Jan, Jun, Jul, Dec
Pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Quito.
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)
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Transfer to the airport and flight back home.
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.
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