Located in the Andes Mountain range, about 50 km south of Quito, it is the second highest summit in Ecuador and the most popular high altitude climb in the country because of the relative simplicity involved in the climb. Cotapaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, with a nearly perfect conical shape that rises from a highland plain at about 3,800m (12,500ft). It also has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world, which starts at a height of 5,000m.

With renovations to the refugio Jose F. Rivas being carried out during 2014 it was necessary to stay in other park accommodation at 3,700m, giving an earlier departure time of 11pm, and a climb start of midnight. This also meant instead of leaving from the refugio at 4,800m there was an extra hour of hiking from the parking lot.


Location: Eastern Cordillera, Ecuador
Altitude: 5,897m / 19,347ft
Date Summited: April 4th, 2014
Guiding Company: Condor Trekk
Guides: Hugo Pineida
Climbing Partners: n/a

Volcano Cotapaxi Summit at sunrise

Volcano Cotapaxi Summit self portrait