"The volcanoes of Ecuador have given the country universal fame among the geologists of the world. They are the terror of the Indians, the admiration of the conquistadors, the study of the naturalist and the plague of the people who live near them."
Travel Among the Andes of Ecuador, 1890.
Andeanface offers you a 13 day itinerary of volcano climbing in Ecuador, where you find high altitude climbing combined with moderate easy walking and cultural visits to historical places. During the Ecuador Volcanoes Expedition you will stay in country side farms (haciendas) which have been converted into hostels.
The Volcanoes Expedition is not only an excellent mountaineering experience, you will also see the real life of the Ecuadorian country side: it is a special and diverse mountain climbing expedition in Ecuador which we highly recommend.
City Tour 2.800 m / 9,184 ft
Night in Quito
Andeanface staff will meet you at 09:00 in the morning for an introductory briefing about the program. As this is your first day at altitude 2,800 m / 9,184 ft, we will take you to do some easy walking and to see some of the main colonial churches in the old part of Quito such as Santo Domingo, the Basílica and the famous San Francisco, which was the first religious building constructed in South America by the Spanish, in 1538. Then we drive up to the hill of El Panecillo where an impressive statue of the Virgin looks after the city, and offers one of the greatest views of Quito. Exploring the city is a good way to begin your acclimatisation process! For the night we stay at Casa Hebling www.casahelbling.de or a similar hotel
Pasochoa Hike - 4.200 m / 13,776 ft
Night in Quito
Having had a day to begin the acclimatization process in Ecuador, we now go for the first summit of a volcano. After a short drive we hike out into the countryside towards Pasochoa. This mountain is an ancient and heavily eroded volcano that has been inactive since the last Ice Age. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this excursion is that Pasochoa is one of the few volcanoes where we may see condors flying - the largest flying birds in South America. We return for the night in Quito.
Rucu Pichincha Hike 4.690 m / 15,400 ft
Night in Quito
Using the cable car we go as high as 4.000m / 13,200ft in a few minutes from where we start today´s hike. Pichincha is an excellent second acclimatization hike. Rucu (Quichua for “Old”) is one of the three major peaks that make up the Pichincha massive. Quito is actually built on a shelf on the eastern side of this massif.
The hike is again straightforward and will take 4 to 5 hours (round trip). After this hike we return to Quito for the night.
Cayambe Drive and Hike to the Hut 4.600 m / 15,088 ft
Night at the Hut
We leave Quito at 08:30 am and drive towards the mountain. Cayambe is a massive glaciated extinct volcano. It is located about 68 km North East of Quito and is the highest point on the surface of the earth through which the Equator directly passes. Cayambe is the third highest mountain in Ecuador. It is characterized by good climbing opportunities and interesting glaciers. With easy access from a comfortable hut, the glaciers of Cayambe offer an outstanding venue for our glacier school review. Huge crevasses, complex icefalls and seracs provide the ideal setting for learning ice climbing, crevasse rescue, and a variety of other basic skills.
After the session you return to the refuge for a hearty meal.
On day 6 there will be a chance to attempt the summit of Cayambe. The route to the summit follows diverse glacier terrain to near the summit crater. A gaping bergschrund presents a challenge in route finding and an exciting extra obstacle. The ascent normally takes seven hours and the descent three hours. After our summit day on Cayambe we descent to Hacienda Guachala for the night www.guachala.com
Drive to Cotopaxi Region
This is a rest day from mountain climbing used as a driving day to get to Cotopaxi National Park, we will stop for lunch in a restaurant along the way, for the night we will spend at Tambopaxi lodge, it is a great place with nice views of Cotopaxi www.tambopaxi.com
Cotopaxi hut 4.800 m / 15,700 ft Night at the Jose Rivas refuge
We drive to 4.600 m and then walk to the hut at 4.800 m / 15,700ft ft Having arrived at the hut at lunchtime, we rest in the afternoon and evening, preparing for a night time climb. Cotopaxi is one of the most beautiful mountains of the Andes of Ecuador. The whole national park is known for its rich wildlife and remoteness. Without a doubt Cotopaxi has the largest number of clear days amongst the high peaks of Ecuador.
Drive to Chimborazo region 3.500 m / 11,480 ft Night at Urbina Lodge
We travel further down the “Valley of Volcanoes” and then move up onto the western flanks of Chimborazo where we spend an evening in a Lodge. This lodge sits in grassy plains below Chimborazo and allows us to rest and enjoy views of from the altiplano of Chimborazo and Carihuarirazo (also known as “Chimborazo’s Wife”). Night at Lodge.
Night at Urbina lodge
Chimborazo hike to camp 5.050m / 16,564 ft. Night Camping
Today we travel by jeep or van to the Plaza Roja (4,852m / 15,914 ft) located very close to the Carrel hut. From there, it takes us about two hours to walk to the Stübel Camp (5,050m/16,564ft ) where we spend the afternoon preparing for the climb the next day. You will be involved carrying equipment to the camp. Porters will help carrying the tents and water.
Chimborazo summit day 6.310m/ 20.696ft. Night camping or at the hut
We start the climb at about midnight following the Stübel glacier until it joins the Castle Ridge (5,450m / 17,876 ft.). This variant of the normal Castle route, free from rock fall, makes it a much safer line to the top. From the Camp it normally takes eight hours to get to the main Whymper summit, from where you will enjoy beautiful views of Ecuador. The descent to the Stübel Camp takes from two to three hours. After returning to the camp we have some rest and we descend to Plaza Roja.
Chimborazo summit day # 2. Night in Quito
In case of bad weather, the climb can be delayed one more day.
Important Note: Please note that this itinerary is a guide line only. We will do every effort to follow it, but in case of unforeseen circumstances we may have to make changes. Also note that flying days are not included in this program.
Also see our Interactive Map.