Cotopaxi - Chimborazo

Climb both mountains in one tour

Combine a trip to Ecuador with climbing on to the country's two highest mountains, the Cotopaxi (19,347 ft / 5,897 m), and the Chimborazo (20,702 ft / 6,310 m).


(subject to change without prior notice)



Day 1: Quito

If you land here in the morning, visit the colonial downtown of Quito, the first place to become Cultural Heritage of Mankind, and the Equator Line.

Day 2: Acclimatization hike to Pasochoa volcano

Leave Quito (9,186 ft / 2,800 m) early in the morning (7:00), and drive southeast for about 1 hour through the Andean highlands until getting to the trail head (10,827 ft / 3,300 m). The hike goes through an amazing primary Andean forest, great for bird watching. Look out for the exotic hummingbirds which can be seen at all times during the hike. As you gain elevation, you will be able to see the surrounding snow-capped mountains, such as Antisana, Cayambe, Illiniza, Cotopaxi and even Chimborazo far away to the south in clear days. Hike along the ridge of the forest-covered caldera to reach the true summit (13,878 ft / 4,230 m) soon after. The whole round trip will take approximately 6 hours. Return to Quito in the late afternoon.

Day 3: Acclimatization hike to Rucu Pichincha volcano

Rucu Pichincha is one of the favourite peaks for acclimatization purposes. It towers up just above Quito, so it will take only 10-20 minutes to get to the parking lot (10,827 ft / 3,300 m) by car. Get on board the cable car "Teleférico" (one of the  highest in the world). The ride takes about 15 minutes up to the trail head (13,451 ft / 4,100 m). From this point, follow a long ridge which will takes you to the base of the summit. After traversing north, continue gaining altitude by hiking on sandy terrain until you reach the summit (15,413 ft / 4,698 m). Total hiking time: 4 hours. Return to Quito by late afternoon.

Day 4: Ilinizas Camp

Leave Quito in the morning (7:00), and drive on the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to the village of El Chaupi. Resume walking for about 2 hours until you get to "La Virgen" parking lot of Ilinizas Camp (12,795 ft / 3,900 m). Once there, get your lunch at the camp site. You can use the rest of the afternoon for some more hiking or just relaxing.  In the evening, have dinner and go to bed early until 3:00 of the next morning.

On the descent

On the descent

Day 5: Climb Iliniza Norte

The climb starts at 3:00. Have a light breakfast, pack your climbing equipment, and leave the camp an hour later. From here, a 3-hour hike will take you up to the "Nuevos Horizontes Refuge" (15,583 ft / 4,150 m). Continue hiking up towards the saddle between both peaks and then to Illiniza Norte summit (16,818 ft / 5,126 m). The remaining way to the top involves an easy 3-hour scrambling. At the summit, enjoy a box lunch, take some pictures and admire the beautiful views.  The return trek back to the camp will take 4 to 5 hours. There, have lunch and pack your stuff in order to drive down to Machachi town for overnight.

Day  6:  Rest day, optional visit to a local indigenous market

You may use this day to recover and enjoy the atmosphere of the Ecuadorian countryside. Depending on the day of the week, you may be able to visit one of the local markets. Overnight in Machachi.

Day 7: Cotopaxi NP - "Jose Ribas Refuge"

Early in the morning (8:00), leave the hotel, and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance, and then on to the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764 ft /4,500 m). Hike uphill for another hour to the "Jose Ribas Refuge" (15,748 ft / 4,800 m). Once at the refuge, store your belongings in safe lockers. Lunch will be served soon after. In the afternoon, your goal will be the glacier, for ice practices and training (approximately 3 hours). Learn some basic techniques which will include how to handle climbing equipment (crampons, ice axe, rope, etc). Return to the refuge for dinner and rest.

One of the mountain huts

One of the mountain huts

Day 8: Climb Cotopaxi - Riobamba

Midnight will be our wake-up time. After having a light breakfast and getting your stuff ready for the ascent, departure to the summit (19,347 ft / 5,897 m) will be around 01:00. It will take about 6 to 8 hours. Each climber will get a lunch box for the climb. Take your time to take pictures of the crater and surroundings, before you return to the refuge (3 to 4 hours). Once there, pack your belongings, have lunch and go back to the parking lot where the vehicle will be ready to take you to the south again, into Riobamba town.

