Ecuador Volcanoes

Rated 4.43 out of 5 based on 7 customer ratings
(7 customer reviews)

Altitude 5897 / 6268m, Grade 2B

This is an ideal first expedition that combines the opportunity to develop winter and alpine skills with climbing some wonderful snowcapped peaks that reach over 6000m!


Ecuador is an astonishingly beautiful country that has some of the highest volcanoes in the world. Our Ecuador Volcanoes expedition tackles four of the best volcanic peaks, with a careful programme of acclimatisation and skills development to ensure you have the best chance of success, comfort and enjoyment combined with sufficient rest days to absorb the culture and visit the colorful Indian market of Otavalo. You will be astounded at the unusual volcanic rock landscapes and luxuriant vegetation that gives Ecuador its unique environment.

We initially climb on the volcanic peaks of Pasochoa (4200m) and Illinizas Norte (5116m) before taking time out to visit the vibrant Otavalo market. One day of skills training is given before we attempt our next Ecuador volcanoes, Cayambe (5790m) a beautiful glaciated peak and ideal preparation for the classic summit, Cotopaxi (5897m) and for those doing the extension our final peak Chimborazo (6268m), the highest peak in Ecuador and the furthest point from the centre of the earth. The views of the surrounding natural wonders and volcanic peaks are a spectacle to behold.  Through the clouds you will be able to gaze upon your previous endeavors and savour the clear air and views of the distant Andes.

Trip dossier

Trip dossier

  • International flights from London (Flight inclusive package)
  • A British expedition team leader. (Small groups may use a local leader.)
  • Permits, charges, importation taxes and levies payable to the Local Authorities in connection with the expedition.
  • Transfers to and from the in-country airport if flights booked with Adventure Peaks
  • Food, fuel and cooking equipment whilst on the mountain.
  • Hotel and other accommodation on as detailed on the trip dossier .)
  • All tents and other communal equipment necessary for the climb.
  • Medical safety equipment and supplies.
  • 90 – 120 litre kit bag for expedition members for UK based clients. A logoed top will be substituted for all clients residing outside of the UK and for returning clients
  • 24 hour back up and support from UK staff
  • 15% discount off the RRP on equipment and clothing purchased from Adventure Peaks shop
  • Travel to and from UK airport
  • Personal climbing clothes and equipment.
  • Personal insurance, visas if applicable, departure tax and inoculations.
  • Transfers to and from the in-country airport if flights NOT booked with Adventure Peaks
  • Drinks and hotel or guest house meals, unless specified.
  • Personal medical supplies and personal use of communication equipment if supplied.
  • Excess baggage.
  • Tips for porters and local guides.
  • Costs associated with an expedition finishing early.
  • Costs associated with you leaving an expedition early.
  • Costs associated with extending a trip due to bad weather or other circumstances.

Day 1: International flight to Quito

Day 2: Quito Arrive in Quito and settle into your hotel. Meet with the rest of the team and start to acclimatize to the thin air. Quito is 2850m so you may already feel slight effects of the altitude. (H)

Day 3: Acclimatisation Quito Visit the old city of Quito, the best conserved colonial town in South America. The fabulously rich decorated churches, museums, squares and the numerous colonial buildings come under the banner of “Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. Lunch in town (not included), and. then an optional ascent of Cruz Loma (4050m) by cable railway for an unforgettable view of the capital and the highest Ecuadorian summits. (H, B, D)

Day 4: Ascent of Pasochoa (4200m) A short journey out of Quito allows to take a lovely acclimitisastion walk and up Pasochoa where there is a very good chance to see the magnificent Condor soaring above us. (H, B)

Day 5: Ascent of Pichincha (4,698m) Again a short distance out of Quito we can make use of the gondola that takes us quickly upto 4000m and access to another wonderful walk and ascent of Pichincha from where we can see the snow-capped peaks Cotopaxi, Antisana and Cayambe. (H, B)

Day 6: Quito- El Chaupi. After breakfast we head south following the famous “Volcanoes Valley”, to reach the small village of El Chaupi located at the foot of the twin summits of Illinizas Norte and Sur. We transfer to the place known as “La Virgen” (3900m) to aid acclimitisation as our bags are driven up to the Illiniza’s Refuge (R, B, L, D).

