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Trekking to the Altar Volcano with a guide

A hiking trip to the Altar Volcano led by Fernando, a local ASEGUIM guide and his team. You can spend 2, 3 or 4 days in this area of the Sangay National Park.

Not specified

2 Days

All year


I am happy to invite you to this amazing trekking program which takes place around the Altar Volcano. It is a hiking trip that can be done in 2, 3 or 4 days depending on your wishes and time in Ecuador.

As you may know, the Altar volcano is an inactive volcano lying on the west of the famous Ecuadorian Sangay National Park. It is 170 km south of Quito, the capital of the country.

Although nowadays it is extinct, the Altar presented volcanic activity around 2 million of years ago. In addition, it still contains a boiler open to the west, where the Yellow Lake lies.

As for the itinerary of this program, we’ll meet in Latacunga from where we will move to Hacienda Releche, our trailhead. Then, we will walk through the Valley of Collanes for about 6-7 hours. We’ll spend the first night at the Collanes hut, under the boiler of the Altar volcano.

In our second day, we will visit the amazing Yellow Lake and hike back to Hacienda Releche. Finally, a transfer will take us to Latacunga again, where this program ends.

Of course I can extend the duration of the trip according to your wishes. That’s why it’s very important that you contact me as soon as you can.

Once you get in touch with me we can plan and organize the perfect program for you. I will be here, waiting for your message.

Fill out the form and let’s trek in the Altar volcano!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters


Day 1: Latacunga (2800 m) – Hacienda Releche – Collanes Hut (3900 m)

We will leave very early in the morning (at around 4:30 AM). From Latacunga we will drive south by the the Panamerican highway through the famous Avenue of the volcanoes. We will finally get to the Hacienda Releche, where we will have breakfast and get us ready to start the hike. So, we will pack our luggage, the equipment and provisions with the help of the porters. Once ready, we’ll start ascending to the Collanes Valley. It is a walk that takes approximately 5 to 7 hours by a bridle path that the farmers used to graze their cattle. We will stay in the Collanes hut for the night, from where we will enjoy spectacular views of the snow-covered peaks around. Meals included: breakfast, box lunch and dinner.

Day 2: Collanes – Yellow Lake (4480 m) – Latacunga

We’ll wake up and have breakfast at 4:30 AM. Then, we will continue hiking until we are at the Yellow Lake, in the center of the crater, at more than 4480 meters of altitude. From here, you will have a stunning view of the glaciers, the walls of the Altar volcano and all the Valley of Collanes and its mountains. This tour will take approximately 2 to 3 hours. Along the way we will surely see the Andean condors flying. We will have lunch on the way back to the hut. Finally, we will return to the city of Latacunga. Meals included: breakfast and box lunch**.**



More info

Not included in the price: - Personal equipment; - Any type of insurance; - Other expenses not specified. What to bring? - Comfortable backpack (take into account everything you have to load) - Warm and comfortable clothing - Hat and mitts - Sleeping bag - Extra gloves (recommended) - (Highly recommended) rubber boots - Replacement light shoes for living in hut - Waterproof jacket or poncho of water - Walking sticks (help super well) - Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen - Bottle of water - Headlamp - Warm clothes for the hut (protected in plastic bags) - Grooming Kit - Clothes to leave on the bus

Meeting point

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


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.



Fernando is an incredible guide. He is very experienced and has extensive knowledge of the area. He will always make sure you are safe and comfortable. I highly recommend Fernando to anyone wishing to explore/hike/live/breathe the area. What an incredible experience!



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.



Fernando was a wonderful guide. Even though we didn't make it to the top we had a great experience. We plan to return in the future and make it to the top! We hope to have Fernando guide us again.



Fernando is a wonderful guide who understands the Cotopaxi route well. I recommend the climb for anyone looking for a tough mental and physical challenge.

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