Info & Resources



Ecuador’s special appeal to mountaineers, trekkers, and nature lovers can be explained in one word – accessibility. The country’s unique combination of small size, exceptional geographic, ethnic and biological diversity, and a good transportation infrastructure, places an outstanding variety of splendid experiences within easy reach of the adventurous traveller.


Outrageously easy access to the high mountains makes Ecuador an excellent place to gain experience of high altitude mountaineering, and infinite opportunities to do trekking. The majority of the high mountains in the country can be reached in a day, with the possibility to summit during the night. As long, of course, as you are acclimatized and conditions are fine. This means that once you are acclimatized, you can get a lot done in a short time.


Our home, Ecuador, is a climber’s paradise, not only for experienced climbers but also for people looking for a first high altitude experience over a relatively short time frame.
We have learned that many climbers find the transition from the Alps or the Rocky Mountains to the Himalayas very difficult. Often people underestimate such trips. We invite you to an excellent preparation in the Andes! We offer you an important step in the development of your career as a high altitude mountaineer, while enjoying the other marvellous treasures this country has reserved for its visitors.


If you want to get a clear idea of the diversity of Ecuador with it’s amazing natural treasures, we recommend you watch “Vista a Ojo de Pajaro – Ecuador” by Jorge Anhalzer.



Suggested Reading

(Available at


A Climbing Guide, Yossi Brian, The Mountaineers, 2000.
This is a very informative book on climbing in Ecuador.


Trekking in Ecuador, Robert & Daisy Kunstaetter, The Mountaineers, 2002.
One of the best trekking guides of the highlands of Ecuador.


Travel Among the Great Andes of Ecuador, Edward Whymper, 1891.
This book describes the 1880 expedition which first climbed Ecuador’s highest peak, and made seven other first ascents.


Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, Alexander von Humbolt & Aime Bonpland.
Fascinating reading for anyone interested in the historical aspects of the first explorations of the Andes.


The Freedom of the Hills, Don Grayton and Kurt Hanson,
The Mountaineers, 1997.
The most complete mountaineering book available today.


Alexander von Humbolt

It was not until 1802 that an expedition led by the famous German scientist and explorer Baron Alexander von Humbolt awakened interest in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Humbolt studied various peaks including Cotopaxi, Corazon, Antisana and El Altar, but it is for his research on and attempted ascent of Chimborazo that his expedition is particularly remembered by mountaineers.

Humbolt attempted Chimborazo with the idea that he was climbing the highest peak on Earth. Even though he did not reach the summit, he and his fellow mountaineers were the first to reach such an elevation in the world.

Humbolt gave to the Ecuadorian Andean Range the name of “The Avenue of the Volcanoes”, because one can see from any peak two defined lines of mountains along Ecuador, standing to the sides of the valleys where the cities are. Since then, the name “The Avenue of the Volcanoes” has been used to describe the geographical structure of the entire Inter-Andean valley and its mountains.


Edward Whymper

The remarkable expedition led by Edward Whymper in 1880 plays a very important roll in the history of mountaineering in Ecuador. His expedition to this country must surely rate as one of the most successful mountaineering expeditions undertaken in that time. With the Italian guides Louis and Jean Antoine Carrel, Whymper proceeded to climb not only Cotopaxi, but also made the first ascent of Chimborazo among other mountains in Ecuador.

After Whymper’s memorable journey no other important expeditions occurred until the 20th century, when there was an awakening of interest in mountaineering by national climbers. The pioneer of Ecuadorian mountaineering was Nicolas Martinez, who made the first Ecuadorian ascents of many major peaks like Antisana in 1904, a failed attempt on Cayambe in 1905, and successful climbs of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in 1906. A particular noteworthy ascent was that of North Iliniza in 1912, that became the only one of our 5.000 m peaks to be first climbed by Ecuadorians.