Cotopaxi Climb (19,347 ft/5897m) & Chimborazo (20,702 ft/6268m)

Cotopaxi without a doubt is the most beautiful volcano in Ecuador because of its perfect conic shape. To climb it is a true challenge for beginner and expert climbers from all around the world. It is located in the central mountain range of the Ecuadorian Andes, just 62km north of Latacunga and 75km south of Quito. To succeed in the climb of this marvellous volcano, it requires good acclimatisation and physical training, this is why Cotopaxi Travel offer acclimatisation programs that help you to conquer the summit of this volcano.


Day 1: Quito (9,186 ft/2800m)- Cotopaxi refuge (15,958 ft/4864m)
Day 2: Refuge to the Cotopaxi summit (19,347 ft/5897m) return to Pastocalle.
Day 3: Rest day
Day 4: Hermanos Carrel Refuge (15,744 ft/4800m)
Day 5: Chimborazo summit (20,702 ft/6268m) Return to Quito.

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Quito (9186 ft/2800m)- Cotopaxi Refuge (15,958 ft/4800m)
We will drive from Quito towards the south of the Avenue of the Volcanos, until we arrive in the carpark of the National Park Cotopaxi at (14,764 ft/4500m). We will organise our equipment and start walking for an hour towards the refuge José Rivas (15,958 ft/4864m). We will learn some basic techniques that include: how to use the climbing equipment (crampons, ice axe, rope etc.) In the refuge we will have dinner and rest.

Day 2: Refuge to Cotopaxi summit (19,347 ft/5897m) the return Pastocalle.
We will wake up at midnight and start our climb to the summit at 1am, after a light breakfast. The hike up to 5897m normally takes around 6-8 hours. The first part is about an hour until the start of the glacier, where we have to put on crampons and we start the glacier hike. Depending on the climate we will take our time for photos of the impressive smoking crater, surrounding views and then afterwards return to the refuge which will take no more than 2/3 hours. In the refuge we will collect all of our belongings, quickly eat something and walk back to the car so we can begin our journey back to Pastocalle where we will spend the night in the Cotopaxi Campground.

Day 3: Rest day in Pastocalle.
This is your rest day in the relaxing and picturesque town of Pastocalle in the Cotopaxi Campground. There is an optional trip to the Cunuyacu waterfall and thermal baths, that are found at 4123m in the Ilinizas Ecological Reseve. Here you can take a relaxing bath in the natural hot springs or there is also the option to visit the local businesses of Pastocalle.

Day 4: Pastocalle to Hermanos Carrel Refuge (15,744 ft/4800m).
Driving south towards the city of Amabato, through the Avenue of the Volcanos for about 3.5 hours until we arrive in the Chimborazo reserve. We will continue in car directly to the refuge Hermanos Carrel, have dinner and rest there until 10pm. Then we will have a light breakfast before preparing our equipment and starting the hike.

Day 5: Chimborazo Summit (20,702 ft/6268m) then return to Quito.
Before midnight we must begin the hike to the summit of the highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo. It may take from 8-10 hours to arrive in the peak in the very early morning. This is the perfect place to rest while enjoying the view all around us. From there we will have to go back down 3/4 hours in order to arrive in the refuge, collect all our belongings and get ready for the drive back to Quito.


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Additional Information:

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