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Summits of Ecuador

Ecuador is a fascinating country full of surprises with the lesser known detail that is holds the highest mountain on Earth, Mt Chimborazo, when measured from the Earth's centre rather than sea level. With a diversity of vegetation zones, from the tropical equatorial jungle to the high alpine plateau, Ecuador is dotted with majestic snow-capped volcans such as the infamous Mt Cotopaxi. To appreciate these remarkable contrasts we climb a range of peaks, culminating in an attempt on a truly an out of this world experience to reach Chimborazo, the closest place to space on earth. Under the guidance of our mountain guides we undertake glacier training and practice and develop the skills needed for the bigger peaks. Providing you have an excellent level of fitness this trip is suitable for experienced trekkers that are keen to go a step further and climb their first 6000m peak. Visits to the Otavalo market, Quito, the famous Devil's Nose train and a community experience ensure this expedition is more than just mountains but a complete Ecuadorian experience.


15 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 6 dinners
Bilingual mountain guide, either UIAGM or ASEGUIM certified (ratio of 1 guide to 2 climbers on Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, and 1 guide to 3 climbers on Illiniza)
Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 16
Private internal transportation
Mountain refuge accommodation
Climbing pack including ice axe, crampons, harness, helmet and plastic mountaineering boots (up to size 45 European available locally)
Good quality accommodation
Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed
Devil's Nose Train
Group medical kit
Climb Chimborazo (6310m), Ecuador's highest volcano and the farthest point from the Earth's centre
Climb Cotopaxi (5897m), one of the highest active volcanoes in the world
Climb Illiniza Norte (5125m), the northern of the two popular Illiniza peaks, and Ecuador's 8th highest mountain
Improve your mountaineering skills with hands-on glacier training
Undertake a fully supported expedition with expert mountain guides
Ride the Devil's Nose Train
Discover the culture of Ecuador with market visits & Quito city tour
Stay overnight in the community of Pondoa for a true Ecuadorian experience
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $4,040
Start Location
Quito, Ecuador
End Location
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
4 to 12
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Moderate to Challenging
Tour departure dates
05 Nov 201820 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,040
28 Jan 201912 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,040
04 Nov 201919 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $4,040
Day 1
You will be transferred from Quito Airport to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. A group briefing with our senior leader will be held from 7pm; please ensure you are at the hotel at this time. A welcome dinner will be held afterwards. *Important: Please be aware that this itinerary is subject may be subject to change due to summit conditions and other variables. Your guide will update you on the confirmed itinerary at your first meeting.
Day 2
Today we will explore Quito, taking in the colonial architecture of the Old City - a UNESCO World Heritage Site; plus other fascinating sights, such as the Equatorial Monument.
Day 3
Today we will leave Quito, and drive north through beautiful Andean countryside to the famous market town of Otavalo. The markets here date from pre-Incan times, when people came from jungle areas to trade their produce with those of the highlands. This is still the case today, as well as being many crafts and wares for tourists. It is considered by many to be one of the best markets for textiles and crafts in South America. In the afternoon we will undertake a 3-hour acclimatisation hike to Laguna Cuicocha - a crater lake at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano. Overnight: Hotel in Otavalo. 1.5 hours easy walking. Altitude 3200 - 3500m
Day 4
Today we will hike up Mt Fuya Fuya (4197m), with spectacular views of the Lagunas de Mojanda consisting of three pristine crater lakes, wide expanses of p ramo grasslands, and achupallas (andean tall pineapples). At the summit on a clear day, it may even be possible to see the surrounding volcans of Imbabura and Cayambe. Overnight Otavalo. 5 hours walking. Altitude 3700 - 4197m
Day 5
Climb up Volcan Imbabura (4580m). The land around Imbabura is extensively farmed with maize, sugarcane, and beans being the staple crops of the region. Cattle also graze on the high-altitude meadows above the tree line. In the afternoon, we will return to Quito. 8 hours walking. Altitude 3900 - 4580m
Day 6
A free day set aside to rest after the climb and explore the delightful capital of Ecuador. Depending on group interest, a trip can be made to the local hot springs, the cost of which will depend on the number of those interested.
Day 7
This morning we will depart Quito, travelling south on the Avenue of Volcans towards Mt Illinizas. This route offers great views of some of the highest volcano peaks in the world including Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Sangay and Altar. From the Illinizas parking area, we will commence a 3-hour hike up to the refuge (4600m) of Illinizas. where we overnight. 3 hours walking with pack. Altitude 3900 to 4700.
Day 8
After an early wake-up call and breakfast, we will depart for our summit attempt of Illiniza North (5125m). After our descent, we will go to a Hacienda near the Cotopaxi National Park. 5-6 hours walking with pack. Altitude 4700 to 5125
Day 9
This morning we will be transferred to the Cotopaxi National Park. From the Cotopaxi parking area, it will be a 45 minute hike up to the Jose Rivas refuge. After a short rest, a technical training session is scheduled for the remainder of the day. *In the case that Cotopaxi is closed by the Ecuadorian Government due to volcanic activity we will climb Cayambe mountain (5,790m) instead.
Day 10
From midnight, climb Mt Cotopaxi. After our descent, we will be transferred to our hotel in Riobamba. Total ascent/descent - approximately 8 to 10 hours. *In the case that Cotopaxi is closed by the Ecuadorian Government due to volcanic activity we will climb Cayambe mountain (5,790m) instead.
Day 11
Today is a well-earned rest day, with a ride on the historic Devil's Nose Train. After an early breakfast we will be transferred to Alausi, where we will take the best portion of the infamous Devils Nose Train journey to Sibambe. This short section gives the railway its name with a series of 'hair raising' switchbacks that negotiate the descent down to the lowlands. This was one of the great train journeys of the world and a fantastic piece of engineering with a maximum gradient of 5.5%. The track originally climbed from Duran on the coast to its highest point at 3700m. It has recently been re-constructed to once again be Ecuador's pride and joy. Return transfer to our hotel in Riobamba. Please note that the Devil's Nose Train ds not operate on Monday's or due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.
Day 12
After breakfast, transfer to Mt Chimborazo. After a short rest, a technical training session is scheduled for the remainder of the day. Overnight refuge. 1 hour walk with pack. Altitude 5000
Day 13
Early morning departure for our summit attempt of Mt Chimborazo (6310m) - Ecuador's highest mountain. In the afternoon, we will be transferred to our hotel in Ba os. 11-13 hours walking. Altitude 5000 to 6310. With crampons and ice axe
Day 14
Extra summit day, or free time in Ba os with the opportunity to learn about Ecuador's culture as we visit the community of Pondoa. Overnight homestay in the community of Pondoa
Day 15
Free morning in Ba os. In the afternoon, we will be transferred to Quito. Overnight hotel.
Day 16
Transfer to Quito Airport, where trip concludes.