ACCLIMATIZATION & COTOPAXI ASCENT


Cotopaxi is one of the most beautiful and popular active volcanoes in the Andes mountain range, its imposing beauty towering over the plateaus of the Ecuadorian páramo. Climbing Cotopaxi is a true adventure that provides an exciting and friendly experience for beginners and experienced climbers.

Ecuador's mountains and volcanoes offer a wide range of classic routes on rock, snow and ice with unparalleled accessibility for beginners and expert climbers. On this acclimatization and skills training tour, our explorer guests have the opportunity to ascend Cotopaxi (18,891 ft – 5,758m), one of the most beautiful and popular active volcanoes in the Andes Mountains.


MAIN OBJECTIVES

  • Explore the natural, historical and cultural biodiversity of Ecuador
  • Develop climbing skills on snow and ice
  • Reach the summit of Cotopaxi volcano (18,891 ft – 5,758m)

PREREQUISITES:

  • A good level of physical condition
  • Previous experience in camping in natural environments
  • No previous climbing experience is required

PROGRAM CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Hikes and treks from 4 to 10 hours
  • Progressive ascents and descents in altitude.
  • Each climber carries their own personal gear with staff assistance for the expedition group.

ACCLIMATIZATION | TREKKING | CLIMBING

On this great expedition our team will accompany you to visit breathtaking places of natural beauty, culture and history unique in the world, because when you travel with us you will embark on memorable tours with the guidance of experienced and expert professionals whose priority is to offer quality and efficiency in all our services.


Day 1: Arrival in Quito, Ecuador

This day is designated to travel to Ecuador and get settled in the country, our guides will be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel.


Day 2: Acclimatization Hike - Cerro Pasochoa

Our expedition begins in Quito (9,500 ft - 2,896 m) the capital of Ecuador, starting with the acclimatization to the south of the Avenue of the Volcanoes at the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge, where you will enjoy beautiful views over the landscape and the typical villages of the Sierra. The ascent to this extinct volcano will take about 4 hours. At the summit (13,776 ft - 4,199 m) we will have lunch and reach a great view of Cotopaxi and other nearby volcanoes. After descending we will return to our hotel in Quito. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch


Day 3: Acclimatization Hike - Ruco Pichincha

Continuing with the acclimatization, we headed to the Quito Telepherique to ascend up to (14.000 ft - 4.267m). At this altitude we will start the hike through different ridges and rocky peaks until we reach the summit of Ruco Pichincha (15.700 ft - 4.785 m), here we will have lunch and observe different panoramic views of the city of Quito. This day we will start the field training learning about the rock technique and the use of fixed lines. After descending we will return to our hotel in Quito. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch


Day 4: Acclimatization at the Ilinizas Reserve Base Camp

In the morning we will drive 2 hours to reach the foot of the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve (La Virgen | 12,959 ft - 3,950 m), from this altitude we will start a 4 hour hike that will take us to the New Horizons Hub (15,255 ft - 4650 m), after lunch we will start the theoretical induction workshop for high mountain ascents, then we will have the rest of the day to take pictures or rest. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch, Dinner.


Day 5: Summit Iliniza Peak North

At dawn we will begin an ascent of approximately 4 hours by a mixed route to reach the summit of the north peak Tiopniza (16,817 ft - 5,126 m), from there we will be able to appreciate the impressive beauty of our main objective in the Cotopaxi volcano. On the way back we can rest a bit at the hub and then continue to the lodge in Cotopaxi National Park. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch


Day 6: Cotopaxi Volcano - José Ribas Hub

With the sun breezes we will start a short hike to the Limpiopungo lagoon (12,680 ft - 3,865 m), here we will have a guided talk about the ancient eruptions of the volcano and the natural species. Afterwards we will return to Tambopaxi Lodge, have lunch and continue to the Cotopaxi volcano parking lot (15,091 ft - 4,600 m), from this altitude we will start a one hour hike until we reach the Jose Ribas Hub (15,758 ft - 4,800 m), there we will do some exercises on the glacier, have dinner and prepare for the ascent to the summit of Cotopaxi. Meals included: Breakfast, Luch, Dinner


Day 7: Summit Cotopaxi Volcano

Summit day! At 23:00 we will begin our ascent to the summit, first we will walk on easy slopes for about an hour to reach the glacier, here our instructors will rope us to ascend a series of fairly uniform snow and ice ramps of 30 to 35 degrees until we reach a glacier platform (16,994 ft - 5,180 m) to rest. Continuing with the ascent we will reach Yanasacha (400 ft rock wall) to continue climbing up a steep ice face of about 55 degrees, as we ascend the last glacial slopes the slope decreases until we reach the summit of Cotopaxi Volcano. At the summit the breeze and the first rays of the sun will welcome us with spectacular views of the crater of Cotopaxi and panoramic views of large volcanoes such as Cayambe, Antisana, Chimborazo and other volcanoes of the Ecuadorian Cordillera in a perfect and classic end of beautiful ascent. After congratulating ourselves for reaching our main objective, we will descend to the refuge to rest and then continue to our hotel where we enjoy a celebratory meal together. Meals included: Breakfast, Luch


Day 8: Flights Home

Hugs and farewells, transfer to the airport and flights home.


Inclusions: AM Expeditions Leadership (Registered company); Certified Mountain Guides (IFMGA, ASEGUIM | English – Spanish); All logistics and organisation for sightseeing tours; Lodging in hotels, haciendas, huts, and tents on a shared basis for the dates of your program (available on a private basis by special arrangement, subject to availability, and at added cost); meals while at huts and while climbing; group cooking equipment; admissions to museums and national parks; technical mountain gear (helmet, climbing harness, triple-action locking carabiner, ice ax, mountaineering boots, crampons); private transportation during trip.

Exclusions: Airfare; personal equipment; extra meals and beverages at hotels, haciendas and lodges; gratuities to guides; government and airport taxes; inoculations; personal insurance; excess baggage fees; personal expenses.

Getting There

Several airlines offer daily flights to Quito International Airport (UIO). Depending on how you book your flight, it may arrive in the early morning hours. Flights departing from Quito can be booked for any time.


Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required when traveling to Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.


Update on requirements for entry into ecuador by covid variant-19

When boarding the airline, all persons must present the digital Traveller’s Health Declaration, available at the following link: https://declaracionsalud-viajero.msp.gob.ec/

  • Persons over 16 years of age must present a covid-19 vaccination card, which is at least 14 days old after completion of the vaccination schedule. In addition, a qualitative real-time RT-PCR test, with negative result, performed up to 72 hours prior to embarkation to Ecuador.
  • Minors between 2 and 16 years of age must present a negative real-time RTPCR qualitative test result performed up to 72 hours prior to shipment.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the Quito airport, follow the signs to the Arrivals Building. Proceed to the Immigrations desk for foreign travelers. They will provide you with an entrance permit adequate for your stay. Please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay in Ecuador. After you have gathered your baggage and passed through Customs you will find a departure gate where our team will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel set out in the itinerary.


Communication

Ecuador – country code +593. Most areas have mobile access and wifi connection.


Money

The current currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Consult a financial newspaper for the current exchange rate before departure. Cash machines are readily available in Quito and Credit cards are accepted in most areas.


TRIP DATES 2022: AVAILABLE


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