Volcano Cotopaxi rises majestically above the Andean cordillera and is the highest active volcano in the world. It’s perfect coned form has given it international fame as well as numerous entries in photgraphic publications. Reaching the top of this volcano is a must-do for every mountaineer or the outdoors inclined, with spectacular views and a gaping crater to peer in, it is quite a unique experience. Technically it is not a difficult mountain, but being in good physical condition is a basic requirement for a successful climb. With the early morning sun on a clear day, the Avenue of the Volcanoes opens up, and with good visibility all of Ecuador’s snow capped peaks can be viewed. A quick glance into the 800m diameter crater, from which a gentle sulphur steam flows, and you can easily imagine how powerful are the forces of nature to create such immense landscapes.
Day 1: Quito - Ticatilin - Refuge Cotopaxi Cara Sur (3900 m.)
We leave Quito at 11am in an all terrain vehicle. It will take two and a half hours to arrive at a small village called Ticatilin (3200m) where we will have a pre-prepared lunch after which you will have the option of hiking 3-4hours to the Refuge Cotopaxi Cara Sur at Rasularca. (3900 m) (this hike is recommended as it gives you a chance to acclimatize and experience the beautiful surroundings of this area). After a delicious and hearty evening meal, we relax in the typical adobe cabañas.
Day 2: Refuge Cotopaxi Cara Sur - Campo Alto (4750 m)
At 11am, after a delicious breakfast we hike three hours from the cabañas to base camp where we have fixed tents and can enjoy a tasty dinner then relax.
Day 3: Campo Alto - South Peak - South Peak - Refuge Rivas (North Face) - Quito
At midnight we wake for a typical energizing mountain breakfast then at 1am start our final six hour climb to the south peak and the north peak of Cotopaxi where you will experience the breathtaking views and its famous crater. The descent to Reguge Rivas (North Face) will take four hours to arrive at the refuge where you can prepare for your return to Quito.
B= breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner
Note: The itinerary of the adventure tour can be changed by the guide due to security reasons (climate, conditions etc) as well as by the national park administration due to changing national park rules. Nevertheless the security and the interest of the participants will always have first priority
USD 350,- per person (Minimum 2 People)
USD 560,- per person (1 Person)
Services included in the price
Private 4WD transportation, one qualified mountain guide for every 2 climbers (English/Spanish speaking), meals as mentioned above (B: breakfast; L: lunch; D: dinner), overnight stay at the mountain refuge. For climbing: mountain boots, ice axe, crampons, harness, rope, entrance into the national park.
Not included in the price
Personal equipment, sleeping bag, tips, mountain equipment: gaiters, warm and waterproof clothes, sunglasses, headlamp with batteries, gloves etc
What to Bring
Sleeping bag, sun glasses, sun block, rain wear, warm clothes, torch, hat, trekking shoes, warm clothing, canteen, camera, headlamp, batteries etc.
Please note that though the Cotopaxi is technically not difficult long slopes have to be climbed in high altitude. Therefore you need to be in good physical shape and a good acclimatization is essential for a successful ascent.