Day7: Illinizas Norte summit (5116m) – El Chasqui. Early in the morning we leave the camp, the next 2 or 3 hours walking is fantastic brings us to the pass between the two summits. A further 2 hours are needed to climb the north peak of Illinizas (5116m). This route does not present any major difficulties although you may need to use your hands at a few points. We descend the same way and drive back past El Chaupi along the Pan-American highway till El Chasqui where we base ourselves at a charming hacienda. (R, B, L, D).

Day 7: Otavalo market – Cayambe Refuge (4600m). Today we head towards Cayambe via the Otavalo Indian market, the most famous and colourful Indian market in Ecuador. After lunch we transfer to the Cayambe refuge (4600m). The vehicle will drive as far up the rough trail as possible, followed by a walk of 1 to 1.5hrs to the Refuge with a small backpack. (Your mountain backpack and food will be transferred by vehicle). (R, B, L, D).

Day 8: Skills workshop on the Cayambe glacier. We meet with our mountain guides and walk up to the glacier at about 4800m to start a practical snow and ice technique course – ice axe and crampon work, progression in snowfields, rope handling, belays in snow, self-arrest, study of the different snow types, different progression techniques on 40 to 80 º slopes, natural and artificial ice anchors, knots. Back to the refuge at the end of the afternoon. (R, B, L, D).

Day 9: Cayambe summit (5790m) – Quito. We leave the refuge at around 1:00am to attempt Cayambe (5790m). This is a reasonably technical summit but we should be topping out for sunrise and back to the refuge by mid morning. After a light brunch we will continue down to Lasso for a well deserved celebration at our hotel. (H, B).

Day 10:: Today we head towards the Cotopaxi National Park. Our Vehicle will drop us at an altitude of 4600m, just 200m below the Cotopaxi refuge. With food and equipment this will take about 45 minutes up a sandy path to the Refuge.

Day 11:: After a midnight alarm call we aim to leave the refuge at 1am to climb the worlds highest active volcanoe Cotopaxi at 5897m. This ascent is almost totally on glacial terrain but without any major difficulties.It will take around 6-7hrs to summit.

Day 12: Return to Quito or Chimborazo Summit Extension group to the town of Riobamba.

Day 13: Drive to Carrel Hut ascend to Stubel Camp. Today we head up to carrel hut in preparation for our attempt on Chimborazo the highest mountain in Equador and in its own way the tallest in the world, its summit being the furthest from the centre of the earth due to equatorial buldge! From the Carrell Hut we walk about two hours up to Stubel camp, porters carry group gear. (C, B, L, D).

Day 14: Chimborazo summit (6268m) Another midnight wake up call, as 8 to 9 hours are needed to reach Ecuador’s highest summit. This new route that follows the Stubel glacier is free from the danger of rock fall that had previously plagued the original route. The ascent is quite long with a height gain of 1260m (approx. 8hrs up and 3hrs down) but with good weather the views are stunning and ‘Chimbo’ provides a fitting conclusion to the expedition. (H, B, L).

Day 15: Spare Summit day/return to Quito To increase the chances of success, two days are dedicated to the ascent of Chimborazo (H, B).

Day 16: Return international flight Breakfast and transfer to the airport to take your flight home. (B).

Day 17: Arrive back in the UK

It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.

Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.

It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Suggested insurance companies include:

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7 reviews for Ecuador Volcanoes

