Guagua Pichincha Challenge

Guagua Pichincha Challenge - 3 days

The Guagua Pichincha Challenge is a challenging 3 day hiking program above the city of Quito that follows a unique approach to the volcano. The team starts hiking from the south of Quito all the way up to the crater rim at 4.700 m / 15,416 ft. This trek offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the beautiful, peaceful countryside surrounded by mountains, sometimes overlooking the city of Quito, whilst putting the team to the test and acclimatizing well at the same time.


On the RoadDay 1
Hike to Hacienda Monjas
- Night Camping
It is only a short drive to Chilibulo in the south of Quito, where the team will organize its gear and pick up their lunch. First everyone hikes to the saddle of the Virgen del Cinto’s Shire at 3.250 m / 10,660 ft. Then they descend to Hacienda Sotomayor where they follow an old dirt road to Hacienda Monjas. This is a community based tourism project at the base of the mountain, where camp will be set up once the group gets there. Everyone will be sleeping at 3.100 m. / 10,170 ft.

Day 2 Top of Guagua Pichincha
Hike to Hacienda San José - Night Camping

This is an important acclimatization day hike which leads the team through the surroundings of the village of Lloa and goes up to Hacienda San Jose, a farm located at a higher elevation (3.450 m. / 11,316 ft.). The team returns to Hacienda Monjas for the night.

Day 3
Guagua Pichincha Hike 4.768 m. - Return to Quito

The challenge of this day is the hike from Hacienda Monjas to the crater of Guagua Pichincha. Generally the hike takes 5 to 6 hours up hill to the top (4.785 m / 15,694 ft) and 2 hours for the descent. Teamwork and determination will have to come in in order to enable everyone to enjoy the beautiful views of Quito and parts of Ecuador, normally visible from the top.


Please find below a map showing where the Pichinchas Massive is situated.

Guagua Pichincha Challenge



Pichinchas Massive

The Pichinchas massive gives us the opportunity to offer tailor-made hiking programs for corporate groups depending on the number of days and level of difficulty you request. We could for example adjust the program described on this page by organizing the traverse of the two Pichinchas with the use of the cable car.



First Ascent

The first recorded ascent of the Guagua Pichincha was on 29 July 1582 by the Spaniards Alonso de Aguilar, Juan Galarza and Juan Londoño. At that time, the top of the mountain was still covered with a small glacier; now the snow has completely receded and climbers reach the top by crossing a rocky part.



Last Eruptions

Five major explosive eruptions have occurred at Guagua Pichincha during the past 500 years: in 1660, 1768, 1869, 1881 and 1999. The heaviest explosion was in 1660 when the city of Quito was covered with 40 cm of ash. During the most recent one in October 1999, the capital was put on yellow alert because of intense seismic activity. The Pichincha volcano had been dormant for many years and sent an ash column of 6 km into the sky, which caused ash rains in Quito.