Chimborazo Climb
Chimborazo Climb

Chimborazo Climb

7 days

Chimborazo above the clouds (Ecuador)Two climbers descending ChimborazoSunrise on the peaks surrounding Chimborazo

Climb the highest mountain in Ecuador on this 8-day guided tour

The 7-day guided Chimborazo Climb is a thrilling goal-oriented tour best suited for those with high-reaching mountaineering aspirations. Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador, and also the highest in the world, if measured from the center of the earth, due to its location on the tropical belt.

The mountain itself has five major summits all linked by a ridge called the “Arista del Sol” (Sun’s ridge), which probably is the main reason for its Quichua name, which translates to “Ice Braid”. Climbing Chimborazo is a demanding task, both physically and psychologically, but it is also the experience of a lifetime. Climbers will benefit from a fantastic acclimatization program that will grant you the best options during the summit bid.

If you’re looking for a purposeful trip and also have a zeal for high-altitude climbing, the Chimborazo Climb is calling!

Highlights of the Chimborazo Climb

Achieve sensational heights as you climb several of Ecuador’s highest mountains, including its highest, the Chimborazo Volcano.
Enjoy an adventure-filled day in Baños with incredible hiking or biking or opt to unwind in the town’s famous hot springs.
Stay at cozy mountain huts tucked away in the Ecuadorian Andes and surrounded by towering peaks.
Hike, climb, and scramble on a variety of spellbinding volcanoes as you put your physical and mental endurance to the test.

Prices

From $1,225USD
7 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels, lodges, mountain huts
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Chimborazo Climb

Chimborazo Climb Itinerary

Day 1 Climb: Pasochoa Volcano (4,164m / 13,661ft)

Headed for Pasocha Volcano this morning, you’ll be picked-up at the hotel to transfer (2h) to the trailhead which is located at an altitude of 3848m. From this point, a very well-marked trail paves the way by farmland up to the paramo area. The trail then heads southwards, ascending progressively until the base of the crater. The final section is the steepest and follows a mountain trail up to the crater rim. The last meters to the summit are completed by the edge of the crater with superb views down to the valley of Machachi, which is also known as the “Volcanoes Avenue” and the highlands are visible in the west. On clear days here, there is a perfect view of the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Rumiñahui and Artisana volcanoes. You’ll return via the same path back at the starting point, from where the group will then be taken back to Quito.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Quito (2,850m / 9,350ft)
Distance: 5 hours, 516m of ascent
Meals: Lunch

Day 2 Climb Guagua Pichincha Volcano (4,794m / 15,728ft)

The mighty Pichinchas are three summits found on the Western range just above Quito. The Guagua Pichincha is the highest and the youngest of the summits and the other two are the Rucu Pichincha and the Padre Encantado (Enchanted father, both of them lower. Guagua is also where the last eruption took place in the year 1999, but it is now considered safe to climb by geologists. The Guagua and the Rucu are very popular ascents, due to their location on the outskirts of the capital and their convenient access points.

This morning you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Quito to set out on a 2-hour transfer to the head of the trail at 4150m. The hike begins with an ascent via a “paramo” area winding its way through changing vegetation up to the moraine. While the ascent itself is straightforward, the distance to cover is considerable. There is a sizable gain in altitude during the hike, which works well as a preparation for the higher summits. The trail back is the same as the ascent. You’ll then wrap up the day with a 2-hour drive on the beautiful “Volcano Avenue” to your mountain lodge found close to the town of El Chaupi (2930m).
Overnight Location: Mountain Lodge near El Chaupi (2,930m / 9,613ft)
Distance: 6 hours, 644m of ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 Climb the Andean Highlands to Nuevos Horizontes Hut (4,677m / 15,344ft)

Today’s adventure begins with a 1-hour transfer from the mountain lodge up to the parking place located at 3680 meters. The group will then set out on a trail through the “paramo” (Andean highland), which changes as it gains altitude into a rocky moraine. The terrain gets steeper and soon reaches a well-marked ridge that continues skywards to a valley that divides the twin peaks and is also where the Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677m) is nestled.

