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Climb the highest peaks in Ecuador, 18-day Mountaineering expedition from Quito

Get to the top of 7 of the highest peaks in Ecuador on this fantastic 18-day mountaineering expedition from Quito led by IFMGA certified mountain guide Edgar.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration18 days
Offer periodJan, Jun, Jul, Dec
Skill LevelAdvanced
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripPrivate

Highlights

  • Climb 7 of the highest peaks in Ecuador in one expedition.

  • Spend 18 days exploring the natural areas of the Andes.

  • Contemplate incredible views of the range from the summits.

Description

Reach the tallest peaks in Ecuador, including Chimborazo! Follow me on this unique 18-day mountaineering expedition from Quito.

Among the mountains that we will climb, you can find Pasochoa, Corazon, Illiniza Sur, Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. This amazing adventure allows you to summit 7 peaks in 18 days.

Take a look below for a detailed description of each day’s activities.

Would you like to climb the highest peaks in Ecuador in one program? All you have to do is send the request and book your place.

Looking for a shorter program? Check out this ascent that I lead to Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

Meeting point

Quito, Ecuador.

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Quito

Pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Quito.

Day 2: Pasochoa - Machachi

We will depart from Machachi early in the morning and drive for about an hour through the Andean highlands until we get to the trailhead (10,827ft/3.300m). The hike leads us through an amazing Andean forest, where we can observe birds, such as the exotic hummingbirds. As we gain elevation, we will be able to see some of the surrounding mountains, such as Antisana, Cayambe, Illinizas, Cotopaxi and even Chimborazo on a clear day. Before we reach the summit (13,875/4.230m), we will hike by a ridge of the deep forest. The round trip will take us around 6 hours and we will drive back to Machachi in the late afternoon. Overnight in the hotel (B/BL)

Day 3: Corazon Summit - Machachi

Early in the morning, we will drive south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we get to the village of “El Chaupi”.  Then, we will continue driving up to the trailhead (13,120ft/4.000m) where we will start our hike. First, we will go through a green natural area and then we will get on the sandy and scramble section, which leads to the Corazon summit (15,702ft/4786m). We will have lunch during the hike that has a duration of around 8 hours. Return to Machachi by late afternoon (B/L).

Day 4: Machachi - Nuevos Horizontes Hut

On this day, we will also go to the village of “El Chaupi” and drive to “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3.900m). Once there, we will start a 3-hour hike to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,580ft/4.750m). We will relax for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served in the late afternoon. (B/L/D).

Day 5: Illiniza Sur Summit - Machachi

Our climbing day starts at 2 am. After a light breakfast, we will pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge in the direction of the col formed between both peaks. Then, we will head to the Illiniza Sur summit (4 to 5 hours, 17,267ft/5.263m). The descent to the refuge will take us around 2 hours. Once there, we will have something to eat and drink, pack our stuff and go down to the La Virgen parking lot to drive back to Machachi. Overnight in Hotel (B/L).

Day 6: Machachi – Oleas Ruales Refuge

After an early lunch, we will drive to Ruales Oleas Cayambe Refuge for about 3,5 hours and rest for a couple of hours until dinner (B/D).

Day 7: Cayambe Summit - Otavalo

On day 7, we will wake up at midnight, get a light breakfast, put our gear on and start climbing around 01:00 am. The ascent will take us around 6 to 7 hours. Once at the summit (18,996ft/5.790 m), we will take our time for pictures and then head back to the refuge in 2-3 hours. At the Refuge, we will rest for a while, and start packing our belongings in order to drive to Otavalo. Overnight in the Hotel (B/L).

Day 8: Rest day in Otavalo

Today we will spend the time relaxing and recovering energy for our next challenge. However, we will have options like an excursion to the Cuicocha Lake, the Cotacachi Town, or hanging around in the Otavalo Town, visiting its famous indigenous and colourful market (B).

Day 9: Otavalo - Antisana Camp

On this day, we will depart from Otavalo early in the morning and drive (3,5 hours) to Laguna Santa Lucia (14,118ft/4.300m). Depending on the road conditions, we will keep driving to the end of the road. Once there, we will put our backpacks on and continue for an hour up to the base camp (15,580ft/4.750m), located at the base of the glacier. The rest of the day will be to relax until dinner in the late afternoon (B/L/D).

