Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi

One of the highest active volcanoes on earth.

Cotopaxi is located 55 km south of Quito. It is the second highest volcano in Ecuador and one of the most active volcanoes on earth. In addition, the Cotopaxi is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world due to its ideal conical shape with an imposing glacier that covers the summit.

All this makes the Cotopaxi a fantastic climbing experience for both beginners and experi­enced mountai­neers. The climb to the top of the Cotopaxi is not very technical, but requires an adequate accli­ma­tiz­ation. You reach the top in 2 days. We recommend that you carry out an accli­ma­tiz­ation process before going up to Cotopaxi.

* inter­na­tional flights not included

HIGH: 5.897 m

TYPE: Stratovulkan

CHARAC­TE­RISTIC: Active volcano

DIFFI­CULTY LEVEL: BW-4

ITINERARY
Day 1: Mountain refuge José Ribas (4,800 m)

We meet at 11 o’clock in Quito (the meeting point will be announced in the mandatory regis­tration). We strongly recommend that you have breakfast. We drive along the “Ruta de los Volcanes” to the Cotopaxi National Park. The track leads to the car park at about 4,500 m. Then walk to the José Ribas refuge (4,800 m). After a forti­fying dinner, you will go to bed early at 6:30 p.m., as you will start your climb to the top early at 11 p.m.

Day 2: Summit day (5,897 m)

Cotopaxi KraterAfter a good breakfast, the challenge begins to climb the fasci­nating summit of Cotopaxi. After appro­xi­mately 1.5 hours you will reach the glacier entrance (appro­xi­mately 5,100 m). At this point you have to put on your crampons. The route to the summit is not too difficult, but the route through the glacier changes from one year to the next. The most outstanding challenge of climbing the Cotopaxi volcano is to lead with the lack of oxygen. The reward for the sweat of the ascent efforts is the magni­ficent panorama of the summit, and the impressive view of the 300-meter-deep crater. The descent back to the refuge lasts appro­xi­mately 4 hours on the same route. Once at the refuge you will take a short break, and continue to the parking lot, where the driver is already waiting for you.

SERVICES
Included
  • Profes­sional bilingual guide (English Spanish, extra charge Spanish German)

  • Two people per guide

  • Transport (Meeting point – Volcano – Meeting point)

  • Overnight in the mountain refuge

  • Helmet, harnesses, crampons, gaiters, ice ax

  • A lunch, dinner and breakfast at the mountain refuge
Not Included
  • Tips for the guide

  • Trans­por­tation not mentioned

Recom­mended equipment (not included)
  • A small backpack (35 liters) is needed for the ascent from the refuge to the summit. In addition, a large backpack (50-70 liters) to transport all personal equipment from the parking lot to the shelter. It can be rented locally.

  • Sleeping bag (-5 ° C), bottle of water to drink, headlamp (Can be rented locally)
  • Equipment for your upper body:
    You’ll need a windproof, breakable jacket and a medium/​heavy jacket full of down or synthetic fill. You’ll need a fleece as a warm layer, a down/​synthetic sweater/​vest. White color is best because dark color absorbs the heat of the sun and make you too warm.
    Women – you may prefer a synthetic sports bra, cotton is not appro­priate for climbing a mountain.
  • For your lower body:
    You’ll need a pair of gore-tex windproof, water­proof and breat­hable trousers. Medium weight polar fleece trousers, medium weight thermal leggings, a pair of walking trousers (not cotton).
  • For your hands:
    Water­proof gloves with a polar fleece liner.
  • For your head:
    You will need a warm balaclava. Take 100% UV protection glacier glasses and a headlamp with batteries and bulbs.
  • For your feet:
    Plastic boots (can be rented locally), and warm socks. 
  • Camera, sunscreen
  • Water, energy drinks, snacks
INDICA­TIONS
  • Positive attitude and teamwork is required.

  • Safety first: our goal is to reach the top. However, reaching summits can be consi­derably more difficult due to unfavorable climatic condi­tions (strong wind, fog, conti­nuous rains, snowfall) and other adverse circum­s­tances, such as the physical condition and health of the parti­ci­pants. The leader guide, who is respon­sible for the well-being of the parti­ci­pants, has the right to interrupt the ascent to the summit if he/​she considers it necessary for the protection of the health and life of all the parti­ci­pants. No claim from the parti­ci­pants is valid in this circumstance.

  • You will climb over 5.000 meters above the sea level. Therefore, we recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor for a general medical exami­nation beforehand.

  • It is recom­mended to have a travel and health insurance in force.

DIFFI­CULTY
BW-1 (gentle walk)

The simplest form of hiking uses only wide and well-developed roads. Mainly on flat terrain and little inclined, without descents and exposed stairs. Usually well marked trails. No special equipment is required, it is recom­mended to wear comfor­table walking shoes. More comfort and less physical activity. Cultural walks with contact with people. No prior knowledge required.

BW-2 (challenging walks / activities)

Activities partially challenging or longer than BW-1 (hiking and cycling). Partially difficult terrain (very steep terrain). Good health and good physical condition are required. Availa­bility to light physical efforts, such as cycling and hiking.

BW-3 (mountains tours / outdoors activities)

Activities or hikes that are often demanding and / or extensive. Trails with consi­derable slopes, narrow, and not always well marked. For mountai­neering an accli­ma­tiz­ation process is required (heights more than 4.000 m). Safety when walking. Predis­po­sition for heights. It requires very good health and good physical condition. Adven­turous spirit.

BW-4 (Heavy Mountain Tour / outdoors activities)

In this category, mountai­neering begins on a high alpine landscape (heights more than 5,000 m). For mountai­neering, an accli­ma­tiz­ation process is required. Use of crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and helmets are required. It requires excellent general health and physical condition. A sporting spirit and predis­po­sition for demanding weather conditions.

BW-5 (extremely heavy mountain tour / outdoors activities)

Very serious mountain tours that demand a high level of risk-taking even for experi­enced mountai­neers. Routes over very steep, and very exposed rock. As a rule, these alpine excur­sions are unmarked. The knowledge of the use of the equipment is extremely important. Technical mountains are climbed on this type of tour.

Our active trips are generally not suitable for people with reduced mobility. Do not hesitate to contact us, we will be glad to advise you.

Booking Request

    Ask for this offer or contact us for further details and queries. Of course, we can tailor your dream trip to your individual needs.

    Please fill out the form, with your infor­mation, the planned travel date and the number of parti­ci­pants. Of course we also advise you by phone or directly by email at the following contact options: