Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes

Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes

Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes

Prices

From $2,860USD

Difficulty

Guided

Hotels, Refuges

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Highlights

Reach the top of some of the highest peaks in the Ecuadorian Andes

Challenge yourself to reaching the summit of Cotopaxi after taking mountaineering training from your guides.

Go from summit to summit as you venture through the mountain dreamscape of the Andes.

Cozy up in mountain refuges each evening, sleeping surrounded by stone giants under a starry sky.

Take a rest day in Baños de Santa Agua, checking out the waterfalls or soaking in the hot springs.

The Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes is a levelled-up mountain experience in the Ecuadorian Andes that will push your limits and find you in unforgettable locations. Chimborazo (6268m), the highest, and Cotopaxi (5897m), the second-highest mountains in the country, are both situated on the tropical belt close to Quito in Ecuador, making them very accessible volcanoes to mountaineers. On this tour, you’ll climb both of them!

On this 12-day itinerary, you’ll follow an expert acclimatization program while ascending other mountains like Pasochoa, Corazon and North Iliniza first. Then, after a day of mountaineering training, it’s time to hit the big summit.

The Andes are defined by volcanoes, gorgeous nature, and indigenous villages and cultures, all of which you’ll experience on this tour. For the adventurous hiker, this could be the trip of a lifetime!

Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Quito

You’ll be greeted at the airport and taken to your hotel in Quito for the evening.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Quito (2,850m / 9,350’)
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 2 Quito City Tour & Mitad del Mundo Visit

Today you’ll enjoy a full-day private city tour in the historical part of Quito, including La Basilica Church, La Compañia Church and El Panecillo Hill. See the transformation from the new part of the city to the absolutely beautiful historical and colonial part of Quito. Visit all the interesting churches, plazas etc., but also enjoy time to simply soak up the local atmosphere, the many shops, and the stores.

Afterwards, continue to El Panecillo, the hill in the center of Quito overlooking the city and the historical center. From here, on clear days, you can see several of the snow-capped volcanoes surrounding Quito. After lunch, visit Mitad del Mundo, where you can stand on the equatorial line.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Quito (2,850m / 9,350’)
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Day 3 Hike to Pasochoa Volcano

Head to the trailhead of your journey today, located at an altitude of 3848m. From this point, a very well marked trail ascends progressively until the base of the crater. The last section is the steepest, following a mountain trail up to the crater rim. The last meters to the summit are done by the edge of the crater with nice views down to the valley of Machachi, also known as the Volcanoes Avenue, and the highlands to the west. On clear days there is a perfect view to the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Rumiñahui and Artisana volcanoes.

The descent follows the same trail. Back at the starting point, the group will be transferred to the outskirts of the Machachi.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Machachi (2930m / 9,610’)
Distance
5 hours, 516m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Hike to Corazon Volcano

Follow a well marked trail on the eastern side of the mountain. During the ascent there are excellent views down to the Volcano Avenue and the town of Machachi. This is a very pleasant hike and a perfect way to acclimatize. Another advantage is that this volcano is much less visited than other acclimatization mountains and this provides a very different atmosphere.

The last few meters before reaching the summit go over an easy scrambling section. The summit is just in the crater rim and has a panoramic view to the Western flank. The descent is done by the same trail.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Machachi (2930m / 9,610’)
Distance
6-7 hours, 890m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 Transfer and Hike to Nuevos Horizontes Hut

The climb starts along a trail through the “paramo” (Andean highland), which changes as it gains altitude into a rocky moraine. The terrain gets steeper, reaching a well marked ridge that ascends to a valley that divides the twin peaks where the Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677m) is located.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Ilinizas National Park (4,667m / 15,310’)
Distance
3-4 hours, 817of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 Climb to Illiniza Volcano

This morning’s goal is to climb 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 still a demanding physical ascent. Head towards the col and then up to the north. The climb in itself is very panoramic as it follows the southern ridge of the mountain with spectacular landscapes on both sides. During the ascent there will be short easy scrambling sections before 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 following the northern ridge.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Ilinizas National Park (4,667m / 15,310’)
Distance
8 hours, 449m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 Cotopaxi High Mountain Hike and Glacier Training

After a good rest and a well deserved breakfast, hike to Cotopaxi’s mountain hut (4847m), up to the low part of the glacier (4990m). Once there, the team will gear up and follow the guide’s instruction in the use of crampons, ice axe, rope, and all the appropriate technical gear for the climb. This is in no way an alpine course, just a brief introduction into the techniques needed for the ascent.

After the training, the team will head back down to the hut for the night. The rest of the afternoon is for the climb’s preparations. The guides will do a detailed briefing about all the aspects of the ascent and help with all the gear. An early dinner will be served and then rest, until the guides call for breakfast, usually around midnight.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Cotopaxi National Park (3,927m / 12,883’)
Distance
4-5 hours, 403m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8 Climbing Cotopaxi Volcano

The summit day starts very early; usually in the range between 11 PM and 2 AM. The team will begin the ascent from the hut following a well marked trail that gently ascents over a fine stoned moraine. Once on the edge of the glacier (4990m), the group will gear up. Cotopaxi’s climb requires endurance and a good deal of mental strength. Cotopaxi’s glacier is quite safe and the climb is not technically difficult, but there are a few crevassed areas and some few icy slopes that make the route interesting.

Cotopaxi’s summit is one of the most spectacular ones, looking down into the double rim crater and, on clear days, it is possible to see most of the neighboring volcanoes.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Banos (1820m / 5,972’)
Distance
10-12 hours, 1050m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch

Day 9 Sightseeing in Town of Baños de Santa Agua

The town of Baños lies in the Tungurahua province at the foothills of the active Tungurahua volcano (5023m). Baños is called the “Gateway to the Amazon'' as it’s 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).

