Guagua Pichincha

Guagua Pichincha

Guagua - Quichua for baby - is one of the three major peaks that make up the Pichincha massif. It is located 20 km West of Quito. It is normally snow free but an occasional high-altitude storm will cover the mountain with a layer of snow.
In the past it was possible to descend into the crater of the volcano. You could watch the fumaroles and superheated water rising from its vents. However just a couple of years ago Pichincha suddenly became active again and covered Quito temporarily with a layer of ash. At present the Pichincha crater continues spewing and venting.


Trekking to the RefugeGuagua Pichincha is a good second acclimatisation hike. We drive up to 4.000 m / 13,120 ft to a small valley from where we start the hike to the summit.
It is quite an arduous walk and normally takes three hours up and one hour down.
On a clear day you have a beautiful view of the so-called "Avenue of the Volcanoes", including Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antisana.




Day 1Amazing view into the Crater

  • Pick up at Quito at around 7:30
  • Travel for 2 hours to the slopes of Pichincha
  • 3 hour hike to the summit
  • Box lunch
  • 1 hour down to the vehicle
  • Back at Quito by 16:00

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


Also see our Interactive Map.

Guagua Pichincha


Guagua Pichincha - Highlights

The Guagua Pichincha Trekking Excursion offers you the following highlights:

      • The nearest volcano to Quito.
      • Amazing views of the city.
      • Chance to see the active fumaroles inside the crater.
      • The most accessible mountain from Quito.
      • Just 1 1/2 hours away from the Old Colonial Town of Quito.
      • All year round climbing.

Guagua Pichincha - Logistics

Duration: 1 day

Access: Drive in and drive out

Seasons: All year round

Pre-requisites: Acceptable physical condition

Equipment: Trekking Excursions Gear List
Please download the Pdf


Difficulty Level:



Guagua Pichincha - Suggested Combinations

We suggest the following hike and two tours to complete your trip in Ecuador.
1. Pasochoa
4.200 m / 13,800 ft
2. Papallacta
Hot Springs
3.220 m / 10,562 ft
3. City Tour
We can arrange a tour to the colonial Old Town of Quito.

Trekking Excursions

Andeanface can develop a tailor made itinerary that will give you the opportunity of making the most out of your time, budget and specific interests. We offer the following Trekking Excursions; please contact us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for more information, suggestions, and prices about hiking in Ecuador: 
Guagua Pichincha