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North and South Illinizas 3-day climb

North and South Illinizas 1
North and South Illinizas 2
North and South Illinizas 3
North and South Illinizas 4

3 days full of excitement climbing the two famous Ecuadorian peaks: North and South Illinizas. Come with a local certified guide on a guided trip that you will never forget.


3 Days

Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec


The Illiniza is an active volcano that, as a result of a big eruption 5000 years ago, formed the two peaks actually known as North and South Illinizas. 

North Illiniza can be climbed in only 1 day if you are well trained and have the enough acclimatization. If not, it would be better to do it in 2 days so that you can be well acclimatized before the Cotopaxi climb.

The ascent to North and South Illinizas is always better with the company of a certified mountain guide. That’s why I am here, telling you how amazing this climbing experience will be if you come with me!

For more details, here you have a complete itinerary of this 3-day climb to North and South Illinizas Peaks:

DAY 1: Quito – La Virgen – North Iliniza 

From anywhere of the country I suggest to be in El Chaupi Village a day before. As it is located 3.300 meters high it will help you to adapt your body, enabling the climb to the summit. The village counts on many hostels and lodges to overnight.

By the morning after breakfast at 7 am we leave in a 4X4 towards La Virgen or the Illinizas parking located at 3.950 meters. From La Virgen we will hike up to Nuevos Horizontes Hut (4.700m) for 2 or 3 hours. Once in the hut we can drink a coca tea and then, continue to the summit for other 2-3 more hours of basic rock climbing.

When we are finally in the summit we can enjoy the majestic surroundings views. Depending on weather and climate we may stay in the summit for 15 or 20 minutes before the descent. Hike down to the hut where we will dinner and sleep.

DAY 2: Nuevos Horizontes – Hike up to South Illiniza Foot

Our second day will be dedicated to resting. We will have breakfast at 8 am and then, we will take a short walk up to the route entrance of South Illiniza, reaching an altitude of 4.850 meters. After that, we will return down to the hut to lunch and prepare our climbing equipment. By the afternoon, we will dinner and overnight at 18 pm.

DAY 3: Nuevos Horizontes Hut – Iliniza Sur – Quito

We will get up at 2 am in order to have breakfast and start early the ascent to the South Illiniza. After 3 or 4 hours of climbing in a positive vertical drop of 50/55 degrees we will finally get to the summit. From there we can admire a amazing sunrise behind the famous Cotopaxi.

Return to the hut for a rest and then, continue hiking down to La Virgen where our transfer will be waiting to take us back to Quito.

What to bring with you:

Small backpack, hiking shoes (better if waterproof), thermal pants, waterproof pants, long sleeve thermal shirt, an extra long sleeve thermal shirt, one fleece or polar, a windbreaker jacket, gloves, a cap, a buff, sunscreen, sun glasses, a water bottle and… A lot of energy!

Prices vary depending on the group size. You can see them in the following list:

  • 1 person: USD 590

  • 2 people: USD 390 p/person

  • 3-4 people: USD 360 p/person

  • 5-6 people: USD 340 p/person

Are you going to miss this opportunity of climbing North and South Illinizas in an unique trip? I don’t think so. Get in touch with me to book your place and plan your unforgettable climbing experience among this volcano. I will be waiting anxiously!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Porters


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
Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil Guayaquil Ecuador
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Wyndham Guayaquil Guayaquil Ecuador
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Hotel Hilton Colon Guayaquil Guayaquil Ecuador
See rooms

About the guide

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 Fernando



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”



Our guide Fernando was great to adapt the trip for our two little girls. A great experience it was fir us all. Thank you.



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!



Thank you for putting this trip together for me at the last minute after my group canceled on me. Fernando was a great guide who knows the route up Cotopaxi very well. The meals and lodging were also great and well worth the price, in my opinion.



Great experience. We did Rumiñawi, corázon, and Illiniza Norte as acclimatization hikes. All of them were beautiful. We attempted Cotopaxi but had a snow storm and heavy winds during the night of the summit and we were forced to turn around. The 3 initial climbs prepared us well for Cotopaxi and the altitude. There were some technical scrambling portions on corazon and Illiniza which were very cool. Overall would highly recommend!

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