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Ascent to Carihuairazo Volcano- 4-day trek

Driving to the trek start
Abraspungo valley and Chimborazo

Fernando, an ASEGUIM certified mountain guide and his team, will lead you to the summit of Carihuairazo (5116 m), an Andes volcano near Chimborazo and the Abraspungo Valley.

Not specified


4 Days

Jan, Jun, Jul, Dec


In Ecuador's western mountain chain north of Mount Chimborazo lies the Carihuairazo Volcano (5116 m). Carihuairazo is a beautiful snow-topped mountain that can be accessed by people of various skill levels. If you're looking for a new experience and a manageable challenge, join me on this 4-day trek.

The Ecuadorian Andes are an ideal place to adventure, and on this Carihuairazo trek I would like to show you why. First, Ecuador has many gorgeous mountains all located next to each other on the "avenue of the volcanos." On our way to the starting point of the trek we will be able to observe some of these unique peaks.

Secondly, this Carihuairazo trek is great for many different skill levels. The summit of Carihuairazo is relatively easy to reach because you do not need any technical climbing skills. But it is still over 5000 m tall, so climbing it is no small feat. Therefore, this trek is ideal for someone looking for more mountaineering experience and a new challenge.

Ascending Carihuairazo is also good as practice for larger peaks. If you are hoping to climb Chimborazo or Cotopaxi, this trek is a good place to start. It will also help you with acclimatization.

During the 4-day trip, we will gradually ascend from Quito (2800 m) to the Abraspungo Valley region, camping at points of interest along the way. There will be many chances to see and take pictures of different types of plants and wildlife. Finally, on the final day we will hike to the summit of the mountain.

Do you want to feel the wind while standing at over 5000 m above sea level? I hope you give me the opportunity to share this 4-day trek with you. Send me a message and tell me why you're excited about the trip. If it interests you, I also lead a hike to the Altar Volcano.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters


Day 1: Quito to Hacienda Posada la Estación

We will leave Quito heading south on the highway also known as “the avenue of the volcanoes.” If we’re lucky and have a clear skies you will be able to see the mountains of Pichincha, Pasochoa, Corazón, Illinizas, Rumiñahui, and Cotopaxi. We will pass through the cities of Latacunga and Ambato until we reach Urbina. From Urbina we will head towards the mountains to an ancient train station called “La Posada” at 3690 m, near Chimborazo. In the afternoon we will take a walk to acclimatize. We will spend the night either in the guesthouse of the station or in tents.

Day 2: Hacienda Posada La Estación to Plazapamba

After waking up and eating breakfast, we will start walking towards Abraspungo Valley. We will walk though the highland ecosystem for 5-6 hours until we reach our next campsite in Plazapampa. Once there, our natural guide will teach you about the biodiversity in the region. If the climatic conditions allow, there will be plenty of opportunities to take photos of the surrounding volcanoes and wildlife. We will sleep at the campsite that night.

Day 3: Plazapamba to Laguna Negra

On the third day we will continue hiking in the Apraspungo Valley, ascending until we reach the ridge that separates Chimborazo and Carihuairazo. Our campsite for the evening will be next to the Black Lake. From here we will be able to see herds of vikuñas, llamas, and alpacas. We will eat dinner and go to sleep.

Day 4: Climp up Carihuairazo, head back to Quito

After an early breakfast we will hike for 2 hours to the base camp of Carihuairazo. At base camp we will outfit ourselves with mountaineering equipment. After about 2 hours we will arrive at the summit of Carihuairazo at 5100 m. We will have lunch at the summit and descend towards the west. After a descent of about 4 hours, we will arrive at Rio Blanco where the carriers will be waiting to take us back to Quito. We will arrive in Quito about 4 hours later and take you back to your hotel.



More info

The following equipment is highly recommended: Warm and waterproof clothing, hiking boots, a daypack, a backpack for your personal belongings (which will be carried by the horses), a flashlight/headlamp, a sunhat, sunscreen, a change of clothing, hiking poles, and a sleeping bag.

Meeting point


About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Leader

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador

Fernando Iza was born and raised in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador and knows the country’s peaks intimately. He is an official ASEGUIM mountain guide with more than 18 years of mountaineering experience climbing in all of Ecuador, as well as in South America, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

Fernando has worked for mountaineering companies in Ecuador, Europe and the United States from a young age. Now, he has set up his own basecamp at Ilinizas Mountain Lodge, right next to Iliniza Volcano, Rumiñahui Volcano, and the famous Cotopaxi Volcano. He has summited Cotopaxi more than 637 times and has summitted Chimborazo Volcano close to 200 times.

Fernando got his degree in Tourism Technology at Cenestur Institute, and in 2021 started studying Business administration with Cuosera.  

He has completed important courses such as:

  • Mountain Guides Course by ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides),
  • Mountain Guides Evaluation by ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme) in October 2006. This event was organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and ENSA of France
  • Pre-course UIAGM, an event organized by ASEGUIM and ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme)
  • Wilderness first aid courses
  • Ecuadorian Red Cross courses
  • He speaks fluent Spanish and English, as well as a little German, French, Hebrew and Kichua


The most spectacular guided tours that Fernando has done.

  • Antisana South Peak Open new rout
  • Alpamayo
  • Matterhorn
  • Denali


German | French | English



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What people are saying about Fernando



There were no briefings about the upcoming itineraries, I’d mostly find along the way, what’s the plan. He would make changes to his moods. He didn’t inform me in adavance about the specifics of each refugio/ lodge/ camp concerning the distance from car, electricity and would make fun/made snide comments “your choice” of the things I packed at the aftermath, but offered no guidance. I have read from others that he is very knowledgeable and explained a lot- that hasn’t been my experience, he surely is an apt mountaineer, but he wasn’t actively explaining or showing things, he was just always on his cellphone. He could be very short, abrasive and inpatient. At one time even another climber intervened “to save me”



Our guide Fernando was great to adapt the trip for our two little girls. A great experience it was fir us all. Thank you.



Fernando and Sergio are very good guides, not only very safe and motivating in the mountains, but very nice between the climbs. And i have learned a lot too about the culture in the country. Their hotel near Illniza is perfectly located, safe and you are received as if your were at home with Fernando's family. And they will take care of everything, so you just have to concentrate yourself on the climbs. Thank you!



Thank you for putting this trip together for me at the last minute after my group canceled on me. Fernando was a great guide who knows the route up Cotopaxi very well. The meals and lodging were also great and well worth the price, in my opinion.



Great experience. We did Rumiñawi, corázon, and Illiniza Norte as acclimatization hikes. All of them were beautiful. We attempted Cotopaxi but had a snow storm and heavy winds during the night of the summit and we were forced to turn around. The 3 initial climbs prepared us well for Cotopaxi and the altitude. There were some technical scrambling portions on corazon and Illiniza which were very cool. Overall would highly recommend!

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