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Andrew Forsyth

    An excellent trip. My first foray to altitude > 5000m since doing Kili 15 years before and while my initial aims for the trip were to surpass Kili’s height (because everyone and their dog seems to have done Kili now) and to stand on the point furthest from the centre of the earth, the main result of the trip has been a strongly renewed interest in high-altitude mountaineering, which is to the trip’s credit. All 3 of us summited Chimborazo and Cayambe – even though only Grade 2B do make sure you get your fitness levels up for those summit nights, though the ‘training peaks’ in the 1st week certainly help top it up. All 2 weeks were under the excellent guidance of Rodrigo, particularly during the descent of Cayambe in a ‘once in 6 month’ level white-out. He made some minor changes to the itinerary listed here but all seemingly to the benefit of acclimatizing (none of us suffered more than a v slight headache) and more interesting lodgings/camps. Couldn’t fault him or his decisions. That all 3 of us are now exploring more technical and higher summit trips bares out the description that this is an ideal introductory trip to higher altitudes in a welcoming, off-the-beaten-track country. Shame we didn’t get to try the guinea pig, but always leave something for next time. Now which AP expedition to do next….? p.s. do pick up a few alpaca throws at the Otovalo market – Xmas presents sorted! thanks AP / thanks Rodrigo

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great guide, great country, great hiking. Rodrigo was the best guide you could ask for, very friendly, organised, helpful and informative. Was a pleasure to spend two weeks with him…travelling around beautiful Ecuador.

  3. Rated 4 out of 5


    The local guide Rodrigo was extremely friendly, knowledgeable, flexible and at all times was looking to make our trip as enjoyable as possible – we had a night in Banos organised by Rodrigo which was an added bonus (waterfalls and zip wires). We could not have asked for better, an excellent guide. The highlight was reaching the summit of Cotopaxi and spending a clear night at the campsite on Chimborazo.

  4. Rated 4 out of 5


    I like the Company and have a good experience on trips, guides are top notch. Rodrigo made this trip, he went out of his way to make the trip as special as he could, this personal service requires acknowledgement.

  5. Rated 4 out of 5


    Liked the Ecuador guides and culture. Thought the mountains were great and a good challenge.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5


    Well organised trip with good accommodation between mountains. Information was good and timely. Rodrigo (Ecuadorean guide) met all our expectations and was flexible in his approach. Jason, the trip leader, was very friendly and approachable. The views from the high points were great.

  7. Rated 4 out of 5


    Ecuador was a stunning and fascinating country with friendly and very helpful people including the local guides. The highlight was topping Illiniza in brilliant sunshine, the high level camp on Chimborazo, summiting Cotopaxi in the clag, the final supper at Rodrigo’s (great steak). Good company – excellent hospitality, really great food and great fun sight seeing locally. Rodrigo was a hard act to follow.

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Galapagos Islands from £1,895 (4 days) to £2,600 (5 days) Totally isolated in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are the home to some of the most remarkable and unique birds and reptiles in the world. This excursion will be aboard a comfortable cruise boat that will enable you to visit a number of islands and see as much of the famous wildlife as possible. There will also be time for relaxation, swimming or snorkelling from the boat. To reward yourself for your trekking and to make the most of visiting this stunning part of the world, the Galapagos are essential. Please note: prices for the Galapagos vary considerably and it is a very expensive place to visit, the cheaper cabins are sold out very quickly.
Chimborazo £595 (+3 days)


The Initial Deposits for this booking will be :£400 per Person

Land Only Availability Days Price Book
12th Jun 2022 - 23rd Jun 2022
3rd Jul 2022 - 14th Jul 2022
24th Jul 2022 - 4th Aug 2022
11th Sep 2022 - 22nd Sep 2022
20th Dec 2022 - 31st Dec 2022
8th Jan 2023 - 19th Jan 2023
11th Jun 2023 - 22nd Jun 2023
2nd Jul 2023 - 13th Jul 2023
23rd Jul 2023 - 3rd Aug 2023
10th Sep 2023 - 21st Sep 2023
19th Dec 2023 - 30th Dec 2023
With UK Flight dates Availability Days Price Book
11th Jun 2022 - 24th Jun 2022
2nd Jul 2022 - 15th Jul 2022
23rd Jul 2022 - 5th Aug 2022
10th Sep 2022 - 23rd Sep 2022
19th Dec 2022 - 1st Jan 2023
7th Jan 2023 - 20th Jan 2023
10th Jun 2023 - 23rd Jun 2023
1st Jul 2023 - 14th Jul 2023
22nd Jul 2023 - 4th Aug 2023
9th Sep 2023 - 22nd Sep 2023
18th Dec 2023 - 31st Dec 2023