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Cayambe and Chimborazo 9-day climbing trip in Ecuador

Ruco Pichincha and North Illiniza 7
Ruco Pichincha and North Illiniza 6
Ruco Pichincha and North Illiniza 12
Ruco Pichincha and North Illiniza 13

An amazing 9-day trip climbing the Ruco Pichincha, North Illiniza, Cayambe and Chimborazo volcanoes with a local ASEGUIM Certified Mountain Guide

Not specified


9 Days

All year




The Ruco Pichincha, the North Illiniza, the Cayambe and the Chimborazo are waiting for you. Do you dare? So, keep reading! This 9-day climbing trip will surprise you.

The Ruco Pichincha is one of the several peaks of the Pichincha Volcano. It has two large craters, one inside the other, as a result of its eruptions. It is a really exciting ascent and works perfectly as an acclimatization trek.

Regarding the North Illiniza, it is a 5126-meter peak and it is one of the two summits that form the Illiniza Volcano. The ascent to this summit is quite easy and requires almost no climbing skills. The other mountain of this volcano is the South Illiniza, which is more demanding.

As for the Chimborazo and Cayambe volcanoes, they are the two most famous mountains in Ecuador. We will climb both at the end of the program, as a coronation of such an amazing expedition.

If you want more details about the day by day itinerary, you can find it at the bottom of this page.

And if you want to discuss about your wishes and expectations please fill out the form. Contact me and we will plan this unforgettable trip together!


Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees


Day 1: Pichincha (acclimatization)

We will do our first acclimatization ascent  at 4794 m to the peak of the active volcano Guagua Pichincha. Our primary goal here is to help each team member to start testing their response to high elevation and to give our bodies the chance to get used to the altitude. In the afternoon we will drive back to Quito and spend the night at Casa Helbling Hostal (BL)


Day 2: Acclimatization at North Illiniza Hut (4600 m)

After breakfast, we will depart from Quito to the Ilinizas parking lot. After a 1:30 hour, we’ll arrive at a remote paramo in an area called La Virgen. From here it is a 3-hour hike up to the hut, at 4600 m. We’ll have dinner and sleep there (B/BL/D)


Day 3: North Illiniza Summit (5125 m)

We’ll get up early at 5 AM and after breakfast we’ll start the ascent to the North Illiniza. This peak is normally a fairly straight-forward climb. In one section of the route we must use a fixed rope to pass the famous “Death Pass.” After this pass we’ll reach the summit. The average time to the top is 3 hours. Here we will stop for some pictures and lunch and then we’ll descend for a 1:30 hour to the hut. Once there, we will rest for a while before going down to the parking lot. Our private car will take us to a hotel in the Cotopaxi National Park for a very restful night (B/BL)


Day 4: Cayambe mountain hut

From Quito we will drive north across the Pan American highway, passing some important villages like El Quinche, a very catholic town of Ecuador. We will also have the opportunity to visit the Ecuadorian Line, where we will stop for 1 hour. After that we will continue driving for 15 minutes to finally arrive at the Cayambe village, where we can have a typical lunch from the local people. After lunch we must drive for another 1:30 hour to reach the Cayambe mountain hut at 4700 m. Cayambe is the Ecuador’s third highest peak and stands at 5799 m. Its summit is just 3 km north of the Ecuadorian Line. This mountain has a large glacier which is one of the most active of all the ice flows of the country. Moreover, its varied glacial terrain provides an excellent training skills ground where we can practique some techniques. Overnight stay at the hut (B/BL/D)


Day 5: Cayambe Glacier learning day

We will wake up at 7 am for breakfast. We will go to the glacier by 8:30 AM. You will learn some glacier skills and all the necessary techniques for climbing high peaks like Cayambe, Cotopaxi or Chimborazo. I will teach you how to use ice-axe and crampons and many other safety procedures. We will also practice some rope-handling traverses with the team. After 6 hours of training we will return to the hut for a delicious lunch. Then, we will rest and prepare the equipment for a midnight departure to the Cayambe summit. Early dinner and go to bed at 6:30 PM (B/BL/D).

Day 6: Cayambe summit

We’ll wake up at midnight. Breakfast and final equipment check. We leave the refuge at 1 AM and climb with headlamps for the first four hours. We will have an easy glacier climb to a saddle and then, continue onto steeper and exciting grounds. We’ll cross large crevasses and pass some spectacular seracs. We must climb 40º slopes with occasional short steeper sections. We will finally reach the summit at about 9 or 10 AM. Short rest and return down to the hut for other 4 hours. From there, we can drive down to the Cayambe City and continue to Quito. Casa Helbling Hostal (B/BL)

Day 7: Quito – Chimborazo hut (5000 m)

Today we will move from Quito to Chimborazo, driving across the Pan Aamerican highway and passing by the Latacunga and Ambato cities. We’ll arrive at the hut at 3 or 4 PM. We can sleep there or in tents (B/BL/D)


Day 8: If normal route is not available...

If the normal route has no snow it becomes a very dangerous rockfall since the road is very steep. There is an extra cost of $ 100 per person to cover the expenses of the porters who will carry all the camping equipment, food and water.

On the other hand, we can hike up with all the camping and climbing gear to the the high camp of the Stubel Glacier. Once in there, we will set up our tents and prepare all for the big day (B/BL/D)

Day 9: Chimborazo Summit

We will get up at midnight for breakfast and after checking the equipment, we will leave the hut at 1 AM. We will move immediately to the huge glacier on Chimborazo’s southwest face, where we will first traverse moderately angled ice slopes, climbing through a series of icefalls and up the steep ice ramps, simultaneously on moderate grounds belaying up the steep pitches. Our team will rope together in order to cross crevasses and finally make it to the summit. This is the highest point of the Andes, and from here we will have a magnificent view of the emerging volcanoes that form the eastern and western mountain range. The Chimborazo summit is at 6,310m. The total climbing time is 8-9 hours and we’ll return to the hut by noon. We’ll return to Quito, arriving at the hotel at 8 PM. We’ll spend the night in Quito or in other place according to your itinerary (B/BL).



Meeting point


About the guide

Tomás and his team of IFMGA/UIMLA-certified mountain guides, leaders and rock climbing instructors (Alvaro, Juliana, Merlin, Rodrigo, Armin, Alfredo, and Camila) are some of the top outdoor adventure professionals in Latin America.

Whether you wish to climb some of the most stunning mountains in the Andes or discover the vibrant peaks of Central America, among other amazing options, you will find yourself in good hands with this lively team of professional local guides that will not only show you the top spots in Latin America for outdoor adventures but also, bring you closer to the colorful local cultures of the places that you visit with them.

Tomás will be your main point of contact during the booking process and will help you with all the questions you have in order to make sure you receive the best possible guiding service.

Pick one of the E-S Latam Adventure Guides' programs and start planning an unforgettable experience in the beautiful mountains of Latin America!


French | English




El Chalten, Bariloche, Puebla

What people are saying about Explore-Share

Kumari Selvakumar


Sept 14, 2022

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Lesley Weber


July 16th, 2022

Thank you explore-share for a wonderful via feratta experience. We have been wanting to learn for a long time but don't have the facilities in Scotland. The guide Mitja was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, answering all my many questions and providing advice. On the day head to take another group but he quickly arranged another guide Borut, who was brilliant. We had a fantastic morning learning via ferrata at Hvadnik in the gorge. It gave us the confidence to later hire our own equipment and go out in Mojstrana. Altogether a five star + experience. Thank you.

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April 14, 2022

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March 9, 2022

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Leonardo Rodriguez


March 4, 2022

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Daniel Martinez


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