Cotopaxi Ecuador

Ecuador

January 18th - 26th, 2025

Overview

Our Ecuador 2025 Adventure for All will offer breathtaking views of Ecuador and the Andes. Kicking 2025 off in a big way, our trip starts in the capital of Ecuador, Quito. If you appreciate history, this is the city for you! Quito is known for its primarily intact Spanish colonial center with renaissance era palaces and religious sites.

Next, we’ll acclimatize with a hike to Pasochoa. Forged nearly 100,000 years ago from an eruption, this ancient and heavily eroded volcano has been inactive since the last ice age. Our hike will present us with stunning views of the Ecuadorian Andes and diverse wildlife.

Our next hike will be to Rucu Pichincha, where we’ll experience breathtaking views of mountains, cities and cloud forests of the coastal lowlands.

We’ll then get a chance to brush up on our climbing techniques with a fun glacier hike to the Cayambe glacier. Cayambe has a permanent snow cap and is the highest point in the world that the equator crosses. It also has the distinction of being the only point on the equator with a snow cover.

After experiencing the culture in Otavalo, we’ll start our final hike, to the Cotopaxi summit. Reaching a peak of 19,400ft, Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Cotopaxi, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, most recently began erupting on October 21, 2022 and continued for around 9 months. The reward for our epic efforts will be an unforgettable view of the sunrise along the crater.

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Adventure Highlights

Wildlife International Cold Temperatures Bouldering/Rappeling High Altitudes Steep Hikes Local Shopping Local Restaurants
  • Quito’s Spanish colonial center
  • Pasochoa in the Ecuadorian Andes
  • Rucu Pichincha and views from the mountains to the coast
  • Cayambe glacier at the highest point in the world on the equator
  • Relaxing in Otavalo
  • Cotopaxi summit, one of highest active volcanoes in the world, at sunrise

Ecuador Itinerary

Upon arriving in Quito, Ecuador, we will meet up and get dinner before spending the night at our hotel.

After breakfast, our vehicle will pick us up and take us to the Basilica Church. We will walk through the colonial part of Quito and visit the IntiNan museum. At the museum, we will learn about the culture around and forces of the equator. We will also spend that night in Quito.

Our hike to Pasochoa will be a great way to acclimatize. It will be important to stay hydrated and pace ourselves to help our bodies acclimatize. After breakfast and a 90 minute drive, our hike will start at 3,400m/11,100ft. Our trail will take us on a 4 hour round trip along the backside of the extinct volcano. From here, we’ll have great views of the central range of the Ecuadorian Andes farmland, cultivated fields, paramo grasslands and the endemic forest inside the crater. That night we will stay in our hotel in Quito.

Start hike at 3,400m/11,100ft – summit 4,200m/13,800ft

Hiking 800m/2,700ft elevation gain

Our day will start with a cable car to hike Rucu Pichincha where we’ll have dynamic views of the west Andean Range. During our 3-4 hour hike along the southwest ridge, we’ll experience breathtaking views of mountains, cities and cloud forests of the coastal lowlands. Our descent will be on the same trail and a vehicle will pick us up to return us to our hotel in Quito. This will be the last chance to check our climbing gear and rent equipment if necessary.

Start hike at 4,000m/13,120ft – summit 4,700m/15,420ft

Hiking 700m/2,300ft elevation gain

Following breakfast, we will drive about 2 hours to our acclimatization hike to the Cayambe refuge. Our support vehicle will then transport our gear while we gain altitude on the Cayambe foothills. Cayambe is unique in that it’s the only place in the world where the equator line crosses below the summit of a glacier volcano, where its latitude and temperature are both zero. Once we arrive at the refuge, we’ll have a refresher on basic rope techniques, self-rescue and prepare our personal climbing gear for the training. In the morning, we’ll hike to the glacier to practice climbing skills – snow and ice crampon techniques, rope glacier traveling, self-arrest, different belaying systems and some rescue crevasse techniques, which will be used for our safe summit attempts on the normal routes of our main peak.  After our hike, we will transfer to a hotel in Otavalo.

Start hike at 4,300m/ 14,100ft – glacier 5,000m/16,400ft

Hiking 700m/2,300ft elevation gain

This will be a day to rest and explore the market and shop for souvenirs. It will be a great time to experience the local culture. We will spend the night in Otavalo.

Elevation 2,532m/8,307ft

Our day will start with a 3 hour drive to the car park located at 4,500m/14,800ft. From this location, we’ll hike for about 1 hour to the refuge following along an easy switchback trail. After lunch, we’ll relax and hydrate and then have time to practice glacier climbing skills and prepare for the next day’s climb. Dinner will be early so we can rest up and get an early start to the next day.

Start hike at 4,500m/14,800ft – hut 4,800m/15,800ft

Hiking 300m/1,000ft elevation gain

After our midnight wake-up call, our epic climb will begin along a 30-degree slope on rock and volcanic ash. Once we reach the glacier, our 5-6 hour climb begins with a straightforward 40-degree ascent. Our physical conditioning will be key to successfully reach the summit. Our reward will be a stunning sunrise below the impressive crater along the 45-50 degree summit ridge. This will lead us to the top of one of the most perfect cone-shaped active volcanoes in the world! Finally, our 2-3 hour descent will take us back to the hut, where after a short rest, we will pack up and meet our vehicle to return to Quito.

Start climb at 4,800m/ 15,800ft – summit 5,897m/19,400ft

Hiking 1,097m/3,600ft elevation gain

Airport transfer back to the USA.

Note on Itinerary:

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change, for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and trail conditions.

Ecuador Trip Registration

Adventures For All

Deposit for Trip Registration

Trip Date: January 18th - 26th, 2025

$1,247.50

Deposits:  $1,247.50 (50% of total trip cost down holds your spot).

Total Price: $2,495 per person

6 months prior to the trip’s start date, the balance is due = $1,247.50

A late fee of 8% will be added to any invoice that is more than 30 days late. If paying via PayPal there will be a 3% service charge.

6 remaining slot(s)

For your Get Outside Guide. please consider making a donation to Get Kids Outside, a non-profit helping children get into our National Parks.

Included

  • 2 airport transfers (scheduled once pick up and drop off times are determined)
  • Private transportation throughout the trip
  • Certified bilingual mountain guide - ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides)
  • Climbing permits and local insurance on Cayambe and Cotopaxi
  • Group technical climbing equipment
  • 1 night at Cotopaxi hut with meals included
  • All hotel stays (based on double occupancy)
  • Box lunch on hiking days
  • IntiNan museum entrance fee and Basilica fee (city tour)
  • Teleferico - round trip cable car fee to hike Rucu Pichincha

Excluded

  • International flights
  • International travel insurance - required for each climber
  • Personal climbing gear (please see climbing pack list)
  • Meals not otherwise mentioned
  • Tips for local guides or Get Outside staff

Airline Tickets — Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets, to ensure your trip is confirmed, with the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Travel Insurance — To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Please contact us or see details.