Ecuador Volcanoes

highlights

Old Quito Tour: visit colonial churches with their grand altars made of Inca gold, sculptures and intricate carvings

Standing at the top of Cotopaxi, and looking down inside its crater at its sulfur fumaroles

Recuperating in the natural thermal springs that flow from the mountain side at Baños

Sweeping views from the summit of Ecuador’s tallest volcano, on a clear day you can see down into the Amazon jungle basin and the many neighboring peaks

length:

19 days

skill level:

Beginner & Intermediate

participants:

min. 2, max. 6

dates:

This trip takes you up four of Ecuador’s most popular snow-capped volcanoes, Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. The trip starts with a series of acclimatization adventures. First, you will go on a city tour of colonial Quito and visit the Equatorial Line. The following days are filled with acclimatization hikes, up Fuya Fuya, Imbabura and Carihuairazo.

After you have acclimatized to the elevation, we will begin the high altitude portion of the trip. First, we climb Cayambe Cotopaxi (5,897 m / 19,300 ft), one of the World’s highest active volcano. At the top, you will be able to look inside the crater and see its sulfur fumaroles and enjoy the panoramic views of the adjacent snow-covered volcanoes.

After our ascent of Cotopaxi, we visit Baños, a popular resort town at the base of Chimborazo. The streets of this quaint town are lined with shops and outdoor cafes, and the mild subtropical weather is perfect for leisure outdoor strolls and dining. The main attraction in Baños, though are the luxurious thermal springs- and rejuvenating in the healing springs is the perfect reward after a strenuous ascent up one of Ecuador’s tallest peaks!

Then on to Chimborazo (6,310 m / 20,702 ft), Ecuador’s tallest peak! At 6,310 m it is the tallest peak in Ecuador and is among the most impressive in all of the Andes. Since the Earth bulges near the equator this snowcapped giant is not only the highest mountain in Ecuador but also the highest in the world if measured from the core of the Earth outward to its peak. There were a number of summit attempts by Europeans of this local giant beginning in 1736 with the French explorers, but it wasn’t until 1880 when Edward Whymper successfully made it all the way to the peak.

The trip ends with a train ride on the Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose), where you sit on top of the train enjoying the beautiful highlands!

Chimborazo and Cotopaxi require ice-climbing equipment (rental equipment included in the trip package), excellent physical condition and lots of stamina. Most of the time, they are not technically difficult climbs but there are periods when hard ice conditions can make them very challenging.

Day 1: Arrival in Quito (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2: Guided tour of Quito’s old town and a visit to “Mitad del Mundo”
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3: Climb Fuya Fuya (4,263 m/13,986 ft)
Overnight: Otavalo (2,550 m/8,366 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4: Climb Imbabura (4,630 m/15,190 ft)
Overnight: Otavalo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5: Explore the famous “Plaza de Ponchos” and visit the small village of Peguche
Overnight: Otavalo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6: Transfer to Cayambe-Coca Reserva Ecológica Review glacier travel skills
Overnight: Bergé, Ruales, Oleas Refuge (4,650 m/15,257 ft)
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Climbing Cayambe (5,790 m/18,996 ft)
Overnight: Town of Cayambe (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Accommodation: Hosteria
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 8: Visit the Pyramids of Cochasquí (3,200 m/10,498 ft) Extra Cayambe summit attempt
Overnight: Town of Cayambe (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Accommodation: Hosteria
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9: Transfer to Reserva Ecológica Antisana (4,340 m/14,238 ft)
Overnight: Base Camp (4,610 m/15,124 ft)
Accommodation: Tents
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Climb Antisana (5,758 m/18,891 ft)
Overnight: Papallacta (3,400 m/11,154 ft)
Accommodation: Hostería
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 11: Soak in the famous Papallacta hot-springs or extra Antisana summit attempt
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12: Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park (4,600m/15,091ft)
Overnight: Jose Rivas Refuge (4,800 m/15,748 ft)
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Climb Cotopaxi (5,897 m/ 19,347ft)
Overnight: Baños (1,800 m/5,905 ft)
Accommodation: La Casa de Pia BNB
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 14: Enjoy a rest day in Baños or extra Cotopaxi summit attempt
Overnight: Baños
Accommodation: La Casa de Pia BNB
Meal: Breakfast

Day 15: Transfer to Reserva de Producción Faunística Chimborazo
Overnight: Hermanos Carrel Refuge (4,800 m/ 15,750 ft)
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Climb Chimborazo (6,310 m / 20,702 ft)
Overnight: Riobamba (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 17: Free day in Riobamba or extra Chimborazo summit attempt
Overnight: Riobamba
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 18: Train ride on the legendary “Nariz del Diablo”
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 19: Fly home
Meal: Breakfast

Note:
Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, but unforeseen circumstances may require last minute changes. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to schedule alterations. Please be prepared to be flexible when necessary.

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