Key information: Cerro Ruminahui
- This line of three jagged peaks was once the south-eastern side of an ancient volcano. It now forms the north-western third of the Cotopaxi NP.
- While the 360 degree views of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and directly into the heart of Cotopaxi itself, are really thrilling, you don't have to climb to the high ridge to have a fantastic walk: there are excellent routes on the lower slopes.
- Walkopedia rating90
- Natural interest18
- Human interest3
- Negative points0
- Total rating90
- Length: 4-6 hrs
- Maximum Altitude: 4,712 m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.
This line of three jagged peaks was once the south-eastern side of an ancient volcano, the rest of which has long since collapsed. It now forms the north-western third of the Cotopaxi NP. It is named after one of the generals of the Inca king Atahualpa, who was captured, tortured to extract where he had supposedly buried gold in his charge, then put to death by the Spanish.
The peaks looks good from whichever angle you view them, although they are easy to overlook next to the exceptional Cotopaxi next door. (Even better, you can get a clearer view from here when all is cloud-girt to the west.)
While the 360 degree views from the top of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and directly into the heart of Cotopaxi itself from some 13km away, are really thrilling, you don't have to climb to the 4,631-4712m high ridge to have a fantastic walk with magnificent views.
The most used route is from Laguna Limpiopugno, which lies between Ruminahui and Cotopaxi. While this involves a climb of 1,800m or more it isn't difficult, except from some easy-ish scrambling to reach the central peak (the lowest at 4,631m). 4-6 hours from the lake.
There are also approaches from the Tambopaxi hotel on the north edge of the park, and from the Macahachi direction, which will be much longer walks as starting lower, but can be used to create a fantastic 2 day traverse of Ruminahui to Laguna Limiopungo (and as the first days of the Cotopaxi loop.
The north peak is a serious scramble; the south peak is a rock climb. Neither are accessible from the summit ridge. If a full ascent isn't your thing, you can make wonderful walks on the slopes, whether following part of the climb or traversing around the hillsides. Walkopedia did a lovely 5 hour walk from Hacinda El Porvenir on the north-eastern slopes. See William Mackesy's account below.
This can be tough walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather, where altitude can cause real problems. Come fully prepared, including proper acclimatization.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Cotopaxi Area page.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
I made this walk up onto a ridge-flank from Hacinda El Porvenir with my 13 year old son on Christmas Day 2015. This was his first walk at altitude, so our ascent was slow. We were with a local guide, which made a lot of sense as way-finding around here would not have been easy, with the return path quite faint through thick scrub.
We climbed gradually through fields, then lovely low scrubby páramo, replete with flowering shrubs and a good viewing of an Ecuadorian Hillstar hummingbird. The trail zig-zagged more closely on itself than strictly necessary, but what a lovely.....READ MORE
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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