After your arrival, your mountain guide will relay pertinent instructions for the next day’s climb and will help to prepare all the needed gear. The Nuevos Horizontes hut is a very, very basic accommodation with one big area, where both the bunkbeds and the kitchen are located. The hut has the basic services necessary, such as a kitchen, dining tables, and toilets.
Overnight Location: Nuevos Horizontes hut (4,677m / 15,350ft)
Distance: 3-4hours, 817m of ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Climb the North Iliniza Volcano (5,126m / 16,817ft)

This morning you’ll set your sights on the North Ilinza, one of the twin summits of the Iliniza massif. The north summit is the easier of the two from a technical point of view but is still a demanding physical ascent. The climb starts from Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677m) and kicks off with a hike heading towards the col and then up to the north. The climb is very panoramic, as it follows the southern ridge of the mountain with mind-blowing landscapes on both sides. During the ascent, there will be short easy scrambling sections prior to reaching the summit. Depending on the logistics, weather conditions and the physical shape of the team, the descent can be done by the same trail or by following the northern ridge, which heads down a big scree area making it into a circular route. Back at the parking area, the team will transfer 3-hours to Cotopaxi National Park for a well-earned rest.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Baños
Distance: 8hours, 449m of ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 5 Rest Day in Baños de Santa Agua

The town of Baños, as it is locally known, lies in the Tunguragua province at the foothills of the active Tunguragua Volcano (5023m). Baños is called the “Gateway to the Amazon” as it is the last Andean town before reaching the Amazon basin. Due to its privileged location, this town offers a great deal of activities. The best known are the hot springs (baños), which one can enjoy at several locations around the town. Outdoor sports are also popular here, like mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, etc.

Baños also has some great scenery with the famous waterfalls that lie just a few kilometres down the valley. The best known are “El Pailon del Diablo” (Devil’s pot) and “El Manto de la Novia” (the bride’s veil), which can be visited by taking a local taxi. The “Tarabita” (Cable-car) to cross over the Pastaza River is also an experience well-worth embarking on and it is also possible to hike through the orchards and gardens of the local inhabitants.

In short, there are plenty of options to adventure in Baños, but the option to take it easy today is also on the table.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Baños
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Chimborazo National Park - Carrel hut (4,800m / 15,748ft)

After a day of leisure and a relaxing morning in the town of Baños, the group will pack up and drive 3 hours back to the highland towards Chimborazo National Park. On the way, there will be a couple of short stops and time to buy the last snacks before leaving “civilization” behind.

Chimborazo Volcano is an impressive mountain that stands out from the “Volcanoes Avenue”. The indigenous farmed land that surrounds the mountains are all traditionally worked and very colourful during the harvest season. While driving up to the main entrance, it is possible to see very dramatic landscapes where the actions of the old eruptions have shaped the geography of this area. After crossing the park borders, the landscape turns very arid, like a desert.

The road goes all the way to the door of the lower hut “Refugio Hermanos Carrel” (4800m), where a 1-hour acclimatization hike starts by a moraine valley up to the Whymper Hut (5000m) and then back down to the Carrel hut where you will spend the night. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be devoted to preparations for the climb followed by an early dinner. The mountain guides will provide all the information and help to assure the best logistics for the demanding climb ahead.
Overnight Location: Mountain Hut on Chimborazo (4,800m / 15,748ft)
Distance: 1.5 hours, 200m of ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 Climb Chimborazo Volcano (6,268m / 20,531ft)

Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador and also the highest in the world when measured from the center of the earth, due to its location on the tropical belt. The mountain has five major summits all linked by a ridge called the “Arista del Sol” (Sun’s ridge). The main summit is the Whymper (6268m), named after the British mountaineer Edward Whymper who has the first person to climb it in 1880 along with the Swiss Carrel brothers.

Climbing Chimborazo by its normal Southwest route is a challenging affair—a long 1468 meters ascent and descent in one push at a considerable altitude. The terrain is also complex, as it changes from an easy moraine trail to ice, snow and rock sections, with some easy scrambling at some specific spots. Even though it is not a technical climb, it is physically demanding. The climb starts between 10PM and 1AM, according to the team’s fitness, acclimatization level and meteorological conditions.

