Cotopaxi Trekking

Hike in the shadows of the Cotopaxi Volcano and follow the ancient roads of the Incas during our 4 day/3 night trekking trip. Enjoy full day hikes, tasty food, stories around the fireplace, and a good night's sleep each night in a lodge. This trip is fully-supported - you just carry a daypack, and we carry the rest! Experience the hacienda culture of the Andean highlands and explore Inca sites during an active trekking circuit near the Cotopaxi National Park and in the Condor Biosphere (a 5.4 million acre conservation project consisting of public and private land). For travelers with additional time to spend in the Condor Biosphere, we invite you to combine your trekking trip with our Ecuador service projects that promote conservation and community development in the region.

Day 1

Arrive Quito

Arrive Quito and overnight.

Day 2

  • Hotel
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hacienda Santa Rita Ecological Reserve

After breakfast, depart Quito and travel south along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" towards Cotopaxi National Park. You arrive at the Hacienda Santa Rita Ecological Reserve to start the acclimatization hike with an easy 8 km hike at around 3,200 meters (10,500 ft). Santa Rita has a fantastic circuit of trails crossing both native forests and grazing pastures with views of six surrounding volcanoes, Cotopaxi, Antisana, Cayambe, Rumiñahui, Sincholagua, and Pasochoa. The area preserves one of the last remnants of high Andean native forest and is a protected habitat for hummingbirds and other Andean birds. Hike to your lodge for the night.

Click here to watch Youtube video to learn more about the Tierra del Volcan's area near Cotopaxi.

Duration of trek: 4 hours
Total distance trekked: 8 km
Maximum altitude: 3,200m/10,500ft

Day 3

  • Hotel
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Pedregal Village and Hacienda El Porvenir

Today's hike starts on native forest trails and will take you to the the cobalt stone roads of the village of Pedregal, a Chagra (Andean Cowboy) community where we will have the chance to experience the local culture of the area before continuing to Hacienda El Porvenir, a fully-functioning hacienda set high in the Andean paramo with spectacular views of Cotopaxi. Lunch awaits you, and in the afternoon, visit Manto Blanco Waterfall and some lookouts with nice views of the mountains and surrounding landscape.

Duration of trek: 5 hours
Total distance trekked: 15 km
Maximum altitude: 3,600m/11,800ft

Day 4

  • Hotel
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ruminahui and Chusig Machai Cave

After breakfast, head off to great viewpoint with great views of the Macachi valley and the Avenue of the Volcanoes. You keep ascending towards the summit of Rumiñahui until you reach about 4,100m (13,500ft), then you hike south towards the Chusig Machai cave, a place used by pre-Incan cultures to find shelter and spend the night. From this point head down to Tambopaxi Lodge for the night.

Duration of trek: 5 hours
Total distance trekked: 13 km
Maximum altitude: 4,100m/13,500ft

Day 5

Cotopaxi National Park - Return to Quito

Start today's hike to Pucara Del Salitre, a strategic military fortress of the Inca Empire that was used to monitor the roads that led to the Amazon Rainforest and Latacunga Valley through the old road or “incañan” will lead into the Cotopaxi National Park. Explore the Manantiales a natural water spring at the base of Cotopaxi Volcano, then back to Tambopaxi where the vehicle will be waiting for us to take us back to Quito

Duration of trek: 7 hours
Total distance trekked: 16 km
Maximum altitude: 4,800m/15,700ft

Day 6

Return home

Or continue your travels to the Amazon, the Otavalo region north of Quito, Cuenca, or visit the Galapagos!

Tour Cost
Total Cost (USD)


$150 single supplement

Please note that the circuit for this trip is relatively flat with gradual ascents and descents, but it is at an elevation of 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level. An extra night in Quito or in the highlands is advised to acclimate, and we can help make extra arrangements.


  • 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
    • 2 Nights Hotel
    • 3 Nights Lodge
  • 4 Days Private Guide Service


  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $50 Meals not Included
  • $10 Park Entrance Fee