During this program, you’ll travel and climb the same routes, leading you to reach as high as the Andean Condor itself. The great thing about setting the Cotopaxi as your ultimate summit is that it is a great for both beginner and experienced climbers. Gulliver Expeditions provides you with only the best and highest certified and trustworthy guides who motivate you every step of the way to surpass your limits, traverse glaciers, and reach your desired summits.
This program is specifically designed to acclimatize any climber, whether you’ve just arrived or if you have been in Ecuador for some time already. It will begin at the mountain base of Papagayo Hosteria, perfectly situated at 3200 meters to help you acclimatize while you sleep. Each night this will be your base until you are ready to leave for the Jose Rivas refuge on Cotopaxi. Throughout the program you’ll trek and climb our favorite volcanoes in the remarkable “Avenue of the Volcanoes”
One thing we know for sure is that our committment to you in providing the highest quality program possible will not dissapoint. Our programs offer a challenge, teamwork, adventure, and accomplishment! Combine them, and you have an experience that will be imprinted onto you forever.
You can’t watch the sunrise from the summit of Cotopaxi unless you’ve prepared correctly! Watch our video on our recommendations for climbing gear and you will be ready!
Welcome to Ecuador!
Upon your arrival you will be greeted at the airport and provided a transfer to your hotel accommodations. Enjoy your first night in Ecuador!
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel to begin the day exploring Quito’s historical center. The tour will present highlights such as La Plaza de la Independencia, La Iglesia de San Francisco, and the Basilica de Voto Nacional. During this time enjoy the old-time charm of this area of the city, taking in the sights and sounds of daily Ecuadorian life. Afterwards, your guide will take you to the middle of the world, or Mitad del Mundo. You will be able to visit the famous monument and have some time for photos. While here, you will also visit the Intiñan Museum. It has interesting displays of the different regions of Ecuador and interactive experiments you can only do on the equator line and nowhere else in the world.
We begin with the most popular volcano to begin an acclimatization climb. It is a relatively easy day hike and one of the best places to see the Southern crested Caracara, a native bird of South America found between the Andes and the Amazon Rainforest. the climb offers fantastic views of the might Cotopaxi and surrounding volcanoes. Inside the crater you can see the last remnants of primary Andean forest, throughout the trail you’ll take about 3-4 hours winding through grasslands and moorlands. The summit has a height of 13,780 ft (4,200 m)..
Rumiñahui volcano actually consists of three different peaks. There are many different myths and legends of this volcano, ask the guide during the hike to tell you all about them! The view from the top will leave you breathless – figuratively speaking as the views are strikingly amazing. With an altitude of 15,489 ft (4,721 m) you have stunning views of Corazon, Ilinizas, and Cotopaxi volcanoes.
A truly stunning climb, Ilinizasis 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 begins with a good breakfast and leaving Papagayo to the starting point in the reserve called“The Virgin”. At a height of 4,000meters, the Virgin is a place at which the local people worship the mountain and Earth Gods. The climb will take about 4-5 hours, and about 2 hours to descend. During the climb enjoy various views of surrounding snow-capped mountains and beautiful green lagoons. Temperatures can vary, be prepared for a colder climate as sometimes Ilinizas can have dustings of snow and for the last part of the climb, ropes and harnesses will be used to assist until reaching the summit.
With breakfast included at Papagayo, you have the entire day to your leisure as your body takes a rest day before attempting the summit of Cotopaxi. Feel free to walk the trails located on the farm, enjoy the Jacuzzi, or participate in various yoga and meditation programs available. You can even arrange a bike ride or horse experience lesson, just check with reception first to be able to organize accordingly.
Climbing to the summit of Cotopaxi is one of the most famous and exciting in South America. It is the highest active volcano in the world at 5,897 meters. The climb to the summit occurs at night; this allows watching for the sunrise from the summit and displays unsurpassed 360 degree views, and sightings like Chimborazo andTungurahua to the south. At the summit you experience the snow-capped crater, it is possible to also see steam emissions from crater. The ascent departs from the parking lot at 4,500 meters and later in the evening from the“Jose Rivas” refuge at 4,800 meters. The climb begins around 11 PM and climbs through snow and glaciers the rest of the way 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. When returning from the summit of Cotopaxi, a small breakfast will be provided at the refuge. Afterwards we will drive back to Hosteria Papagayo to drop off equipment.
(Attention: All times are estimated, EXCEPT for the starting time)
10:00 Review of equipment in the Hostería PapaGayo.
13:00 Drive to Cotopaxi National Park after lunch.
14:00 Arrival at the parking lot at 4,500m. Start of the climb to the “Jose Rivas”mountain hut.
15:00 Reach the mountain hut at 4,864m.
– Climbing information
– Technical introduction
– Safety instructions
– Instructions for first aid
23:30 Time to get up. Snacks. Final preparations for the climb.
24:00 Start of the climb!
sunrise Depending on your climbing experience, you can reach the summit of Cotopaxi for a magnificent play of colors in the morning sun.
10:00 Arrival at the shelter after successful ascent. Enjoy well-deserved
snacks.11:30 Leaving Cotopaxi National Park and drive to the Hosteria PapaGayo.
14:30 Return to Quito and to your hotel.
Thousands of people have climbed Cotopaxi. Are you ready to accept the challenge? Contact us!
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.