Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Summits of Ecuador tour
Cotopaxi Otavalo Summits of Ecuador Trip
Adventure Rock Climbing Summits of Ecuador package

Summits of Ecuador

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Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
16 days
From: $ 3,399 $ 212 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • 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

Short Description

Climb Illiniza Norte (5125m/16,818ft), Cayambe (5790m/18,996ft) and Chimborazo (6310m/20,703ft) in an incredible 16-day adventure in Ecuador. With ample acclimatisation, time exploring Quito and the famous Otavalo markets this itinerary is a classic!

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City N/A

Destinations

Ecuador

Cities & Attractions

Cotopaxi Otavalo Quito

Activities

Rock Climbing

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • 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 in Quito (up to 3 days before the start and after the end of the trip)
  • Private internal transportation
  • Mountain refuge accommodation
  • Climbing pack including ice axe, crampons, harness, helmet and plastic mountaineering boots (up to size 44 European available locally)
  • Good quality accommodation
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed
  • Devil's Nose Train
  • Group medical kit

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Itinerary

Day 1 Join Quito (2850m)

You will be transferred from Quito Airport to your hotel. The afternoon is at your own 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. Overnight Fuente de Piedra II or similar. PLEASE NOTE: Please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change due to summit conditions and other variables. Your guide will update you on the confirmed itinerary at your first meeting.

meals : D

Day 2 Quito city tour and Equatorial Monument

Today we will explore Quito, taking in the colonial architecture of the Old City - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our city tour starts around 9am and we will visit the Panecillo, a small hill crowned with the statue of the Virgin of Quito or Virgin of Legarda, overlooking the colonial village of San Francisco de Quito, the Plaza de la Independencia, we will see the typical architecture of the colonial houses and the interesting names of the streets. We will go on to the Plaza Grande with the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace. We stop at the Church of the Society of Jesus on the way to the Plaza de San Francisco and we will also see the monastery and the museum of religious art Fray Pedro Gocial located next to the church of San Francisco. After lunch we will find ourselves in the 'Middle of the World' and we have a chance to visit the Equator. There are two equator lines in Ecuador, the official line and the original line, which was pinpointed by Charles-Marie de La Condamie on an expedition in 1736 (before the invention of GPS). Both lines are only 200m apart. We can also visit the Ethnographic Museum or for those who are interested, there is the option of the Inti-Nan Museum, showing some physical laws related to gravity and its influence and the astronomical knowledge of the Aboriginal Pre-Inca and Inca groups. Overnight Fuente de Piedra II or similar.

meals : B,L

Day 3 Drive to the Northern Province of Imbabura, visit Otavalo market, and afternoon acclimatisation walk to Laguna Cuicocha

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. 3 hours easy walking. Altitude 3200m - 3500m.

meals : B,L

Day 4 Ascend Fuya Fuya (4197m)

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 páramo grasslands, and achupallas (andean tall pineapples). At the summit on a clear day, it may even be possible to see the surrounding volcanoes of Imbabura and Cayambe. Overnight Hotel in Otavalo. 5 hours walking. Altitude 3700m - 4197m.

meals : B,L

Day 5 Climb Imbabura (4580m), and return to Quito

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. Overnight Fuente de Piedra II or similar. 8 hours walking. Altitude 3900m - 4580m.

meals : B,L

Day 6 Day at leisure in Quito

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. Overnight Fuente de Piedra II or similar.

meals : B

Day 7 To Mt Illinizas, via Avenue of Volcanoes

This morning we will depart Quito, travelling south on the Avenue of Volcanoes 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 a full pack. Altitude 3900m to 4700m.

meals : B,L,D

Day 8 Climb Illinizia Norte (5125m)

