10 days of exciting climbing, the perfect and progressive acclimatization will allow you to climb in the best conditions 2 of the most prestigious summits in the world: the Cotopaxi & the Chimborazo. The ascent of the Cotopaxi volcano, considerate to be the highest active volcano on the planet; an almost perfect cone, is covered with glaciers at 1,000 meters. The Chimborazo, said to be the furthest summit from the center of the earth. A great challenge for well-trained mountaineers. The confortable conditions of the trip (good accommodation, no camping ) and the progressive acclimatization put the odds of success in your favor.
This trip also provides an excellent overview of the major landscapes of the " Valley of the Volcanoes ", from the Pichincha region and its lakes to Baños and its hot springs.
The highlights of this trip:
- Climbing the two highest volcanoes in Ecuador:
- Cotopaxi (5,897 m), the highest active volcano on Earth.
- Chimborazo (6,268 m), the highest point of the country.
- Optimal acclimatization with successive ascents of four "4,000" and a "5,000".
Day 1: Quito - City Tour - Ilalo - Quito
Visit of the colonial center of Quito, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Transfer to the "Valle de los Chillos" and acclimatization trek to Ilalo volcano. We cross one of the last primary forests of the country to enjoy a 360° panoramic veiw on the backbone of Ecuador and its two parallel mountain ranges.
Day 2: Quito - Summit Guagua Pichincha - Machachi
Today we climb the active volcano Pichincha. Just 10 km west from Quito, this impressive volcano offers a superb view over the southern part of the city. After a short walk, we pass a huge crater 6 km wide to reach the top. Short transfer to the south towards Machachi.
Day 3: Machachi - Summit volcano Corazon - Machachi
We begin our hike on the eastern slope of the volcano Corazon (the "heart"), located along the avenue of volcanoes between Pichinchas and Illinizas. We cross from north to south in the fields of potatoes and livestock, and the paramos and its magnificent Andean flora.
Day 4: Machachi - Summit volcano Rumiñiahui - El Chaupi
In the heart of the Cotopaxi National Park, we start hiking at Laguna Limpiopungo. The trail follows a beautiful ridge in the paramo before following scree slopes to the peaks of Rumiñahui. Stunning view of Cotopaxi and fumaroles dancing around the crater streaked with dark lava and snow.
Day 5: El Chaupi - Summit Illiniza Nord - Illiniza Lodge
We go to the Virgen by vehicle, and then start the climb. In the western cordillera, Illiniza North has dark lava peaks (necks). Route without technical difficulty with a beautiful view of Cotopaxi and its near twin: Illiniza South. Apart from being a great panoramic viewpoint, Illiniza is the next step in our acclimatization.
Day 6: Saquisili market - Refuge Cotopaxi
Every Thursday is market day in the small village of Saquisili. The small village has retained its authentic character. In the morning visit of this heaven of peace. In the afternoon transfer to the Cotopaxi refuge to climb the highest active volcano in the world, and second summit of Ecuador.
Day 7: Ascension volcano Cotopaxi - Baños
From the refuge, we leave by night for a first approach phase before starting the glacier hike: After bypassing a rocky ridge called "Yanasacha" we reach the top after a last steep slope. The grandiose spectacle of the crater which is said to be the world's most beautiful rewards the efforts undertaken.
Day 8: Baños
Enjoying a subtropical climate at 1,800 meters altitude, this charming spa resort has a natural setting at the foot of the Tungurahua volcano. In the morning, bucolic route through many exotic fruit plantations and bath in boiling water gushing from the bowels of the volcano.
Optional (fee): Many outdoor activities are organized at Baños. Plan for the following day with your guide: canyoning, rafting, climbing, paragliding, bungee jumping, horseback riding or mountain biking, massages, spa, swimming pools.
Day 9: Baños - Refuge Chimborazo
After a final tour of the city, we head towards the highest mountain in Ecuador. Transfer by bus to 4,800 meters and short hike to the Edward Whymper refuge, located at 5,000 meters in altitude. Optional ascent to the Whymper needles to admire the next route or opportunity to rest in the shelter.
