEST ELEVATION LOWEST ELEVATION
1 Illinizas Hut 3 hrs moderate beginner 15.400 ft / 4.700 m 12.800 ft / 3.900 m
2 Northern Illiniza 5 hrs moderate beginner + 16.818 ft / 5.126 m 15.400 ft / 4.700 m
3 Cotopaxi Hut 45 min moderate beginner 15.750 ft / 4.800 m  15.100 ft / 4.600 m
4 Cotopaxi Summit 10 hrs very difficult intermediate 19.347 ft / 5.897 m 15.750 ft / 4.800 m 
TOTAL   19 hrs very difficult intermediate  19.347 ft / 5.897 m 12.800 ft / 3.900 m

4D COTOPAXI PROGRAM

4P or more

3P

2P

1P

$990

$1190

$1290

$2190

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