Ecuador Experience
15 days / 14 nights

Our two-week program offers a unique combination of cultural encounters, acclimatization and three coveted mountaineering ambitions: Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. We'll have a chance to visit Quito's colonial old town and South America's most famous indigenous market, Otavalo. Before each climb our accommodation will be in the mountain huts, and afterwards we'll stay in country estates which have been converted into hotels, haciendas which are wallowing in history.

Our week-long acclimatization period begins with ascents of Pasochoa and Guagua Pichincha, after which we will head on to Cayambe. There we'll have time to revise our snow and ice climbing techniques, glacier travel and crevasse rescue before attempting to summit Cayambe, 's third highest mountain.

The itinerary includes ample rest and recuperation days after the Cayambe and Cotopaxi summits, which improve our chances of success on the big climbs, especially at the end of our expedition, our main objective – Chimborazo. Careful scheduling and pain-staking planning right down to the last detail have earned this tour high regard as the Best Expedition in Ecuador.

ITINERARY:

DAY 1: Arrive to Quito.

Transfer to our hotel to rest after the flight whilst our bodies start to get used to the altitude of the Ecuadorian capital (2.800 m / 9.000 ft).

DAY 2: City tour.

You will visit the beautiful colonial churches and explore the interesting sites of Old Quito. Equipment checks and relaxes in the afternoon.

DAY 3: Pasochoa

You will continue the acclimatization process with an ascent of Pasochoa (4.200 / 13.776 ft), this old volcano provides a great opportunity to see condors flying, observe the native polilepis forest and admire the impressive north face of Cotopaxi. Return to your hotel in Quito.

DAY 4: Guagua Pichincha

You acclimatize further by ascending Guagua Pichincha (4.794 m / 15.728 ft). Great views down into the active crater await us while following the summit ridge. Return to spend the night in Quito.

DAY 5: Otavalo Market

Travel to Otavalo town to visit its colorful and famous Indian market where you will have lots of opportunities to get souvenirs to take home. Overnight at Otavalo.

DAY 6: Cayambe

Today you travel to the climber's hut on Cayambe (4.650m / 15.250 ft). Hike up to the beginning of the glacier (4.900 m / 16.075 ft) in the afternoon after which we return and spend the night in the hut.

DAY 7: Cayambe

Skill development on the glaciers of Cayambe volcano. You will spend the day practicing snow and ice climbing techniques, roped glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Return to the hut in the afternoon to prepare the climb.

DAY 8: Cayambe

Staring before midnight, you will climb the crevassed glacier and after 8-10 hours we will arrive to the summit of Cayambe (5.789 m / 18.993 ft). From the summit of the third highest Ecuadorian mountain we will be rewarded with incredible views of Antisana and Cotopaxi. You will descend to Quito.

DAY 9: Rest day

Drive to south of Quito to the area El Chaupi. This day is oriented to sightseeing, rest and recovery. You will spend one night at a very pleasant lodge located at foothills of Ilinizas volcanoes with spectacular scenery.

DAY 10: Cotopaxi

After breakfast, you drive up to the parking land (4.600 m / 15.100 ft) and then walk to the Cotopaxi hut (4.800 m / 15.750 ft) where we rest and prepare our midnight departure for the summit of one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.

DAY 11: Cotopaxi

You start the climb at around one a.m. from the refuge and hike to the top of the triangular red scree slope to reach the glacier. From here we ascend moderate snow slopes, zigzagging between obvious crevasses to reach the steep final section below the crater rim. After surmounting this section, we arrive to the top from where we can enjoy magnificent views of the active crater, its steam vents and the surrounding mountains. After descending to the hut, you will pack and travel to Machachi.

DAY 12: Riobamba

The private transport will take us to Riobamba to spend the day in the nearest traditional market. Overnight Riobamba

DAY 13: Chimborazo

Today you will move to the Chimborazo refuge where you will prepare for the climb of the highest mountain in Ecuador.

DAY 14: Chimborazo

You leave the hut at midnight and climb up the scree slope to get to the glacier. You have to overcome a few steep sections along the icy ridge to arrive to the Veintimilla summit and then traversing across a snow basin get to the farthest point from the center of earth. The ascent to the Whymper summit takes 8 to 10 hours and 4 hours on average time to descend back to the refuge. Drive back to our hotel in Quito.

DAY 15: Quito

Depart Quito for home or extension to the Galapagos Islands or the Amazon rainforest.

INCLUDED ON THE TOUR:

  • Double accommodations in Quito, Otavalo, Machachi and Riobamba (breakfast included)
  • All hut fees (Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo)
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • All food while climbing and into the huts
  • Professional Bilingual Guide and assistant guides
  • Park fees and permits
  • Climbing equipment (polar pants & jacket, waterproof jacket & pants, plastic climbing boots, crampons, ice axe, climbing harness, gators, outside gloves)

NOT INCLUDED ON TOUR:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tips
  • Head Lamp
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry, phone calls, room service

NECESSARY EQUIPEMENT:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Big & Small back pack
  • Inside Polar Gloves
  • Wool Hat
  • Extra Water
  • Sun Cream
  • Extra Energy Drinks & Snacks
  • Clock

TIPS FOR A SUCCESFUL TOUR:

  • Hydrate at least three day before this tour
  • Sleep well the night before
  • Do not drink alcohol at least three days before
  • Bring some snacks: energy bars, chocolate and water
  • Eat healthy food few days before

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