Day 9: Free day, optional train ride over the "Devil's Nose"

Free day to rest and visit the town of Riobamba and its market. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays it is possible to take the train ride through the famous hundred-year-old "Ferrocarril" and the "Devil's Nose". Overnight in Riobamba.

Day 10: Chimborazo Reserve, hike to the "Whymper Hut"

The trip starts at 09:00. You will  drive southwest to the Chimborazo's Reserve entrance (2 hours), and another 20 minutes to "Hermanos Carrel Refuge" at 15,744 ft / 4,800 m of altitude. Lunch will be served there. In the afternoon,  walk uphill for 1 more hour to  the "Whymper Hut" at 16,400 ft / 5,000 m, where you will have dinner and get some rest until 23:00 - your wake up time. There will be an early light breakfast served just before getting your gear ready, and start heading up.

Chimborazo in the sun

Chimborazo in the sun

Day 11: Attempt to climb Chimborazo, descend to the Carrel hut

At midnight, we'll start our climb to the top of Ecuador's highest mountain, Chimborazo, which will take us about 8 to 10 hours. Each climber will get a box lunch for the ascending. In the early hours we'll get to the summit
(20,702 ft / 6,310 m), the perfect spot for resting and picture taking of the beautiful Andean surroundings. Then, we'll start our descending to the Refuge; it will take us from 3 to 5 hours. Once in "Whymper Refuge" we'll pack our things and go down to "Hermanos Carrel Refuge" (15,744 ft / 4,800 m), where you will get your lunch, and drive to the subtropical town of Banios (1,900 m).

Day  12: Reserve day for Chimborazo

The reserve day gives us the possibility to reach the summit in those cases when the weather or snow conditions are not suitable for climbing on the first day. Afterwards, you are transferred back to Banios. In the afternoon, you can celebrate the success of your climbs.

Day 13: Free day in Banios

Enjoy "Banios de Agua Santa" and its charming atmosphere. Either make an optional excursion to the waterfalls, visit the zoo, rent a bike or explore the surroundings by foot. There are many options, activities and much fun!

Day 14: Banios - Quito

Free morning in Banios; after lunch, transfer to Quito.

Day 15: Excursion to Otavalo Indian market and Cuicocha lake

In the morning, visit the world famous Indian market of Otavalo, where the local inhabitants produce and sell all kinds of traditional handicrafts. After lunch, visit the Cuicocha volcanic crater lake, and head back to Quito.

Day 16: Transfer to the airport and flight home

Services included

  • Accommodations in 3* hotels (twin rooms), refuges
  • Private transport
  • English-speaking guides (1 guide per group during excursions, hikes and treks; 1 guide per every 2 clients during climbs to snow-capped mountains)
  • Group climbing equipment (ropes, ice screws, snow pickets)
  • Breakfasts in the hotels, full board in camps and refuges
  • Camping equipment, cooks and helpers
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Train ticket for the "Ferrocarril"
  • 1 mobile telephone for the use of the group

Services not included

  • Lunch and dinner in hotels
  • Personal climbing equipment and clothing
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Airport taxes
  • International and domestic airfares
  • Insurance of any kind


  • Prices for 2009 are not yet final.
  • Payments are accepted via wire transfer to the tour operator's account.
  • Requested individual tour dates will also be offered to other clients in order to gather the required minimum group size. That can be unnecessary if your individual group has at least 4 people.
  • One month prior to departure, all interested participants will be advised if there are 4 people booked on the tour.
  • With your declared consent, the tour prize can be re-calculated should the minimum number of participants (4) should not be matched.
  • A prepayment of 50 % (10 days after booking) has to be paid directly after reconfirmation. Final payment becomes due 21 days before starting date of the tour.


Intakt-Reisen GmbH & Co. KG







minimum: 4

maximum: 14


Duration: 16 Days

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