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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

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner


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.




At Hacienda Posada de la Estación (first night)- guest house or tents Other nights- tents

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

ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador.

I was born and raised in Cotopaxi Province – Ecuador and know the country’s peaks intimately. I have great mountaineering experience of more than 12 years of climbing in all Ecuador, and I also climbed in South America, Switzerland, and France.

I manage a guiding company, so sometimes I'm the one guiding the trips, but sometimes I'm focused on company management, and one of the certified guides of my team will be guiding you. All the guides with whom I work are professional and certified guides.

I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as a Nature guide organized by the Ministry of tourism.

Some of the guiding courses I attended are:

* 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. An event 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)
* First Aids course, Ecuadorian Red Cross

I live and manage a hostel and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south of Quito, just in between Illinizas Ecological Reserve and Cotopaxi National Park. It looks like a typical Swiss town in the Alps, and has everything to become a great mountaineering center, the ‘Chamonix or Zermatt of South America’!

I speak fluent Spanish, English, and little German, French, Hebrew, and Quichua.

The guiding team I lead is committed and experienced. Contact me to help you organize an unforgettable adventure.


German | French | English




El Chaupi

What people are saying about Fernando Iza

Daniel McNamara


October, 2022

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.

Lauren Kuklenski


August, 2022

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!

Benjamin Stewart


June, 2022

Fernando was a fantastic guide who got me to the summit despite extremely difficult weather conditions! I would highly recommend him to anyone hoping to climb Ecuador's big peaks.

Kirsten Yehl


September, 2021

Fernando was an outstanding guide. We (my 16 yo son and I) spent a week with Fernando and did 3 acclimatization hikes and a successful Cotopaxi climb. All were amazing. On the last two, Illiniza Norte and Cotopaxi, Fernando was very attentive to safety. He also read and understood our strengths and weaknesses after the first few hikes and used that insight to guide us up the mountain. We stayed most nights at Fernando’s hostel, it was very comfortable, a great experience. His family is lovely and the meals were delicious. Was an unforgettable experience and we truly appreciate Fernando, both his guidance and hospitality.

Jan Zehnder


July, 2021

Even though Fernando is a fun and an experienced guide, I can't give him more than two stars. I was quite sick for the first three days so I could not keep up my normal pace. On my first hike I even had really bad balance disorders. This did not bother Fernando at all. Most of the time he was walking very far ahead. While descending he suddenly started walking so fast that I even lost him out of sight. I found him 2km later lying in the grass on his phone. I passed him and he just kept on being on his phone without even bothering about my medical situation. Beside his impatience the second thing is, that Fernando is always on his phone. I felt a lot better on my last day so we went on climbing Cotopaxi. He promised us a glacier school (since I've never used these tools before) but then at the refugee he just said that it's learning by doing. So when I tried to put on the crampons in the middle of the freezing night it of course took me a while. He didn't even bother to help, so my friend had to put on my crampons for me. Instead he just kept on walking. This repeated itself at our descent. I found him 20 minutes later sitting in the hut already. The only reason I decided not to give one star is his lovely wife. She is an excellent cook and kept the house clean and tidy.

Pavel Janecek


June, 2021

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Adam Burrage


December, 2019

Great experience climbing with Fernando: Well organised and we made the summit with him on Chimborazo. I'd recommend him for guiding in Ecuador.

Dick Fields


December, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Barbara Matter


July, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

The Reality Twister


March, 2019

Fernando is an excellent and knowledgeable guide, and the itinerary is a nice balance of climbs and recovery time, including time to explore a couple of cities. He also made sure we were well-equipped for the climbs. The guides are geared more toward getting you up and down than toward building any technique. It's not billed as an instructional course, so that's not a complaint -- just pointing it out for those who like to use one experience to build to another rather than just reach the summit.

Chase Taylor


March, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Bryan McBride


July, 2018

Fernando was a wonderful guide. Even though we didn't make it to the top we had a great experience. We plan to return in the future and make it to the top! We hope to have Fernando guide us again.

Mike Burkus


July, 2018

Fernando is a wonderful guide who understands the Cotopaxi route well. I recommend the climb for anyone looking for a tough mental and physical challenge.

Gareth Treharne


June, 2018

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Lara Pedrini


May, 2018

Fernando is an incredible guide. He is very experienced and has extensive knowledge of the area. He will always make sure you are safe and comfortable. I highly recommend Fernando to anyone wishing to explore/hike/live/breathe the area. What an incredible experience!

Luis E Valdes


February, 2018

It was a great experience. Everything was very well arranged and taken care of. The guide (Fernando Iza) was extremely professional, safe, and friendly. I was very happy about everything, and would recommend booking with Fernando Iza for any hiking trip on Ecuador.

Marcela Hronesova


January, 2018

The traveller did not leave a comment.


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