Day 10: Antisana Summit – Papallacta Hot Springs

We will wake up at midnight and depart to the summit (18,891ft/5.758 m) around 1 am. The climb will take us around 6-8 hours. First, we will hike to the glacier, put our crampons on and start the glacier ascent. From the summit, get to see fantastic views of the crater and the surroundings. Then, we will head back to the base camp (2-3 hours), rest, pack our belongings, have something to eat, drink and go to the car, from where we will drive to the hot springs. Rest and overnight in the Hotel (B/L).

Day 11: Rest day at Papallacta hot springs

Papallacta hot springs are one of the best places to relax. The source temperature of the thermal baths varies between 30°C and 70°C (86°F and 158°F). At the pools, the temperature ranges from 36°C to 40°C (97°F to 104°F). Papallacta thermal waters contain sulphates, sodium, calcium, chloride and traces of magnesium. Besides improving intestinal function, the baths’ curative properties are also anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-rheumatic. Overnight and rest in the hotel (B).

Day 12: Papallacta - Cotopaxi Refuge

On day 12, we will drive from Papallacta to the entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park and the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764ft/4.500m). We will prepare our equipment and hike up for an hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge (15,748ft/4.800m), where we will rest and have dinner (B/L/D).

Day 13: Cotopaxi Summit - Machachi

Wake up at midnight and start of the climb to the top (19,347ft/5.897 m) at 1 am (6-8 hours). In the first section, we will hike for an hour to the glacier and put our crampons on to start the glacier ascent. After watching the dazzling views from the top, we will head back to the refuge, rest and then go to the parking lot, to drive back to Machachi. Overnight in the hotel (B/L).

Day 14: Machachi – Carrel Refuge

From Machachi, we will drive to the Chimborazo’s Reserve entrance for 4 hours, until the Hermanos Carrel Refuge (15,744 ft/4,800 m), where we’ll have dinner and go to sleep (B/D).

Day 15: Carrel Refuge - Chimborazo High Camp

After breakfast, we will pack our things to go to the Chimborazo High Camp. Around 10 am, we will start a 4-hour climb to the camp, where we set up our tents and get some rest before dinner time (B/BL/D).

Day 16: Chimborazo Summit - Baños

At midnight of day 16, we will start the climb to the top of Ecuador’s highest mountain, Chimborazo, which will take us around 7-8 hours. We’ll get to the summit (20,702ft/6.310m) in the early hours, the perfect moment to take pictures of the stunning view. Then we will start our descent to the Camp and then to the Carrel Refuge (4-5 hours). Once there, we will pack our left gear and drive to the town of Baños. Overnight and rest at the hotel (B/L or B/L/D).

Day 17: Extra day for Chimborazo or Rest day in Baños - Quito

Extra day in case of bad weather or to spend in Baños. Optional visit to waterfalls along the Pastaza River Canyon. The transfer to Quito will be in the afternoon. Overnight and rest in the hotel (B or B/L).

Day 18: End of the program

Transfer to the airport and flight back home.


Equipment you will need to bring

Helmet

Crampons

Ice Axe

Harness


About the guide

guide profile img

UIAGM/IFMGA-ASEGUIM Mountain Guide from Ecuador.

I am a mountain guide, but also a passionate traveler, climber in rock and ice, and photographer. I spend my free time and holidays exploring new destinations, discovering new mountains and cultures.

I have more than 17 years of experience climbing mountains and volcanoes not only in Ecuador, but also in other South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, and in the Alps in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. I also summited KhanTengri peak in the Himalayas, and Mt. McKinley in Alaska. This experiences prepared me to lead expeditions in challenging routes all around the world.

I studied 6 years of Tourism in the University, and followed ASEGUIM courses to become a mountain guide. I’ve also been evaluated by ENSA, and completed first aid courses in the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

I like guiding people from all around the world, and help them discover and enjoy the mountains, while reaching their objectives. I speak Spanish, English, German, Italian, and a bit of Russian.


For booking assistance

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Prices per person

Group of 2

USD 3418 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Transportation from your hotel/airport (if in area) to the start of the trip and back

• Transport during the trip

• Permit and entrance fees

• Group porters (transport of tents, cooking equipment, etc. for the group)

• Mules and horses as needed with driver

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Price details

• Not included: - International flight tickets - Climbing equipment (crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet, etc.) - Meals and drinks in hotels (lunch, dinner) - Insurance of any kind - Tips - Other non-specified expenses


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