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3 Day Acclimation Trekking and Wildlife Tour in Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

Hiking and Wildlife Tour in Ecuador

The Cotopaxi Volcano provides a dramatic backdrop to the valley that surrounds it, and its permanent snowcap towers 5,897 meters above the valley. Typical mammals frequenting the park include red brocket deer, Andean fox, Andean puma, white-tailed deer, and the rare Andean speckled bear. For experienced and adrenaline driven hikers that enjoy challenging the heights and the cold weather, this is the ideal place to choose.

Key information

  • Private safari
  • Starting point and ending point: Machachi
  • Park fees are included.


  • Hiking in Cotopaxi National Park
  • See mountain wildlife such as deers, bears, foxes, and more
  • Admire the beauty of Cotopaxi National Park from the mountain summit
  • Private transportation during the trip
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Daily nutritious meals


3 activity days
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Your first night will be spent in Hotel Casa del Montañero while your second night will be in Refugio José Rivas.


Day 1: Machachi to North Illnite Summit (5,126 meters)

The adventure begins in Machachi early in the morning at 7 a.m. and you will drive along the Avenida de los Volcanes until reaching the town of El Chaupi. You will continue driving until you get to the parking lot of La Virgen (3,900 meters) which will take about one hour. Once there, you will start the six-hour walk to the summit with all climbing equipment ready.

You will continue along the path to the summit of the Iliniza Norte (5,126 meters) but without first going through some rocky stretches. Once at the top, you can enjoy and admire the beauty of the environment.

The return will be made by the same route to the parking lot La Virgen which will take place in about two hours. You will have a lunch for the road and in the afternoon, you will return to Machachi to the Hotel Casa del Montañero where you will spend the night.

Day 2: Machachi to Cotopaxi Refugio (4,800 meters)

Breakfast will be served around 8 a.m., then you will review the necessary climbing equipment with everything ready. You will depart to the Cotopaxi National Park in the morning at around 11 a.m., where you will change directions towards the east until arriving at the town of Pedregal. From there, you will go to the parking lot of the Cotopaxi (4,500 meters) where the driver will leave you.

Arriving at this point usually takes around two hours, then pack your backpack and walk another hour until reaching the Refugio José Rivas (4,800 meters). There, you will rest for a while and if the weather allows, you will go to the glaciers in the afternoon to practice for the next day and back to the refuge before 6 p.m. Dinner will be served and you will rest until midnight.

Day 3: Refugio José Rivas to Cotopaxi Summit (5,897 meters)

You will wake up at midnight with all climbing equipment ready and a nutritious breakfast awaits you. Near 1 a.m., you will begin your ascent. To reach the summit, it will take us from six to eight hours depending on you physical state. You will walk through small sections of between 30 and 40 degrees of inclination, in cases up to 50 degrees.

Upon reaching the summit, you will be able to appreciate all the mountains in their maximum splendor. After many photos, you will return by the same route until the Refuge, which will take you approximately two hours. Pack all your things and return to Machachi.


Cotopaxi National Park

This high plateau embellished with volcanic scenery is the home of the Andean Condor, deers and many other endemic animals that hide in its mountains, valleys and lakes above 3,500 meters above sea level. For experienced and adrenaline driven hikers that enjoy challenging the heights and the cold weather, this is the ideal place to choose.


During this tour, you will be provided with two breakfasts and two lunches.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Hiking in Cotopaxi National Park
  • Private transportation during the trip
  • Services of a professional mountain guide
  • Mountain technical equipment (plastic mountain boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, rope, carabiner, ice stake)
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • Entrance fees to national parks

What's not included

  • Insurance
  • Mountain personal equipment
  • Other expenses not specified
  • Tips (around 10% suggested)

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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