This specialized program is perfect for beginner climbers and experienced climbers alike. In this 7-day mountain climbing program you will acclimatize at lower altitudes to properly train for your ultimate challenge, the Cotopaxi volcano. Cotopaxi is an excellent volcano for climbing and with support of a professional and bilingual guide, you will gain the knowledge and experience that will help you to reach the Cotopaxi summit. Climbing between 4000 – 6000 meters (13,120 – 19,685 ft) above sea level offers a unique landscape above the clouds with unforgettable views of Ecuador and the surrounding Andes.
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.
Forming part of the Avenue of Volcanos south of Quito, Corazon is a great climbing option to get acclimatized. Corazon, meaning heart, is called so due its shape. The climb up is through the grassy paramo landscape and as you reach the peak you will be met with rocky outcrops. From the peak, on a clear day, you will have breath taking views of the other peaks that form this stunning section of the country.
A truly stunning climb, Illinizas is the perfect preparation for Cotopaxi. Get ready for a steep climb through magnificent landscape followed by an exhilarating scramble to the summit. The day commences with a good breakfast ready for the climb. We then make our 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 amazing views of snow-capped mountains and beautiful green lagoons.
After breakfast you will enjoy a day of rest at Hostería PapaGayo Cotopaxi. Optional non includes activities: Hiking, Visit of Eco Roses farm (Monday to Friday), Biking or Horse Riding. Please check in reception for the organization of any of those activities.
Bikes are included for 5-star programs.
Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in Ecuador at 5,897 m (19,347 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 (14,765 ft) or from the refuge “Jose Rivas” refuge at 4,800 m (15,780 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, so please be sure that you are well prepared. We recommend acclimatizing by spending at least six nights above 3,000 m (9,842 ft) and climbing twice around 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in the same week. This can be achieved through a Gulliver acclimatization program such as the 7 or 5 day program. Following an acclimatization program offers a much higher chance of making a successful climb of Cotopaxi.
We also offer for the experienced and acclimatized people, more options such as Illiniza South, Antisana and the highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo.
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
*Day pack of 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
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(+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.