Baños also have some great scenery with famous waterfalls that lie a few kilometers down the valley.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Banos (1820m / 5,972’)
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Day 10 Transfer to Chimborazo & Hike to Carrel Hut

After a day of leisure, the group will pack and drive back to the highland towards Chimborazo National Park. Chimborazo volcano is an impressive mountain. After crossing the park borders, the landscape turns very arid.

A short acclimatization hike starts by a moraine valley up to the Whymper hut (5000m) and then back down to the Carrel hut. The rest of the afternoon/evening will be to prepare for the climb and have an early dinner.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut in Chimborazo National Park (4,800m / 15,748’)
Distance
1.5 hours, 200m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11 Climbing Chimborazo Volcano

Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador and also the highest in the world 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).

Climbing Chimborazo by its normal Southwest route is a challenging affair, with a long 1468 meter 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. Even though it is not a technical climb, it is physically demanding. The climb starts between 10 PM to 1 AM. The main summit, Whymper, is at 6268m. This is a memorable ascent to a summit above 6000 meters and a test of physical and mental endurance.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Quito (2,850m / 9,350’)
Distance
10-12 hours, 1468m of ascent
Meals
Breakfast, lunch

Day 12 Departure

Time to leave the volcanoes of Ecuador! You’ll be picked up at the hotel and transferred out to Quito’s airport.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes Price and Dates

This guided tour is run as a fixed-departure tour where you’d be joining a group, however, custom private tours can be organized for those willing to travel with their group only (please contact us with your preferred date and the number of people in your group and we will create the itinerary just for you).

Prices below are per person:

StartFinishDurationPlaces LeftPrice

2023-02-18

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-03-02

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

2023-07-08

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-07-19

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

2023-08-12

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-08-23

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

2023-09-02

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-09-13

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

2023-11-25

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-12-06

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

2023-12-09

Quito, Ecuador

12 days / 5+ Spaces Left

2023-12-20

Quito, Ecuador

125+
$2,860USDBook Now
Book Now

Accommodation on the Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes

This tour is based in hotels and mountain huts. Hotels on this trip are 3 and 4-star and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. Rooms may have access to amenities such as hot tubs, pools, or private decks to lounge on. The accommodation type in mountain huts is dormitory-style, which means you will be sharing your living space with other travellers.

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 $242USD to have a private room in a hotel where possible, however, single rooms are not available in mountain huts where all living spaces are shared. Solo travellers may be required to pay a supplement.

Hotel Ikala in Quito

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

Hosteria La Estacion

This rustic hotel has a fantastic restaurant and just a few rooms. It’s clean and there are a lot of animals around.

Night 5

Mountain Hut Nuevos Horizontes

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

Night 6

Tambopaxi Lodge

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

Night 7

Refugio Cotopaxi José Ribas

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

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 10

Carrel Mountain Hut on Chimborazo

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

Hotel Ikala in Quito

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

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes?

Meals

11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 6 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 11 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

Private transportation throughout the entire program is included for you and your luggage, including airport transfers.

Also Included

  • English-speaking guide
  • Entry fees to the national parks and natural reserves
  • Entry fees to museums and sights mentioned in the program
  • Pack animals for group’s equipment and personal equipment to and from Ilinizas’ hut
  • Climbing assistant guides for Pasochoa & Corazon
  • Climbing assistant guides for Iliniza
  • Climbing assistant guides for Cotopaxi & Chimborazo
  • Cook during the trek

Not included

  • Private porter to/from Cotopaxi’s high hut
  • Personal climbing and camping gear
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned as included
  • Flights
  • Tips
  • Visas if required
  • Anything not mentioned as included

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy upgrades where available
  • Gear rental (helmet, ice-axe, crampons, harness)

Frequenty Asked Questions about Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes

How hard is the Hiking Tour of Ecuador's Volcanoes?

We rate this tour as a 5/5. Routes are longer with up to 6268m of altitude with snow and ice slopes up to 45 degrees. Glaciers are more complex, scrambling is harder, climbing may require some belaying, descents may involve rappelling. You will be provided with some mountaineering training to prepare for more technical ascents. This tour is only a fit for strong hikers due to the elevation and the physical demands of the program.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes?

11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners are included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip, and your insurance should cover mountaineering. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Quinto to start this tour?

You can fly into Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), from where you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel.

What can I do to safely and successfully hike at high altitudes?

Acclimatization time is one of the most important ways you can prepare for a high-altitude tour. Spend a few extra days in Quito before beginning your tour if possible. Your guides will be able to help you spot early symptoms of altitude sickness and treat them if they occur. Staying well hydrated is extremely important, as is paying attention to how you feel and letting your guides know if you experience a headache, nausea, dizziness, or other unusual symptoms.

Is the Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes in English?

Yes, the tour guide is English-speaking.

Where does the Hiking & Summiting Ecuadorian Volcanoes end?

The tour ends in Quito. You will be picked up and transferred to the airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Ecuador?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Ecuador?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

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All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Prices

From $2,860USD

Difficulty

Guided

Hotels, Refuges

Start Your Booking

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 5/5. Routes are longer with up to 6268m of altitude with snow and ice slopes up to 45 degrees. Glaciers are more complex, scrambling is harder, climbing may require some belaying, descents may involve rappelling. You will be provided with some mountaineering training to prepare for more technical ascents. This tour is only a fit for strong hikers due to the elevation and the physical demands of the program.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

Local guide

Juan

Cajica, Columbia

Get in touch

+1 (587) 327-9828

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