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 line directly passes. Cayambe is the third highest mountain in Ecuador. With easy access from a comfortable hut, the glaciers of Cayambe offer an outstanding venue for our Mountaineering School. Huge crevasses, complex ice falls and seracs provide the ideal setting for learning ice climbing, crevasse rescue, and a variety of other basic skills.


Cayambe at 4.900mCayambe is characterised by good climbing opportunities and interesting glaciers.
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.




 Day 1On the Way to the Summit

  • Pick up at Quito at around 8:30
  • Travel for 2 hours to the Cayambe Ecological Reserve
  • Skills review and safety talk during the afternoon
  • Early dinner at 18:00

Day 2

  • Climb Cayambe leaving at around 01:00
  • Descend from mountain
  • Rest, lunch and packing
  • Return to Quito

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


Also see our Interactive Map.






Cayambe - Highlights

The Cayambe Climbing Excursion offers you the following highlights:

      • Ecuador's third highest mountain.
      • Highest point on the Earth crossed by the Equator line.
      • Just 2 1/2 hours away from Quito.
      • Excellent site to develop the Mountaineering School Courses.
      • Overwhelming views of the Inter-Andean Valley.

Cayambe - Logistics

Duration: 2 days

Access: Drive in and drive out

Seasons: All year round

Guide-Client Ratio: 1:2

Pre-requisites: Hiking experience

Equipment: Climbing Excursions Gear List
Please download the Pdf

Accommodation: Ruales, Berge, Orleas Hut (4.600 m)

Extension: Optional 1 day weather contingency

     Difficulty Level: Intermediate



Cayambe - Suggested Combinations

Even though Cayambe is only 107 m / 351 ft smaller than Cotopaxi, it presents a more challenging climbing scenario.
The distance covered to reach the summit is longer and more technical. And the weather conditions are quite more unstable due to its proximity to the humid jungle plains. A good acclimatisation process and knowledge of climbing techniques will provide better opportunities to face this beautiful volcano.
Following is a suggested list of mountains in order of ascent to gain a good acclimatisation.
1. Pasochoa
4.200 m / 13,776 ft
2. Guagua Pichincha
4.797 m / 15,700 ft
North Iliniza
5.125 m / 16,810 ft
4. Cayambe
5.790 m / 18,886 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