The Cotopaxi climbing tour is an 8-day Mountain Climbing Tour. As you might know, Ecuador offers a lot of different mountain climbing possibilities. For example, there are the Pasochoa and the Iliniza Norte. Another one is Cotopaxi Volcano, the second-highest volcano of Ecuador. This volcano has an altitude of 5,897 meters above sea level. As you can imagine the Cotopaxi climbing tour is a real adventure for adrenaline seekers!
The first few days are reserved for climbs with a series of non-technical acclimatization peaks, up the easier volcanoes surrounding Quito. This will prepare you for the final goal: attempting the summit of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.

We recommend good fitness health and mountain climbing experience.

Looking for ways to design your Cotopaxi Adventure? The article Cotopaxi National Park with the SOLEQ Family gives you an idea how to enjoy your trip with the whole family.

Difficulty 85%
Adventure 80%
Comfort 40%
Family friendly 25%


Click to see every day in detail

Arrival in Quito, International AirportArrival at the international airport in Quito. Here your guide picks you up and takes you to the hotel in the heart of Quito. From there the Cotopaxi climbing tour can start!

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing ToursStandard – Hotel

Meals included: —

Hiking as the daily activity The day will start with breakfast. Right after we will head out for a city tour to Quito. In doing so, you will become used to the altitude. Once we reach the old town of Quito there is a lot to explore. Here, our guide gives us many interesting details about the historical center of Quito. Since 1978 it is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The reason for this is because it is the best preserved historical center of Latin America.

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing ToursStandard – Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Hiking as the daily activity

Early in the morning we leave the capital to drive towards the Pasochoa volcano. This one is an extinct volcano with a wide caldera which is sunken to the west. Therefore, it gives us an impressive image. A height of 4.200 meters above sea level is a good beginning for acclimatization for other mountain climbing hikes. Due to its location in the middle of the Avenue of Volcanoes, Pasochoa offers a great view from the top. For example, you can see the Cayambe Volcano and other mountains. In the surrounded area are pumas, foxes, skunks and many bird species to be found. This is a perfect first hike for those who are new to altitude, it is an optimal acclimatization program. In the late afternoon, we return to Quito.

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing ToursStandard – Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast | Box Lunch

Hiking as the daily activity

The second hike is to the volcano Ruco Pichincha. We will continue the process of acclimatization reaching its summit and observe the crater and its majesty. From the slopes you can take the cable car to the top of the mountain. From there you can enjoy a panoramic view of Quito. At the end of the day you will return to Quito.

Standard – Hotel

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing Tours

Meals included: Breakfast | Box Lunch

Hiking as the daily activity

The Volcano Iliniza is located at about 60 km south-west of Quito. This volcano belongs to the western Andes and offers a magnificent view over the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Iliniza Norte has a summit purely made of rocks and is seldom covered with snow. Very early in the morning, we will drive to “Estacion de la Virgen”, from where the mountain climbing hike starts. Get ready for a steep climb through magnificent landscape followed by an exhilarating scramble to the summit. The hike up the Ilinizas Norte leads us through an amazing landscape called Páramo. It is the name for Ecuadorian steppe and the area is filled with blooming shrubs and thorny bushes. Our hike will take about 4-5 hours up and 2 hours to descend back down. After the hike, you will head to a typical hacienda to finish the day.

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing ToursStandard – Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast | Box Lunch | Dinner

Hiking as the daily activity

After a leisurely breakfast, we head to the Cotopaxi National park. On our way we can stop at the Limpiopungo Lagoon to take some photos. Right afterwards we reach the parking lot and hike for an hour up to the José Rivas Refugee. This destination is located at 4,800 meters above sea level. The afternoon we spend practicing the glacier skills needed for the ascent in prior to the climb. We will also train the handling of crampons, rope and ice axes. Afterwards, we go back to the mountain hut, where an early dinner will be served and we rest until midnight.

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing ToursMountain hut

Meals included: Breakfast | Box Lunch | Dinner

Hiking as the daily activity

Around midnight, we get up for the ascent to the summit. After breakfast and after all backpacks are packed and ready for the climb, we start around 1:00 am. Then we need approximately 6 to 8 hours for the ascension. A long, initial pitch gains access to an interesting maze of crevasses on the lower slopes of this beautiful volcano. The ascent then weaves through impressive crevasse fields before ascending the final steep slopes to the summit. The deep, sheer-walled volcanic crater is an incredibly impressive sight. On top, at 5,897 m, we have enough time to enjoy the stunning view and take pictures.

After soaking in the awesome panoramic view from the second highest point in Ecuador we will head back to the hut. The descent will take about 2 or 3 hours. A short rest and we return to Quito.

Accommodation during the Cotopaxi Climbing Tours Standard – Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast| Box Lunch

International FlightThe Cotopaxi climbing tour ends with breakfast at the hotel. Depending on your flight, a private transfer will take you to the airport in Quito. Or maybe you book a trip to the Galapagos Islands with us and your tour goes on with the next adventure!

International FlightIn time for your flight, we will take you to the airport.

Meals included: Breakfast


  • 7 nights in hotels, haciendas or mountain huts in double occupancy, breakfast included
  • Meals as specified in the program
  • ASEGUIM certified, English-speaking Mountain Guide (mountain-guide ratio: 2 climbers -1 guide in Cotopaxi)
  • Private transportation
  • All transfers
  • Mountain climbing gear (double plastic boots, crampons, ice axe, helmet, climbing belt)

starting from

$ 1295,- p.p.


