Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 0.59376°S / 78.51384°W
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 15489 ft / 4721 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Volcán Rumiñahui is located in Cotopaxi National Park. Like Los Ilinizas across the Pan American Highway, it is long extinct. Unlike the Ilinizas, the major peaks on what is left of the crater rim are not considered separate mountains. The three highpoints are Rumiñahui Norte (4712 m), Rumiñahui Central (4631 m), and Rumiñahui Sur (4696 m). Because this mountain has no permanent snow and the route up Norte is no harder than a scramble, Rumiñahui is assured plenty of foot traffic.

However, because it is dwarfed by Cotopaxi just on the other side of Laguna Limpiopungo it is just as assured of never being a popular international destination. This, of course, is a shame. It is an excellent acclimatization climb with an exciting finish and epic views of El Corazón, Los Ilinizas, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi.

Getting There

Arriving to this mountain is nearly the same as Cotopaxi. Travel south on the Panamerica. A bus from Quito to Machachi is $2, Quito to Lasso is $2.50. From either of those two places hire a pickup for $20-$25 to Lago Limpiopungo within Cotopaxi National Park.

Red Tape

This is within Parque Nacional Cotopaxi and you will need a $10 permit. Camping is an additional $3. Camping is not allowed right at Limpiopungo however there are possibilities just beyond the lake on route to the mountain. Just be aware. Entire backpacks have been stolen from their "hidden" location offtrail in the paramo in this area while their owners were out climbing.

When To Climb

Like it's more well known neighbor, Cotopaxi, this mountain can be climbed throughout the year. The best climbing remains Dec-Jan or July-Aug however. July and August tend to be a little clearer but also have more potential for bad winds.


Camping is not allowed right at Lago Limpiopungo however there are possibilities just beyond the lake on route to the mountain. Just be aware. Entire backpacks have been stolen from their "hidden" locations off trail in the páramo and in unlocked lockers in this area/hut while their owners were out climbing. Also vehicles are not safe at the trailhead as the amount of broken glass attests.

Mountain Conditions

The location is roughly between Quito and Lactacunga. For general route conditions, the South American Explorers probably have people that have climbed it recently among their members. They also try to keep a bulletin board updated with climbing conditions on the volcanoes in the Quito clubhouse. Generally, you can get some free route information by asking at the various climbing agencies too.

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Socorro - Dec 26, 2012 9:17 pm - Hasn't voted

Rules as of late

Just a note that since the fatalities occurred on Illiniza Sur and on Rumiñahui, park officials are hypersensitive about people entering without a guide, especially...unfortunately... foreigners. The south entrance is apparently worse than the north, but at the north, you are only allowed entrance if you have a paper reservation from Tambopaxi. Kind of a mess. On a bright note, entrance in all national parks is now free (not $10). - Jan 12, 2015 3:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Rules as of late

SAE (South American Explorers) took us to Ruminahui Saturday. The park guard at the north end won't let the rented truck through the gate at first. The guard said we needed to hire a guide ($55) to continue. Then he added that if we were in a private vehicle, we could pass without a charge! Finally he let us pass on our way to lake Limpiopunha to get dropped off. BUT the rented truck was not allow to pick us up! The trail from the lake to Ruminahui goes up the left side of the draw from the lake trail. An easy walk of 2 hours on a well marked trail.

MattieQuigley - May 26, 2018 5:06 am - Hasn't voted

More info

For more information about the hike go here:

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