The first part of the route is no longer the normal route, but a variant known as the “Marco Cruz route”, named after the legendary Ecuadorian mountaineer who first ascended it. This variant joins the normal route after “El Castillo” rock pillar, making the ascent much safer and more scenic. Once on the march, the first part (1h) is basically a flat moraine until it begins to get steeper, with a few scrambling sections, before reaching the top of the ridge. After a short while walking on the ridge, an exposed section reveals itself as you hike around the “El Castillo” rock before reaching a flat area where the variant route joins the normal route. The glacier rises on a wide ridge that goes up to an approximate altitude of 5850m. From this point, a gentle traverse elevates westwards reaching 6000m and then a relatively straight up climb to the first summit: the Veintimilla (6230m). Then, descend a few meters to cross a col and then back up to the main summit: Whymper (6268m). This is a memorable ascent to a summit above 6000 meters and a true test of physical and mental endurance.

The descent is done by the same route back to the Carrel hut and, after packing, there will be a transfer ready to take the group back to Quito where the tour ends. The drive back to Quito takes approximately 4 hours.
Overnight Location: None
Distance: 10-12hours, 1468m of ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

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Chimborazo Climb Price and Dates

This guided tour in Ecuador is always run as a private tour for your group only and the price depends on the size of your group.

The prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room and those willing to have a single room will have to pay a supplement of $30 USD. Note single rooms are only available in a hotel.

  • Guided Groups of 2: $1,575 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $1,350 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4-5: $1,425 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,225 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7+: on request
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Accommodation on Chimborazo Climb

This tour is based in hotels, mountain lodges and mountain huts. Hotels on this trip are 3-star and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. The accommodation in mountain lodges and mountain huts is more rustic and, in some cases, you’ll be staying in a dormitory-type accommodation where you’ll share your living space with other travellers.

Note, you need to bring your own sleeping bag for this tour.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
Rooms are double occupancy. You can pay a supplement of $30 USD to have a private room in a hotel where possible. Please note that single rooms are only available in hotels.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Hotel Ikala in Quito ★★★★

This colourful hotel has a tree-shrouded pool and deck to relax on, a great rooftop terrace, and updated bathrooms.

Night 2

Huerta Sacha Mountain Hut near El Chaupi

Enjoy this unique stay at the Huerta Sacha lodge, located on a remarkable 40-acre dairy farm. The lodge features cozy rooms and a central café perfect for socializing with other climbers.

Night 3

Nuevos Horizontes Mountain Hut

This basic mountain hut provides all you need for a good night’s rest in the mountains.

Hotel Isla del Baños, Baños ★★★

Tucked into the trees, this cute hotel and spa offers comfortable rooms, free WiFi, a delicious breakfast, and a convenient location.

Night 6

Carrel Mountain Hut on Chimborazo

The mountain huts on this tour are very simple, often with basic dormitory-style rooms and bunk beds.

What’s Included in the Chimborazo Climb?

Meals

6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 3 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 6 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

Transportation for you and your luggage is included throughout the tour, including transfer to and from the airport. During the trekking days, you’ll be carrying your own backpack, however, you can book a private porter.

Also Included

  • English-speaking mountain guide
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees where applicable

Not included

  • Flights to and from Quito
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks not previously mentioned
  • Gratuities for tour guides or other staff if desired
  • Personal climbing and camping gear
  • Insurance
  • Sleeping bag

Optional Extras

  • Extra transfers (in case group needs more than one)
  • German/French/Italian speaking guide
  • Gear rental:
    • Helmet
    • Ice-axe
    • Crampons
    • Harness
    • Mountain boots

Frequently Asked Questions about Chimborazo Climb

Andes World Travel is a boutique adventure tour operator, founded by mountaineers, grown out of a love for adventure and first-hand knowledge of the Andes region. They offer a wide range of tours throughout South America, including both adventure tours and cultural tours.

Andes World Travel offers climbing, trekking, and hiking tours with an emphasis on safety and professionalism. They also offer “light trekking” trips for less experienced adventurers.

The company runs tours in Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru. They focus on sustainable practices and are more than willing to customize their tours to client’s wishes.

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 5 / 5. You’ll be hiking in a high altitude and harsh environment. This tour is demanding both physically and mentally and having previous experience is a must. This is a mountaineering trip, and there entails significantly more risk in these types of tours over conventional hiking or trekking tours. You should be comfortable with this additional risk.

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