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  • Get to Ecuador’s capital, acclimatize in two mountain lodges and make an attempt to climb the iconic Cotopaxi Volcano. Test your courage as you traverse the glaciated terrain and get humbled by the sprawling views of other lofty peaks and snow-capped volcanic cones once you’ve reached the summit. Once the adventure is over, you will have gained basic alpine climbing skills and become richer for one of the world’s best climbing experiences. 

    • Meet your guide at a predetermined time and location in Ecuador’s capital and leave for the Tambopaxi lodge. Not only is the lodge surrounded by dramatic landscapes framed by Cotopaxi and 4 other volcanoes, but it’s also a comfy and hospitable place offering modern amenities. It is located at an altitude of 12,300 feet (3,750 meters) and provides a perfect place for acclimatization in stunning surroundings. You can spend some quality time in the lodge before dinner, take a walk to fully enjoy the views, or go for a cup of coffee in a nearby restaurant. It takes time to get used to higher altitudes, so remember to take it easy and drink plenty of water.
      Meals: Dinner

      Grazing horses and the mighty Cotopaxi Volcano in the distance.


    • Start your day with a hearty breakfast in your lodge and spend time according to your interests before 2 pm, when you will get transferred to yet another lodge at an even higher altitude—Jose Rivas Refugio (15,958 ft / 4,864 m), situated right below the Cotopaxi glacier. Dinner will be served early, at 5 pm. Try and get some sleep immediately afterwards—your expedition to the top of the Cotopaxi Volcano starts at midnight.
      Meals: Breakfast and dinner

      Jose Rivas Refugio, situated below the Cotopaxi Glacier, lodging during the Cotopaxi alpine climbing adventure.
    • Start your guided Cotopaxi climb at midnight. This expedition will take you between 5 and 8 hours, depending on conditions and your skill level. Once you’ve reached the summit, take in the magical views of nearby peaks and the surrounding landscapes at dawn. The descent will take you additional 2 hours, and you will arrive back to refuge just in time for breakfast. After getting some rest, you will get transferred back to Quito. Alternatively, you can get transportation to Riobamba or Latacunga. Say goodbye to your guide and Ecuador or continue touring on your own.
      Meals: Breakfast
      Elevation gain: 3,618 feet (1,103 m)

      Two alpine climbers approaching the glacier at the top part of the Cotopaxi Volcano.
    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Ecuador, please refer to the Covid-19 Information by the US Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

    • What you get in this adventure:

        • Experienced ASEGUIM certified local mountain guides with extensive knowledge of the area
        • 3 or 5 days of alpine climbing, as outlined in the itineraries 
        • All transportation and logistics to and from Cotopaxi
        • All gear and mountain climbing equipment 
        • Warm clothing suitable for high altitude and freezing weather
        • Accommodations during the trip
        • Meals as indicated in the itineraries
        • National Park permits

      What’s not included:

        • Backpack
        • Lunches
        • Transportation to and from Ecuador
        • Accommodation prior and after the trip
    • Essentially, climbing Cotopaxi is a recreational two-day climb that even those new to mountain climbing can complete as long as they’re in excellent physical shape. Climbing Cotopaxi is a strenuous activity lasting up to 8 hours and is made more challenging due to high altitudes. Even though it is not a technical climb, it will involve moderate glacial terrain, complex crevasse patterns, snow bridge crossings, and a semi-vertical section in the end. The climb will involve a 3,618-ft elevation gain (1,103 m). 

      Likewise, Iliniza Norte climb is not technical, but requires great caution, excellent level of fitness, and some experience with scrambling. The climb is less strenuous than the Cotopaxi Volcano and will take you up to 4 hours, with an elevation gain of 1,683 feet (513 m). 

      Keep in mind that your guide will monitor your technique, take care of the logistics and help you if you encounter any difficulties during the climb.

    • For these Cotopaxi guided climbing tours, prior mountain climbing experience is not necessary, but it’s more than welcome. However, in order to climb the Cotopaxi Volcano, you should know how to use an ice ax and crampons. You should have some experience with strenuous hikes in steep and glaciated terrain and with high-altitude hiking in freezing temperatures. 

      Your guide will take all the safety precautions, give you instruction on technical skills and help you if you encounter any difficulties. Climbing Iliniza Norte is less challenging than climbing Cotopaxi, so you’re good to go if you fulfill the above mentioned requirements.

    • All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

        • Ice axe
        • Crampons
        • Neck and leg gaiters
        • Face mask
        • Headlamp

      Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

        • Backpacks (45 L)
        • Fleece or wool hat
        • Balaclava and a buff
        • Hardshell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent)
        • Expedition-weight bottoms
        • Lightweight wind shell
        • Down or synthetic jacket with hood
        • Long-sleeved base layer
        • Gloves — lightweight synthetic, windstopper gloves, big mountain gloves and mittens
        • Long base layer pants
        • Lightweight trekking pants
        • Expedition-weight bottoms
        • Hardshell pants
        • Softshell pants (wind-proof or wind-resistant)
        • Liner socks, hiker socks and warm socks
        • Mountaineering boots that work with crampons
        • Casual personal clothing and extra clothes for changing after the climb 
        • Glacier glasses and goggles
        • Water bottle or hydration pack
        • Plastic bowl, spoon, coffee mug, and pocket knife
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, blister kit, toilet paper, pee bottle, etc.)
        • Camera — optional
    • Group sizes and prices:

        • For these adventures, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 2:1. 
        • The cost per person decreases if more than one person books, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family! 

      These climbing adventures can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

        • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. 
        • For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen (119) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
        • For cancellations seventy-five (75) to eighty nine (89) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
        • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
    • To get to Quito, where the Cotopaxi alpine climbing trips start, most people fly into Quito International Airport. Since you are likely to arrive in the evening, it is likely that you will have to book an accommodation there. 

      You will meet your guide somewhere in the city on day 1 and get transferred to a lodge, where you will acclimatize in close proximity to your first  climbing objective—either Cotopaxi or Iliniza Norte.

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