or 3 days
Old Town Quito,
Beautiful views of Cotopaxi, Iliniza North and South, and Rumiñahui.
El Corazon (15,600 ft/ 4,788 m) is an extinct volcano located in the Western Cordillera, 40 km southwest of Quito. It is an ideal first acclimatization climb for travelers that have recently arrived to Ecuador. It is an easy peak that only requires some very easy scrambling and climbing towards the top of the peak. There are beautiful views of Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui and the North and South peaks of Iliniza.
The hike is through the beautiful páramo tall grass vegetation. It is rumored that Incan ruins were hidden on the very overgrown northeast slopes of El Corazon prior to the Spanish conquest; however it is yet to be investigated.
The name of the mountain is Spanish for ‘the heart’ and it is one of the few mountains with a Spanish name. Many think that it got its name because of the heart-like peak; others claim it is from the two gullies that form the shape of a heart.
For those climbers interested in following this program with an ascent of the peaks at Iliniza, there is an optional extension that takes you to the basecamp at Iliniza.