This Ecuador climbing and acclimatization tour begins with the Pasochoa and Illinizas volcanoes. They provide the perfect preparation for you to get used to higher altitudes before taking on the higher mountains like Cotopaxi in this program.
Cotopaxi volcano is the highest active volcano in Ecuador and the experience of climbing this beautiful, symmetric glacier is emotional as well as unforgettable. During the 3 ascents of this tour you have the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding volcanoes.
Both experienced climbers or total beginners are with this specialized program able to make it to the top of the Cotopaxi volcano.
Make your way or get a private transfer to Hostería PapaGayo Cotopaxi.
Inactive since the last ice age, Pasochoa volcano (4,199 m/13,776 ft) is one of the best places to see the famous Andean Condor. The climb offers superb views to the mighty Cotopaxi and surrounding volcanoes. During the ascent you can see inside the crater which has the last remnants of primary Andean forest. Still living within the forest are pumas, foxes, skunks and many bird species. This is a perfect first hike for those who are new to altitude or those who are beginning an acclimatization program.
A truly stunning climb, Illinizas is the perfect final preparation for Cotopaxi. Get ready for a steep climb through a magnificent landscape, followed by an exhilarating scramble to the summit. The day commences with a good breakfast and then you make your way to the starting point – “The Virgin”, at a height of 4,000 m (13,123 ft), a place at which the local people worship the mountain and earth gods. The climb will take 4-5 hours, and 2 hours to descend back down. During the climb you will enjoy varied views of snow-capped mountains, rainforest and beautiful green lagoons. Temperatures will be around 5 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) and for the last part of the climb you will use ropes and harnesses while the guide assists.
Night in Hosteria PapaGayo Cotopaxi
After breakfast you will enjoy a day of rest at Hostería PapaGayo. While at Papagayo you can enjoy hiking, a visit to the Eco Roses farm (Monday to Friday), biking or horseback riding. Please check with reception for the organization of any of those activities.
Bikes are included with the 5-star programs.
Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world at 5,897 m (19,437 ft)! The climb to the summit occurs during the night; this allows watching the sunrise from the summit and displays unsurpassed views over Quito to the North, Chimborazo and Tungurahua to the south. From the top you have a magnificent view of the snow capped crater where it is possible to see steam emissions. The ascent departs from the parking lot at 4,500 m (14,764 ft) or from the refuge “Jose Rivas” refuge at 4,800 m (15,748 ft) (depending where you chose to spend the night: Tambopaxi or Refuge) and climbs through a mixture of volcanic sand, snow and glacier to the summit. The climb, although not classified as technical, requires the use of professional guides and specialized glacier hiking equipment. The ascent takes between 6-8 hours while the descent requires 2 hours.
Climbing at this altitude can be very difficult, which is why it is so important to complete our acclimatization programs. They are specially designed to make sure you have a successful and pleasant expeirence while conquering these massive giants! Gulliver Expeditions has many other acclimatization programs that offer experiences for beginners and more experienced climbers.
Gulliver also offers additional options such as Illiniza South, Antisana and the highest mountain in Ecuador, the Chimborazo Volcano for more advanced climbers.
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances (weather conditions or health risks), you will might be unable to reach the summit of Cotopaxi. That being said however, we do promise not only a fantastic but unforgettable experience, complete with fully qualified and highly experienced guides, fresh and hearty meals, lots of laughter, and of course good cold beers!
** NOTE: In case you do not want to use the previous night to the first climb, you can change it for a Quito-Papagayo Or Papagayo-Quito transfer**
Special climbing equipment included
Necessary Equipment not included
*Reasonably day pack(35 liters) (needed from the refuge to Cotopaxi summit to accommodate plenty of water, crampons, warm gear including puffer jacket etc)
**Large rucksack (50-70 liter) (only needed to transfer gear from the bus drop off at the Cotopaxi up to the refuge)
Call a Travel Specialist
Or call our US Phone Line
(+1) 315 636 0940
Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.