Full itinerary

Day 1 Pasochoa

Transfer to the Private Reserve of Hacienda Santa Rita, where we start our acclimatization walk from 3,000 to 3,600m. (9,840 to 11,808 ft). The walk takes about 6 hours, crossing native woods and planted fields, with views of mountains such as Antisana, Cayambe and Pasochoa. On our arrival at Hacienda El Porvenir, a wholesome meal awaits us and we will be given an enlightening talk on the local history, geology, scenery, flora, fauna and culture. In the course of this day we will have walked 19.2km. (12 miles).

Day 2 Parque Nacional Cotopaxi

After a delicious breakfast, we start out on our walk towards Cotopaxi National Park, the entrance of which is just 4 kilometres from the farm house. Today’s walk is quite flat, which helps with our acclimatization process. We visit the Pucará del Salitre, an old Inca fortress. Following the Incañán (Inca path) eastwards, we reach our camp, where we get a fabulous view of Cotopaxi Volcano.

The walk takes about 6 hours on flat terrain and has an average altitude of 3,700m. We will have covered 19.2km. (12 miles) by the end of the day.

Day 3 Hacienda El Tambo

Today’s walk takes us to Hacienda El Tambo, on the eastern flanks of the Andes. We cross hills and valleys, guarded over by Quilindaña, a peak hard to see from the Central Andean Valley and which looks very like the Matterhorn seen from the Italian side. The average altitude that we walk at today is 3,800m. although we get as high as 4,200m. on one mountain pass. We reach the farm house, an old mountain refuge, built on Inca stones.

Today our walk lasts approximately 7 hours. The terrain is mainly flat but there are a few steep hills. By the end of this day, we will have covered 32km. (20 miles).

Day 4 Chirimachai

Today our walk will take us on a circuit around Hacienda El Tambo, crossing the Chirimachai Canyon to reach the camp. At Chirimachai the climate from the eastern jungle rises to meet that of the Central Andean Valley. There is a great supply of natural water, straight from the glaciers of Cotopaxi, rising from the ground. The scenery is truly unbeatable. On the walk, we will be accompanied by local chagras on their horses since we pass land where there are fighting bulls. This stretch takes about 6 or 7 hours, and is at an average altitude of 3,850m. The camp is located at 4,000m. In the course of the day, we walk a total of 22.4km. (14 miles).

Day 5 Cotopaxi National Park

We start out early in the morning, heading westward. We reach a very accessible, flat path, from where we look over glacial valleys and get some wonderful panoramic views. After a 7-hour walk, we reach our camp at 3,800m. The average altitude of the walk on Day 5 is 3,850m. assuring us that we are now acclimatized for our final challenge, getting up to Cotopaxi Refuge at 4,800m (15,744 ft). This day we will have walked 26.4km. (16.5 miles).

Day 6 Refugio Jose Ribas (Climbing Hut)

We get ready early for the final assault: reaching 4,800m. after 5 days of physical preparation. The walk takes us 5 or 6 hours today, culminating at the climbing hut (Refugio José Ribas), where we can feel the sheer power of the immense volcano at close quarters. A vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Hacienda El Porvenir, where we will be served a well-earned tasty lunch to round off this great trek before setting off back to Quito. Today’s walk is basically a long steep climb. The average altitude is 4,200m, with an ascent of 1,067m. from the camp to the refuge. The walk covers 8.48km. (5.3 miles).

Tour Includes

  • Accommodation (based on  double occupancy, at haciendas and camping tents)
  • Meals (16 full meals)
  • Described activities
  • Guides (English speaking and native guide)
  • Safety vehicle support
  • Tents, matts
  • Transport form and to Quito
  • Entrance fee to Santa Rita Ecological Reserve
  • Entrnace fee to el Tambo conservation area

Tour does not include

  • Drinks
  • Tips


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  • Tour Highlights

    • Exclusive Trails
    • Impressive Geology
    • Beautiful views
    • Cotopaxi National Park
  • Photo & Video Gallery

  • Recommended Adventures


    First class descends, riding through exclusive trails designed by mountain bikers and engineers, biking through gravel and dirt roads, make this bike trip a fantastic journey through the heart of the Andes. You will be escorted by mountain biking guides and pampered by our traditional hospitality during the the whole trip.



    A programme designed for mountain lovers. This is the ideal approach for climbers wanting to scale snow-capped peaks but first acclimatize to the altitude.



    Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most visited natural areas in Ecuador due to its amazing scenery, proximity to Quito and status as a national icon.


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