After an early wake-up call and breakfast, we will depart for our summit attempt of Illiniza North (5125m). You will only need to carry a small backpack with the gear required for the ascent. After returning to the refuge and a well earned rest, we will walk back to the car park with a full pack. From there, we will be transferred to a Hacienda near the Cotopaxi National Park. 5-6 hours walking in total, 2-3 hour walking with a full pack. Altitude 4700m to 5125m.

meals : B,L

Day 9 To Cotopaxi National Park and technical training

This morning we will be transferred to the Cotopaxi National Park. From the Cotopaxi parking area, it will be an hour hike up to the Jose Rivas refuge. After a short rest, a technical training session is scheduled for the remainder of the day. 1 hour walking with a full pack. Altitude 4500m to 4800m. Please note: In case that Cotopaxi is closed by the Ecuadorian Government due to volcanic activity, we will climb Cayambe mountain (5790m).

meals : B,L,D

Day 10 Climb Mt Cotopaxi (5897m)

We will start our summit ascent of Mt Cotopaxi around midnight. You will only need to carry the gear and food you require for the climb and the rest of your luggage can be left at the refuge. It will take us approximately 5-7 hours to the summit, dependent on weather conditions. At the beginning the path is rocky until we reach the edge of the glacier. From this point on we will use our crampons and continue on the snow and part of the glacier until we reach the summit. The descent from the summit to the refuge takes around 3 to 4 hours. After our descent, we will be transferred to our hotel in Riobamba. 8-12 hours walking in total, 1 hour walking with a full pack. Altitude 4800m to 5897m. Please note: In case that Cotopaxi is closed by the Ecuadorian Government due to volcanic activity, we will climb Cayambe mountain (5790m).

meals : B,L

Day 11 Devil's Nose Train

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 does not operate on Monday’s or due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.

meals : B,L

Day 12 To Mt Chimborazo (4800m)

After breakfast we transfer to Mt Chimborazo. We will drive to our refuge (4800m) where we spend the night. We rest for the remainder of the day and go to bed early to be ready for our summit ascent the next morning. Overnight refuge. Altitude 4800m.

meals : B,L,D

Day 13 Climb Mt Chimborazo (6310m)

Our climb to the highest mountain in Ecuador starts before midnight (approximately 11pm). The trek is rocky for the first hour. When we reach the glacier, we will put on our crampons and continue through cracks and steep slopes with strong winds until we reach the summit. The level of ascent ranges from moderate to demanding as some of the slopes are exremely steep. The summit crater area is vast and normally covered in its entirety either in soft snow or penitentes. The climb to the summit can take 6-9 hours and the descent back to the refuge about 4 hours. This is a very long day which includes some ice ramps, snow bridges and sections of icefall and it’s essential to have a very good fitness level. In the afternoon, we will be transferred to our hotel in Baños. 11-13 hours walking. Altitude 4800m to 6310m. PLEASE NOTE: The route we take on the summit day is dependent on the weather conditions on the day of the climb.

meals : B,L,D

Day 14 Contingency day, local community experience

Extra summit day, or free time in Baños with the opportunity to learn about Ecuador's culture as we visit the community of Pondoa. Baños is a charming tourist site, famous for its hot springs, located at the entrance of the Amazon and on the edge of the Andes. The beauty of the place and the hospitality of its inhabitants make Baños a popular destination. Nestled in the middle of a green valley, the city offers lush vegetation and is surrounded by forests, waterfalls and on the slopes of the active volcano Tungurahua 5016m. We will visit the impressive waterfall Pailón del Diablo. We will cross over the Pastaza River in a Tarabita, which is the transport of the local population that lives near the river. If the weather permits, we will see the almost constant activity of the Tungurahua volcano from the viewpoint ‘The Tree House’ (La Casa del Arbol). Overnight homestay in the community of Pondoa.

meals : B,L,D

Day 15 In Baños (1820m). Return to Quito (2850m)

Free morning in Baños. You can visit the Neo-Gothic Cathedral, enjoy the thermal pool or rent a bike and explore the surrounding (activities not included in the trip). In the early afternoon we will travel back to Quito which is a 3 hour drive. Overnight Fuente de Piedra II or similar.