Day 10: Ascencion volcano Chimborazo - Quito
Leaving at midnight for the ascent of Chimborazo. Two-thirds of this very technical climb take place on the glaciers.A very good experience with crampons and a perfect physical condition are now essential to succeed in this ascension and see exceptional views of the avenue of volcanoes. Descent and return to Quito for a well deserved rest.
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- Accomodation in double rooms
- Full pension (breakfast, lunch and evening meal)
- Free drinking water
- All entries to national parks, churches and activities as mentioned in the intineray
Climbing level 4 of 5: For well-trained athlete. Previous experience of trekking and altitude (above 4,000 meters). Exposure to altitude (over 5000 meters), some technical passages.
In the field
- English speaking tour guide
- A driver for driving the vehicle
- Private bus reserved for the group for the entire trip
Throughout your stay, accommodation is varied:
- Hostels 3-4 stars in cities (local standards).
- Homestay (basic comfort)
- Family inn or cozy guest room
- Lodge in the Amazon
- Breakfast served at the accommodation
- At noon picnic for hiking, restaurant meals the other days
- In the evening, restaurant meals or prepared food at accomodation
Ecuadorians products help ensure varied menus and good quality.
The luggage transport
During the excursions and activities, each participant carries a light backpack containing only personal belongings needed for the day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, ...). Luggage transport is ensured by vehicle.
- Passport and photocopies
- Photocopy of certificate of insurance / assistance contract
- Vaccinations record and medical indications
- Currency, credit card => The ideal is to carry personal papers and money in a discreet travel pouch worn under your clothes.
- Universal Adapter
- Flashlight (frontal ideal) and extra batteries
- Sun protection (sunglasses and bag, sunscreen SPF 30 minimum, cap / hat)
- Personal pharmacy (see below)
- Tissues / toilet paper
- Travel alarm
- Toiletries and towel (microfiber type)
- Protective plastic bag (cloth, paper ...)
- Swimsuit (pools Baños)
- A backpack 30L / 50L: this capacity lets you take all you need for a day of travel: rain clothes, warm clothes, small pharmacy, water bottles, snacks, and possibly part of the picnic
- Cream / ointment after sun
- Antibiotic broad spectrum (paracetamol, aspirin ...)
- Disinfectant for wounds (type Hexomedine)
- Set bandages, tape, scissors, blister dressing
- Hydroalcoholic gel
- Survival blanket
- Travel bag easy to carry (hiking, trekking 60 / 70L)
- Light hiking trousers (avoid shorts)
- Wram hiking trousers
- Warm clothes (fleece, hat, gloves, scarf)
- Technical hiking socks
- Walking shoes (preferably high top shoes) and gaiters
- A pair of leisure shoes (for the evening)
- Waterproof Jacket (high resistance)
- Walking sticks
- Spare lace / cord
- Knife / Swiss army knife
Ascension of glacial material (Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo)
- A relatively large capacity bag for the climb to the refuge (minimum 60 liters)
- Warm underwear (merino...)
- Warm fleece jacket
- High mountain warm and waterproof jacket (high resistance mini 10,000mm) with hood
- A waterproof over-trousers (high resistance mini 10,000mm)
- Mountaineering shoes crampon
- A pair of gaiters
- Hat, scarf
- Glasses category 4 (skiing, glaciers ...)
- A pair of warm gloves (silk)
- Warm and waterproof gloves
- A good quality sleeping bag (- 5 - 10 ° C) for the night in unheated shelter.
- A silk sheet (or sleeping bag): The sleeping bag does not get dirty, the sheet brings heat.
- A helmet*
- Two carabiners * (one screw) and a rope ring (2 meters long)
- A harness
- Cleats suited to your shoes
- Ice ax
NB: - note that we provide a helmet for each participant
- * It is best to have your own climbing equipment. It is possible to rent in Quito ice ax, crampons (without antibottes), harness and footwear. Indicative price: about $ 50 for the duration of the climb. The choice (model, brand, quality) is still limited, and there may be some difficulties for extreme sizes (small or large).
NB: note that you have free drinking water during your stay (in the vehicle) to fill your gourd. You have several snacks daily (cereal bars, fruit jellies, chocolate, fruit ...) for the days walk.
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No visa is required for nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada for a stay of less than 90 days. A passport valid at least 6 months after the travel date in Ecuador is enough.
