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Climbing trip to Cayambe and acclimatization ascents

Join a local certified guide on a 6 day ascent of the beautiful Cayambe volcano in Ecuador, with acclimatization ascents to Illiniza and Rucu Pichincha.


6 Days

Jun - Nov




In this 6 days mountaineering trip we will go up to the summit of Cayambe, one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the volcanoes avenue of Ecuador. But before, to have a good acclimatization and increase the chances of success, we will also ascend Rucú Pichincha and Illiniza North.

Located northeast of Quito on the eastern ridge of the Andes, Cayambe is Ecuador’s third highest peak and stands at 5790m (18,991ft.) and his summit is just 3km north of the Equator Line. The glacier of this mountain is large and among the most active of all equatorial ice flows, and its varied glacial terrain here provides an excellent opportunity for training skills and a rewarding summit climb.


Day 1: Hike up to Rucu Pichincha (4.796m / 15.724ft)?

We leave from Quito at 8.00am after breakfast, and travel to the Teleferique in Quito to make an initial height gain. We ascent at the 4.796m (15.724ft) peak of the ancient volcano Rucu Pichincha. From the top we can see the Guagua Pichincha active volcano. Quito is nestled on the slopes of this active volcano. Our primary goal here is to help each team member begin testing his or her response to higher elevation and to give our bodies a chance to get used to altitude. The hike up is around 3-4 hours up and 2 hours hike down to the cable car, arrive at the hotel around 4-5pm. (BL)

Day 2: Refugio Ilinizas (4.600m / 15.092ft)

Mid-morning departure from Quito to Ilinizas parking lot. After one and a half hours drive from Quito we will arrive at a remote paramo in an area called la Virgins parking lot at 3900m. From here we can hike for 3 hour or a bit more to reach the refuge at 4600m, enjoying a beautiful landscape on our way. Arrive to the refuge around 3-4pm. Rest, dinner and night at refuge. (BL/D)

Day 3: Iliniza North (5.125m/16.815ft)

Summit day attempt on Iliniza Norte. This peak is normally a fairly straight forward climb for acclimatization to develop your body on good healthy and strenuous for climbing the highest peaks. The average time to the summit is three hours or less. After good rest we descend to the refuge. After an hour rest we pack and go down to the car park where is our car transportation that will take us to our hotel destination near to Cotopaxi National Park for a good rest Night. (B/BL)

Day 04

Depart from the hotel at 10:00 A.M. Driving north, we will pass the traditional village El Quinche and the Quitsato, the ecuatorial line. We have a typical lunch in the village of Cayambe and then drive for another hour and a half to the volcano’s refuge (4700 m). Overnight at hut. (B/BL/D)

Day 5: Cayambe Glaciers School day

Wake up at 7 am for breakfast. We continue adjusting to altitude acclimatization. We go on the glacier at 8.30 AM, where we’ll familiarize ourselves with the various climbing techniques, and the equipment work for climbing. Our guide will show and teach glacier skills, safety procedures and all of the techniques necessary for climbing the high peaks like Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and others mountains. After 6 hours training we go back to the refuge for delicious lunch and resting afternoon. Preparation of the equipment for a midnight departure for Cayambe day summit. Early dinner and early to bed usually by 6:30 P.M. Refuge. (B/BL/D)

Day 6: Summit of Cayambe

Wake up at midnight. Breakfast and final equipment check. We leave the refuge at 1:00 AM and climb with headlamps for the first four hours. We have an easy glacier climb to a saddle and then continue on to steeper and exciting grounds. We’ll traverse around large crevasses and pass some spectacular seracs. Climb 40 degree slopes with occasional short steeper sections. 200mt below to the summit we will climb over 60 degree for two peach of rope, and then the final part we hike up for 1 more hour to reach the Cayambe’s summit around 9-10 AM. Amazing views and picture opportunities If the weather condition is nice;-) Short rest and return down for 3-4 hours to the refuge around 2:00 P.M. Short rest and then we can drive down to Cayambe City and continue drive back to Quito. (B/BL)

Note: Breakfast (B) Lunch Box (BL) and Dinner (D).

Contact me if you are interested in this mountaineering trip in Ecuador volcanoes!

Extra details
Personal equipment

GoreTex park jacket, Thermals Fleece, 1 Pair of light inner gloves, Balaclava, cap, Wool or synthetic socks, Headlamp, Glacier glasses or dark sunglasses, Sleeping bag (20-30 degress Fahrenheit), Backpack, 3 pair outer socks, long underwear, worm jacket, worm pants, Gore-Tex pants or bib, pair glove liners or Mitons.

Not Included

* Hotels in days 1 and 6
* Insurance
* Some mountain gear (boots, crampons, ice axe, harness with carabineer, helmet)
* 2 Dinners (Day 1 and 3)
* Personal climbing gear
* Tips

IMPORTANT: The client is responsible for additional expenses incurred due to changes/variations in the above itinerary (food, gas, hotels, guide, etc…)

Price per person

In Group: USD 870
In private expedition (1PAX): USD 1325

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner


More info


  • In Group: USD 870
  • In private expedition (1PAX): USD 1325

Meeting point

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

20 years climbing
8 years mountaineering
I am a sports climbing coach
I like trekking guides and mountains


Portuguese | English



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What people are saying about this trip



Had an amazing time with my guide Ramiro. He selected the perfect mix of mountains in order to properly acclimatize so I could achieve the summit of Cayambe. With his vast experience of more than three decades he was able to teach me a lot of skills and know-how along the way so I’d always feel safe on the mountains. I can only recommend a trip with Ramiro. You’re definitely in good hands and going to make wonderful experiences.

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