"Climbing Cotopaxi - 5897 metres" Top 5 Page for this destination Provincia de Cotopaxi by MalenaN

Provincia de Cotopaxi Travel Guide: 282 reviews and 1,600 photos

Volcán Cotopaxi is an impressive sight with its almost symmetrical cone and glacier covered top. With an altitude of 5897m it is the second highest mountain in Ecuador (only Chimborazo is higher). Volcán Cotopaxi is not the highest, but one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Today you can only see some steam in the crater if you are standing on the top, but Cotopaxi has had some big eruptions. The most violent ones was in 1744, 1768 and 1870.

For me it was absolutely a highlight to climb to the top of Volcán Cotopaxi, and I would very much like to do it again. It is not a technical difficult climb, but it is very important to be well adapted to high altitude.

Cotopaxi National Park covers an area of 33 400 hectares. Besides climbing the volcano many visitors come here for hiking, camping and cycling. There are day tours organised from nearby cities like Quito and Latacunga and they usually take you Laguna Limpiopungo, to the refugio at 4800m, and maybe to the edge of the glacier.

I have visited several places in Provincia de Cotopaxi, but on this page I have only got tips about the visit to Volcán Cotopaxi. For the other places in Provincia de Cotopaxi that I have visited I have made separate pages:
Isinliví - 7 tip, 61 photos
Sigchos - 2 tips, 24 photos
Chugchilán - 7 tips, 101 photos
Quilotoa - 7 tips, 122 photos
Tigua - 6 tip, 73 photos
Zumbahua - 3 tips, 58 photos
Latacunga - 15 tips, 60 photos

  • Last visit to Provincia de Cotopaxi: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (11)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Better you than me! One of the places I would like to photograph. Cheers, Ian

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Dec 26, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      It was so beautiful in the morning when descending from Cotopaxi (the night was lovely too with a starlit sky).

  • Aunt_Bertha's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Wow, the scenery sure is impressive! I don't think I'd be brave enough for such a strenuous hiking experience though. Thanks for sharing, at least I can enjoy a virtual hiking tour on your page :-)

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Aug 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      It was an amazing experience and I would very much like to do it again.

    • Aunt_Bertha's Profile Photo
      Sep 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Then I hope you will :-) If you hike up there often enough, you might qualify for the Olympics ;-)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    What an amazing sight to see! Congratulations. It would be interesting to know how long in advance you prepared yourself physically for this climb? how long did you take to acclimatize?

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Mar 23, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      I had arrived to the highlands 20 days before doing the climb, spent a few days in Cuenca (with a day trip to Cajas NP), one night in Ingapirca and then a few days in Baños (which is situated at an altitude less then 2000m), Latacunga and finally hiking in the Quilotoa area for a week.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Wow, what a sight - and what an adventure! We will visit Cotopaxi but such a climb is far beyond me I know. Never mind, I will be happy just to see the mountains :-)

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Sep 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      It was so beautiful and a great experience. I really want to do something similar again. I had hoped to climb Chimborazo this year, but with a broken wrist it was not possible.
      Cotopaxi is an impressive sight also from a distance!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    What amazing scenery you saw, and what an adventure! Good on you!

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2012 at 7:49 AM


  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Lucky you were, Malena, to climb to the top of Volcán Cotopaxi! Absolutely exclusive shorts from there!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    So this is where your member photo was taken! I thought maybe it was from the Arctic somewhere, or the Canadian Rockies, but I never would have guessed it was from Ecuador, with all that snow. I love your description of your night-time climb up to the top of the volcano at 5897 metres.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Malena, your climb of Volcan Cotopaxi sounds so exciting!! You seem like a very experienced climber, hiker and solo traveler -- I have so much admiration for you!

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Love it!

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