Climb Cotopaxi (5897 MT)

The highest active volcano in the world

In Summer 2015 the Cotopaxi volcano started to erupt and expelled out big amounts of ashes, steam, and some fireworks. The National Park Cotopaxi was closed and climbing to the summit was absolutely forbidden. In October 2017 after a series of research and analysis of the National Institute of Geophysics in concordance with local authorities and Mountain Guides who scouted the route, access to the summit was finally allowed. This was in fact good news for the National and International climbing communities, who are willing to climb Cotopaxi, which still conserves its reputation of being The Highest Active Volcano in the World..

The best months to hike and climb in Ecuador such as Carihuairazo, Iinizas, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Chimborazo, Antizana, etc. are from November through February, the rainy season with calm winds. From May through October is the dry season; the winds are stronger, particularly in July and August. Nevertheless, we can say that climbing in Ecuador is possible all year round. Want to organize your Cotopaxi summit climb? Feel free to get in touch with Sierra Nevada Expeditions! Contact us at


Due to its natural beauty and relatively easy access, Cotopaxi Climb became a South American classic. Cotopaxi is the most popular mountain in the Ecuadorian Andes, and justifiably so, It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. An added distinction is that statistically, Cotopaxi has more clear days than any other volcanoes and mountains in Ecuador.

Cotopaxi climb calls hundreds of mountaineers, trekkers, hikers, every month, therefore, the National Park authorities implemented very strict controls for the visitor’s check-in. Climbers are obligated to use Professional services,  All Sierra Nevada Expeditions´ guides are Certified by UIAGM – ASEGUIM and command fluent English.

Day 1 – Cotopaxi National Park and Hut

Departing from Quito towards Machachi and Cotopaxi National Park. Possibility to see an Indian Market on our way. We will drive up to the parking lot at 4600mt and hike to the hut at 4800mt. Accommodation at José Rivas refuge at 4800 mt. Short glacier and snow techniques review. Early dinner and rest.

Day 2 – Cotopaxi Summit back to Quito

Midnight departure from the hut, we will take the normal route towards to the glacier edge, access to the glacier edge change form season to season, sometimes are straight up, sometimes is to the right,  after 5 hours of climb and fording some crevasses we will reach Yanasacha wall, and in about 1 more hour we will reach Cotopaxi summit. Descent to the hut will take us about 3 hours, after breakfast, resting and packing, we drive back to Quito

climbing Cotopaxi