This trip takes climbers to three of Ecuador’s mountains ranging from 15,000 ft to over 19,000 ft. Designed for experienced climbers only, this tour offers the challenge of hiking, climbing and rock scrambling; while also offering opportunity to tour the city, shop and experience the culture. All climbing is inherently risky and most of our climbs will involve the use of ropes and other technical equipment. There is also rock scrambling near the top of the peaks that is class 5 in places but normally class 4. Please let us know what difficulty you are looking for when inquiring about this trip. There are also other mountain climbing options listed toward the bottom of the itinerary.
Arrival in Quito Arrive in Quito and travel to your hotel.
Pululahua and Equator
Explore a small ancient ruins site and hike into the Pululahua crater, now covered in farms. Visit the ‘Middle of the World’ monument and see exhibitions of Ecuadorian culture. Shop local artisans and take home a souvenir.
Take a gondola ride from Quito up to where we will begin our climb. Rucu is a mostly trail hike with some scree and rock scrambling near the top. We should be able to see Guagua Pichincha, the volcano that blew ash over the city in 1999. This climb will take most of the day.
Travel out toward Illiniza Norte and visit the Saquisili market on the way (Thursdays only). We will camp up toward the mountain in preparation for the climb.
Illiniza Norte is 16,818 ft and a significantly harder and longer climb than Rucu. We will spend the day hiking and climbing and return to Quito for the night.
Today we will take a break from climbing and tour the city. We will stop at the Basilica church and the Panacillo. There are many churches and markets to explore in downtown Quito. Take the day to relax and explore the beauty and culture of Ecuador.
Traveling 2 hours via the Panamerican highway to Cotopaxi Park you will get to observe and truly appreciate many volcanic and Andean landscapes along the way. We will do a little hiking around the plain beneath Cotopaxi and visit the springs of a stream that run through it before we head up to the refuge for the night.
Ecuador’s second highest peak at 19,348 is covered in glacier. We will be leaving in the middle of the night to start our ascent. If the morning is clear we will be able to see the crater of the mountain from the summit. Return to Quito for the night.
Depart Transportation will be provided to take you to the airport. For those with an evening flight, additional sightseeing of Quito can be arranged upon request.
Other Options For climbers wishing for less technical climbs, or those with less athletic ability, we can climb Ruminahui on Day 5 and Illiniza Norte on Day 8. Ruminahui is a good hike through Ecuador’s highlands, with some rock scrambling at the top. It is also located in Cotopaxi park where we can visit the spring.