meals : B

Day 16 In Quito, trip concludes

After breakfast you will be transferred to Quito Airport, where the trip concludes.

meals : B

Availability

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Price Per Day: $ 212 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase Price 
Nov-04-2019Nov-19-2019$ 3,399 Reserve
Jan-27-2020Feb-11-2020$ 3,399 Reserve
Nov-02-2020Nov-17-2020$ 3,500 Reserve

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Excellent 859
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Average 3
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Summits of Ecuador

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56 volcanoes, 11 still active

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Fascinating country for trekking, with plenty of challenging summits. Also, ideal for getting acquainted with the Andine culture, tasty local food, open markets and unique craftsmanship (especially Otavalo). Quito most pleasant to walk and much to see. Enjoy!
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Company Reviews

What a fabulous trip we had, both to Lhasa and China, except for one hotel everything was perfect

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the more historical Chinese hotels vs staying in cookie cutter fancier places. The rooms were always spacious and the halls and reception had beautiful marble floors and walls. Richard, our guide was excellent and we all trotted after him as fast as we could, often walking 10km a day, no problem for us, and he selected great dishes for group meals. 1st October is the main Chinese Holiday and most Chinese have the rest of the week off as well so it was exceptional crowed in Beijing, the warriors (I was afraid I might be crushed to death) and the pandas. However the Chinese cue up in an orderly fashion to enter attractions.
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I can’t recommend this trip enough! We had the most fantastic trip leader and crew that made the whole experience exceptional, they went above and beyond to support all the members of the group

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The itinerary was a good pace and the difficulty rating was spot on. The scenery was phenomenal and I really enjoyed doing the hike with a group. Couldn’t fault the trip.
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This was a magnificent - but challenging - experience

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We were so privileged to be able to walk through the lives of the people who live in the Annapurna region, really humbling to get a glimpse of their lives.
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We had the most amazing experience on the Maldives Dhoni Cruise

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Meals5.0
We can't say enough wonderful comments on the friendly crew that took care of our every need. The boat was clean and we even had unexpected cabin service. The bathrooms were kept spotless and constantly attended. The food was AMAZING! The daily catch was prepared within hours of the catch...no less than 7 - 14 dishes of food to choose from at each meal. For a total "chill" experience we would highly recommend this cruise. Possibly the best snorkelling in the world!
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Over all it was an amazing trip we wish it could have been longer - the crew were very friendly, enthusiastic and seemed to "sense" our every need before we could ask

5.0
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Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
The food was EXCEPTIONAL! - what that cook could do in such a small place was incredible. I would highly recommend this trip.

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Accomodations

  • 11 nights hotel
  • 4 nights mountain hut (multi-share)

Additional Information:

  • 16 day trip
  • 10 day trek/mountaineering
  • 10 nights hotel
  • 4 nights mountain hut
  • 1 night homestay

Physical Requirements

Participants should be competent and self sufficient in the outdoors and have experience in multi day trekking at altitude. Prior experience on an entry level mountaineering expedition is highly recommended. The terrain will involve low to moderate angle snow slopes and traveling on crevassed glaciers and few snow/icy slopes. Experience using ice axe and crampons is preferred but not essential. Please see the 'Am I Suitable' and 'Physical Requirements' paragraphs in this document for further details.

Rules & Other Requirements

Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Trip ID#:

worldexpeditions-SOE

Trip Excludes

  • International flights and departure taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature - ie excess baggage costs, beverages, laundry and phone calls
  • Travel Insurance and Emergency evacuation charges (required)
  • Visas
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Any and all costs associated with evacuation and/or early departure from the expedition
  • A personal guide can be hired for the summit ascents. This guide will not carry your gear but will walk with you at your own pace. This can be beneficial if you think you might be slower or faster than the rest of the group.

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