Travelling with children
The foreign minors are subject to the same obligations as adults. They must hold a passport valid at least six months after the travel date.
We do not offer international flight booking. To plan your route in Ecuador, several international airlines provide transportation to Quito (or Guayaquil), such as Air France (via Bogota or Caracas), KLM, Iberia and Lan (via Madrid), American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, etc ...
No mandatory vaccine.
But vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory if you have previously been to a country situated in endemic areas.
We strongly recommend to update the classic vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio +/- whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.
Yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended if you go to the Amazon or to a province east of the Andes below 2,300 meters in altitude.
Malaria occurs below 1,500 meters, mainly in the Amazon area: classification 3 (high resistance). Antimalarial treatment is necessary. Consult your doctor.
The risk is moderate in the coastal provinces. It is recommended to protect yourself in some areas: Baños, on the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure you have in addition preventive personal protection against mosquito bites (repellents, loose clothing and spanning).
Ecuador is affected by the Zika virus disease transmitted by bites of Aedes mosquitoes.
In case of pregnancy, the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the event of outbreak of fetal or neonatal microcephaly and infection Zika virus in the mother is likely. It is therefore recommended for pregnant women or for those having a project of pregnancy to consider postponing their stay or to first consult a doctor to be informed about the complications that can occur during infection by Zika virus.
Acclimatization and preventive treatment of acute mountain sickness
We recommend you before your trip to Ecuador to visit a doctor to check your ability to stay at high altitude.
Whether on adventure, discovery, trekking or mountaineering tours, routes include acclimatization steps and time required for the body to naturally adjust to the altitude. By following a few simple tips especially the first days (drink regularly, avoid alcohol, overeating, too abrupt efforts ...), you will facilitate the acclimation process and avoid the most common symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath ...).
For more information, visit the Association for Research in Environmental Physiology (www.arpealtitude.org) or the International Medical Service (www.smi-voyage-sante.com)
The currency is the US dollar. Exchange rates (indicative price): 1 € = $ 1.12 or US $ 1 = € 0.89.
Most credit cards (MasterCard, Visa ...) are accepted in Ecuador in department stores. It is possible to make withdrawals * directly to distributors in major cities you will be going to during your trip (Quito, Otavalo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Baños, Cuenca ...). Plan ahead among the major steps to not run out of cash for personal expenses (souvenirs ...). Moreover, it is better to have small denominations (5, 10, 20 $) because the businesses rarely have the exchange.
For stays in Galapagos, only the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Cristobal are equipped with distributors.
NB: it is difficult to change euros, the exchange is only possible in major cities in banks (limited opening hours) and exchange offices ("casa de cambio").
* Before departure, it is best to consult your bank to know your conditions / fees abroad to avoid inconvenience.
Ecuador is located in the equatorial zone where there is no clear-cut seasons. It is possible to travel throughout the year in Ecuador. The climate is however very variable and unpredictable!
It is generally cool in Quito (15 ° to 25 °), very mild in Cuenca (18 ° to 30 °) and very hot in the Amazon or on the Pacific coast (27 ° to 40 °). Galapagos, the heat is tempered by the winds that cool constantly the islands (20 ° to 35 ° C).
Ecuador is considered to be one of the safest countries in South America. However, we advise you to avoid, as far as possible, to carry valuables. The risk of theft exists, avoid displaying wealth, be vigilant in crowded places (markets, city centers ...) and leave whenever possible valuables and significant amounts of money in the safes of hotels. Do not hesitate to ask your guide in which places it is necessary to pay particular attention and which ones to avoid.
Each participant must be aware of the fact that the tour chosen may include activities (rafting, hiking, ziplining, biking ...) which may be risky. The service providers selected for those services were chosen for their professionalism and the quality of supervision and equipment. Each activity will begin with a reminder of the safety instructions.
Language & some useful words
In Ecuador, Spanish is spoken by all the population. The Quechua language and local dialects are used in remote locations. English is practiced by persons in relation to tourism (hotels & restaurants of higher category).
We recommend that you bring an adapter because the plugs are flat type 110 volts, as in the United States.
Ecuador is located on the GMT -5. The time is the same in all the country except the Galapagos (- 1 hour).The sun rises around 6am and night falls around 6pm, all year