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Chimborazo climb with preparation in Cayambe and Illiniza | undefined
Cayambe climb
Cayambe refuge
Huayhuash Trekking

Chimborazo climb with preparation in Cayambe and Illiniza

ASEGUIM certified guide Fernando and/or someone from his amazing team of guides will show you the way on the 6 days that it will take you to climb Cayambe and Illiniza North to then go for the summit of the amazing Chimborazo.




6 Days


Jan, Jun - Aug, Dec


Very high




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Based on 7 reviews


Did you know that the Chimborazo is actually the highest mountain in the world? If you measure it from the centre of the earth, Chimborazo is even higher than Mt. Everest! So, if you want to reach the top of the world, you'll need to be well acclimatized.

My proposal for this 6-day trip is to climb two important Ecuadorian summits before attempting Chimborazo. This is a special program for beginner and intermediate climbers who need to prepare both mentally and physically before going for the big prize.

We will start by ascending two other well-known volcanoes: the Illiniza Norte (5126 m) and the Cayambe (5790 m). The approach to the top of  Illiniza Norte requires about 3 hours of fairly easy scrambling. From the summit, we'll be able to look out onto other beautiful volcanoes in the distance.

Next, we'll climb Cayambe. The trek to its summit will be 6-7 hours long from the mountain hut. Cayambe is Ecuador's 3rd highest mountain and the highest peak in the world. The equator passes right through it. We'll hike on glacial terrain and marvel at the beauty of the icy peaks.

After summiting Illiniza and Cayambe, we'll be ready to climb the stunning Chimborazo. We will first spend a day resting and enjoying the town Baños de Agua Santa. In Baños, you'll also have the opportunity to go on short hikes or take part in other optional outdoor activities like zip-lining and bungee jumping.

Finally, the exciting day will be upon us. Our climb to the Chimborazo summit will take 8-9 hours and we'll arrive just in time to enjoy a gorgeous morning on top of the volcano. It will be a truly unforgettable experience. Remember that the summit is at 6268 meters, a challenging altitude that requires a good physical level and proper acclimatization.

So, don't hesitate to contact me and book this trip if you want to be part of this amazing adventure adventure. Send your request now! I'll be glad to be your guide. 

And if you don't have time for all 3 peaks or you're taking your first steps in mountaineering, I also lead an interesting 2-day hike around the Chimborazo that I'm sure you'll love!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

Price details

Use of group equipment such as crampons, ice axe, helmet, and harness are included in the price of the trip.

All meals during hikes and climbs are included, but not meals in the cities.

Secure your spot with just 25% payment

48-hour free cancellation with 30-day advance booking


Day 1: Quito (2800 m) to Illiniza Norte (5126 m)

On the first day, we will leave Quito at 7:00 am and drive on the highway called “the Avenue of the Volcanoes” to the village El Chaupi. From there, we will head to the parking lot at the base of the Illinizas volcano. We will park and start our hike up to the Nuevos Horizontes Refuge. This will take about 3 hours. We’ll relax at the refuge for 15 minutes then continue hiking up to the saddle between Illiniza Norte and Illiniza Sur. We will head towards Illiniza Norte and scramble up for 3 hours. Once at the summit, we will admire the beautiful surroundings and then head back down. The roundtrip hike will take about 7 hours. We will spend the night at the Andes Alps hostel.

Day 2: El Chaupi (3300 m) to Cayambe Refuge (4600 m)

We will drive from El Chaupi for about 3.5 hours to the Ruales Oleas Cayambe Refuge. There we will rest and eat dinner, and then go to sleep to prepare for an early start the next day.

Day 3: Cayambe Refuge to Cayambe Summit (5790 m) to Quito

We will get up at midnight to have breakfast and put on our gear. We’ll start hiking at around 1 am. The full ascent takes about 6-7 hours. Though the route to the top follows a safe glacier terrain, there is a gaping bergschrund that sometimes presents a challenge. We will arrive at the summit (5790 m), take pictures and admire the views, and then head back for 2-3 hours to the refuge. We’ll rest at the refuge and get ready to head back to Quito.

Day 4: Quito to Baños (1800 m) FREE DAY

From Quito, we’ll drive south to the town Baños de Agua Santa. This day does not have planned activities but you can choose from the variety of activities the town has to offer, including waterfall hiking, cloud forest hikes, rafting, rock climbing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and horseback riding. We’ll spend the night at a hotel in Baños.

Day 5: Baños to Hermanos Carrel Refuge Chimborazo (5000 m)

You can spend the first half of this day continuing to enjoy Baños. Then we will drive to the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve entrance and then to the Hermanos Carrel Refuge at 4800 m. There we will have dinner and rest until 11:00 pm. Just before we get ready with our gear to start climbing, a light breakfast will be served.

Day 6: Chimborazo Summit (6,268 m) to Quito

At midnight we’ll start our climb to the top of Ecuador’s highest mountain. It will take us 8-9 hours. We’ll get to the summit (6268 m) in the early hours of the day, which is the perfect time to rest and take pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Then we’ll start our descent to the refuge, which will take 3-4 hours. Once at the refuge we’ll pack our gear and drive back to Quito.


More info

In Ecuador you can climb year-round, but the seasons are generally as follows:

High Season: June to August / December to January Low season: February to May / September to November

The maximum group size is 12 people.

Meeting point



What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Mansion Alcazar Cuenca Ecuador
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Hotel Santa Monica Cuenca Ecuador
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Hotel Carvallo Cuenca Ecuador
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About the guide: Fernando

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 this trip



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”



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!



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



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.



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.

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