Cayambe & Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Ascents of Cayambe (18,997′) and Cotopaxi (19,347′) – Ecuador

Our classic Ecuador experience, the volcanoes trip, attracts climbers looking to climb high-altitude peaks. For those with limited time off, this eleven-day trip provides the ultimate glacier mountaineering experience by combining skills training with summit attempts of two peaks. You can hone your skills in a spectacular international setting, then directly apply them with expert guidance on two challenging peaks.

Ecuador Volcanoes

Climbing Two Great Volcanoes

Ecuador’s Volcanoes rise from lush plains, beckoning climbers to their slopes. We climb two of them: Cayambe (18,997′) and Cotopaxi (19,347′). Our trip begins at 9,400′ in Quito – South America’s second highest capital city. We spend three nights acclimatizing in Quito – going to markets, hiking, and spending time in the mountains during the day. We then transfer to a modern hut at 15,920′ on Cayambe. Using the hut as our base camp, we review and hone our glacier skills and develop essential skills for our summit attempt. After three nights on Cayambe, we return to Quito for a day of rest and relaxation. Next up is transferring to Cotopaxi – Ecuador’s most famous mountain and the world’s highest active volcano. Our summit attempt begins in the middle of the night to ensure firm snow conditions. After being rewarded by Ecuador’s most spectacular views, we return to Quito for a celebratory dinner and head home the next day.Ecuador Volcanoes

Course Details


Extensive mountain hiking, excellent physical fitness, and Mountaineering Development Series Level One suggested,.


11 days

Price includes & Excludes:

AMGA/IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, permits, transportation, local Ecuadorian guide, mountain food, lodging in Quito, and hut fees.

Meeting location:

Quito, Ecuador


A Note on Ability Level

Because of the nature of the terrain, we ask that clients meet a minimum level of fitness. The terrain is steep, rugged, and has natural hazards that must be navigated.  We ask that all clients be in good health and physical condition and are able to hike/climb a minimum of 4000' feet per day.

Otovalo Market

Equipment List:

This expedition starts and ends in Quito. Once arrived, we take care of all other transportation. For more information on logistics and planning your arrival in Quito, please contact the Expedition Manager.

Ecuador Volcanoes

Sample Itinerary:

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Ecuador - meet your guide and fellow climbers

Day 2: Explore Otavalo - a Quechua market famous for its weavings and jewelry - enjoy a short hike

Day 3: Hike to the summit of Rucu Pichincha - just about 15,000'

Day 4: Drive to Cayambe

Day 5: Skills practice and development on Cayambe

Day 6: Skills practice and development on Cayambe

Day 7: Summit attempt on Cayambe - return to Quito

Day 8: Rest, relax, and explore

Day 9: Travel to Tambopaxi

Day 10: Summit attempt on Cotopaxi - return to Quito - celebratory dinner

Day 11: Travel home!

Note: This schedule is subject to change at the guide’s discretion due to unforeseen difficulties such as weather, illness, road conditions, etc.



Expedition Cancellation Policy:

  •      A non-refundable $250 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
  •      100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 121 days prior to trip start.
  •      50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 120 days before trip start.
  •      25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
  •      0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.