A special acclimatization package that ultimately leads to the spectacular 5897m peak of the Cotopaxi Volcano! The trip includes trekking / climbing 2 peaks over 5000m, as well as other gentler Andean excursions such as the magnificent Quilotoa laguna and the Pichincha teleferico cable car with fine views over Quito.
The trip is perfectly suitable for experienced or novice climbers – all climbs are non-technical – but a good set of lungs and plentiful stamina are a must!!!
||Quito – our first day of acclimatisation starts within reach of the city of Quito riding the Teleferico cable car up Cruz Loma (4100m) for fine views over the city and your first taste of altitude. From there we head a little higher trekking 3 hours up to Rucu Pichincha (4680m) before returning to Quito to relax.
||Pasochoa – heading south out of Quito today is spent trekking in the beautiful Pasachoa Natura Reserve. Although the altitude at the peak (4299m) is not quite as high as yesterday it is an exerting all-day trek to improve your condition. Overnight in the Andes.
||Illinizas North – today will be your first day of serious trekking as we head to the peak of Illinizas North at 5126m; it is a strenuous all-day hike and will leave you in good condition for attempting Cotopaxi. Overnight in the Andes.
||Quilotoa – a gentler day to recover from the recent hikes and recuperate your energy for tomorrow. Quilotoa, at 3914m, is a stunning emerald-green lake inside of the Quilotoa crater – one of the highlights of the Andes. The surrounding countryside is also extremely beautiful which makes for an unforgettable day. At the crater there is the option to trek inside to the lake shore (30mins down, 1 hour up). Overnight in the Andes.
||Cotopaxi – finally the climb you have been waiting and preparing for! The goal for today is to head to the refuge level (4800m), practice the basics of ice-trekking with crampons, and then rest up ready for the climb. Overnight at the refuge.
||Cotopaxi – our climb starts around midnight in order to get us up to the peak in time for sun-break; this is an energy-sapping trek (5-6 hours up, 3 hours down) so there are no guarantees of reaching the summit but for those who do there is the reward of incredible views up and down the Andes. After returning to the refuge we head back to Quito where the tour ends mid-afternoon on arrival.
Past Clients Feedback
“A lot of action was included but it was well-paced so we never felt exhausted. Cotopaxi was of course the highlight and we were very pleased that 75% of our group made the peak thanks to the guides!” (Johannes Eggenberger, Switzerland)
AVAILABILITY: This tour is available throughout the year.
START DATES: flexible to start on any day of the week that you prefer to travel.
- Transportation and driver
- English-speaking specialist climbing guide (1 per 2 climbers)
- All meals and visits as listed above
- 5 nights accommodation (note: final night is in a basic refuge)
- Equipment (Plastic boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, Carabines, gloves, gaiters, helmet lamp, fleece pants, basic sleeping bag, basic snow-proof trousers and jacket)
- Single supplement ($35 backpacker, $85 regular, Cotopaxi refuge on final night is dorm accommodation for all). Supplement applies for a single room for somebody travelling within a group, NOT for 1 person travelling alone (please request a special rate if you are travelling alone).
- All climbing equipment not listed above
- Personal Expenses
Note: 1 guide will be provided to accompany every 2 climbers; if one climber is forced to turn-back before reaching the summit then for safety reasons the other climber will also have to return together with the guide. All effort will be made to help climbers reach the summit but no refunds will be provided for failure to reach any summit for whatever reason.