*Please contact us for special offers and child discounts. Prices are subject to change.

*Price based on double occupancy.

Questions & Answers

First off, it totally depends on your physical condition. If you are used to hikes or a sporty/athletic person you definitely have an advantage. Anyhow, the weather plays a big part in the climbing as well. With good weather it is doable but still not easy. The wind can blow very hard and the wind chills can be dangerous. On the top, it is possible to face -17,8 °C (0 °F).

You should count on needing at least 10 hours for the climbing. Firstly, it takes 7-8 hours from the parking lot. Additionally, it will take you 2-3 hours to descend to the top. Most importantly, you need to be acclimated. Especially when you are not used to life or hiking at such heights. Therefore, it is suggested to acclimate at least a week in different altitudes. In our Cotopaxi climbing tour, this is already included.

With the SOLEQ.travel Cotopaxi Climbing Tour the price starts at $ 1295, -. The tour will last 8 days and you will acclimate and see more than just the Cotopaxi!

Short answer! No, you are not allowed to climb the Cotopaxi without a guide. It is prohibited by the Ecuadorian Law. And more importantly, it is extremely dangerous to do this climb without a guide. Mountains like Cayambe, Antisana, Chimborazo require a guide as well.

The Cotopaxi is an active stratovolcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. It is the second highest summit in Ecuador with a height of 5,897 meters. The volcano is located in the Latacunga canton, which is a part of the Cotopaxi Province, about 50 km south of Quito. Cotopaxi has erupted 50 times since 1738. However, the most recent eruption of the stratovolcano ended more than 100 years ago, in 1904.

When you decide to book the Cotopaxi Climbing Tour with SOLEQ.travel, we will take care of all the organization and transportation for you.
If you go by public bus just go to the bus terminal in Quitumbe located in the south of Quito. This ride costs about $3. You go until the bridge at the Panamerican-High Way and from there you need to continue by local taxis, that cost around $15.

The weather in Ecuador is unpredictable and can easily change in the blink of an eye. Always be prepared for rain and moody trails. Also make sure to have the right gear available at all times. Temperature can vary from 10°C-15°C in medium mountains. For the mountains with higher altitudes the weather can drop below 0°C at night or even during the climb.

Generally speaking, there are two climbing seasons in the Ecuadorian Andes. One is from June to August and the other is between November and February. However, this doesn’t count for the Cotopaxi Volcano. Cotopaxi creates its own microclimate and has the largest number of clear days of all the Ecuadorian mountains. So, this mountain can be climbed all year round! 

Alternative Tours

  • 12 days in the North of Ecuador
  • have a look at a list with a small selection of Ecuador’s bird species
  • starting from US$ 3845,- p.p.

What to explore with the Birdwatcher´s Paradise Tour? Almost 1/6 of all known bird species can be found in Ecuador, making this country a true paradise for birdwatchers and photographers. This tour gives you the possibility to see a lot of them. 

Interested? Read about the Birdwatchers Paradise Tour .

  • 13 days Ecuador Nature Tour
  •  explore an amazing variety of wildlife and plants
  • starting from US$ 2575,- p.p.

During the Ecuador Nature Tour you get very close to the untouched nature of Ecuador. Discover the impressive cloud forest northwest of Quito where you can go birdwatching and observe the huge biodiversity. Ecuador’s Amazon region offers an amazing variety of wildlife and plants.

Interested? Read about the Ecuador Nature Tour.

  • 5 days hike in the Andes
  • Also known as “Ecuadors Ruta del Condor”
  • starting from US$ 1145,- p.p.

The Condor Trek is one of Ecuador’s most beautiful and famous hikes in the Andes mountains (it’s also called Ruta del Condor Ecuador). It takes 5 days, walking about 6 to 8 hours per day.  Spend the nights camping under the stars. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery and breathtaking views as the trek ascents in the impressive Andean paramo.

Interested? Read about the Condor Trek.

  • 8 days adventure tour
  • a variety of adventurous activities
  • starting from 1540 $ p.p

Challenge yourself and join this magical Multisport Adventure Tour on the Ecuadorian mainland! The largest biodiversity on earth and the richest geography are located along the equator line. Thus, there are many different activities you can explore. Undertake an excursion that offers mountain biking down the slopes of the eastern Andean Mountain Range with great views of the active volcano, hiking the colorful Andean “páramo” , and river rafting on the Jatunyacu River as well. Additionally, relax and soak in volcanic hot springs of Papallacta at the end of the trip!

Interested? Read the about the Multisport Adventure Tour.

Consider as you reserve:

My own room:

Single supplement fee: USD $95,-p.p. (only possible in hotels)

Not Included:

> International airfare to and from destination
> Personal mountain equipment: sleeping bag, clothing, mittens, sun glasses, head lamp, etc)
> Meals not described
> Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
> Cost of medical immunizations as needed
> Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
> Cost of optional activities
> Excess baggage charges; airport taxes (if any);
> Optional gratuities to your guides
> Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
> Items of personal nature

Travel Insurance:

To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Travel insurance is intended to cover medical expenses, trip interruption and cancellation, theft and other losses incurred while traveling domestically or internationally.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Ecuador requires a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements