Jan, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hostels and mountain refuges
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.
ASEGUIM Guide from Ecuador.
I was born and raised in Cotopaxi Province – Ecuador and know the country’s peaks intimately. I have a great mountaineering experience of more than 12 years of climbing in all Ecuador, and I also climbed in South America, Switzerland and France.
I worked for the Nuevos Horizontes refuge on Ilinizas Volcano from a young age and have a professional Guide Training, and I am officially Licensed as Natural guide organized by 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 hostal and lodge in El Chaupi, a beautiful mountain village an hour south from 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 kichua.
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