North Iliniza

North Iliniza

North and South Ilinizas are located about 55 km Southwest of Quito. Originally, there was one volcano, which exploded in a massive eruption that split the mountain in half a very long time ago. The two peaks are separated by a saddle and are about 2 km away from one another. There is a small refuge between the two peaks: Iliniza South is icy and hard to climb. North Iliniza is rocky and a lot easier.


On top with Cotopaxi and Antisana BehindThe ascent of the North peak involves only a modest gain in altitude.
The route is from the west side of the mountain, with some easy scrambling below the summit. From the top there are spectacular views of Iliniza South, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo.
Fifty years ago North Iliniza still had a glacier, but it has completely melted in the last few decades. So now it is rocky and quite easy to climb.



Scrambling to the Summit

Day 1

  • Pick up at Quito at around 9:00
  • Travel for 2 hours to the Iliniza Ecological Reserve
  • 3 hour hike up to the hut
  • Safety talk and walk around during the afternoon
  • Early dinner at 18:00

Day 2

  • Climb Iliniza North leaving at 05:00
  • Descend from mountain to the hut
  • Rest, and packing
  • Descend to the vehicle
  • Return to Quito

Important Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.


Also see our Interactive Map.

North Iliniza


North Iliniza - Highlights

The North Iliniza Climbing Excursion offers you the following highlights:

      • Eight highest mountain of Ecuador.
      • Easy scrambling on rock.
      • Great views of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Antisana.
      • Good first objective above 5.000 m /16,400 ft.
      • All year around climbing.

North Iliniza - Logistics

Duration: 2 days

Access: Drive in and drive out

Seasons: All year round

Guide-Client Ratio: 1:3

Pre-requisites: Basic mountaineering knowledge

Equipment: North Iliniza Climbing Excursion Gear List
Please download the Pdf

Accommodation: José Rivas Hut (4.800 m / 15,744 ft)

Extension: Optional 1 day weather contingency


Difficulty Level:



North Iliniza - Suggested Combinations

Even the easiest of the 5.000 m / 16,400 ft peaks of Ecuador requires some acclimatisation training. Below is a list of some hikes that can be done as a preparation for North Iliniza.
1. Cuicocha
3.300 m / 10,824 ft
2. Pambamarca
3.900 m / 12,792 ft
3. Rumiñahui Central Summit
4.600 m / 15,088 ft
4. North Iliniza
4.788 m / 15,704 ft

Climbing Excursions

Andeanface offers you the following Climbing Excursions in Ecuador, which you can include in your trip. Please check the different pages and contact us through
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, suggestions and prices:
Glacier School
El Altar
South Iliniza
North Iliniza