South Iliniza

South Iliniza

South and North Ilinizas are located about 55 km south west of Quito. Originally, there was one volcano, which exploded in a massive eruption that split the mountain in half a very long time ago. The two peaks are separated by a saddle and are about 2 km away from one another. There is a small refuge between the two peaks: Iliniza South is icy and hard to climb. North Iliniza is rocky and a lot easier.


Hiking to the HutIliniza South offers some of the most accessible hard climbing from Quito. This steep and crevassed mountain is one of the more difficult climbs in Ecuador, and is not for beginners. The ascent of the South peak involves a modest gain in altitude but with some technical difficulty depending on the amount of snow there is at the time we go there. The route is from the south west side of the mountain and averages 40 degrees in angle, with some front pointing below the summit. From the top there are spectacular views of Iliniza North, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

Day 1Arriving at the South Summit

  • Pick up at Quito at around 9:00
  • Travel for 2 hours to the Iliniza Ecological Reserve
  • 3 hour hike up to the hut
  • Safety talk and walk around during the afternoon
  • Early dinner at 18:00

Day 2

  • Climb South Iliniza leaving at 04:00
  • Descend from mountain to the hut
  • Rest, and packing
  • Descend to the vehicle
  • Return to Quito

Important Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.


Also see our Interactive Map.

South Iliniza


South Iliniza - Highlights

The South Iliniza Climbing Excursion offers you the following highlights:

      • Sixth highest mountain of Ecuador.
      • The most accessible hard climbing from Quito.
      • Great views of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Antisana.
      • Good technical climb above 5.000 m /16,400 ft.
      • All year around climbing.  
      • Horse support if requested.

South Iliniza - Logistics

Duration: 2 days

Access: Drive in and drive out

Seasons: All year round

Guide-Client Ratio: 1:2

Pre-requisites: Climbing experience on ice up to 45 degrees

Equipment: Climbing Excursions Gear List
Please download the Pdf

Accommodation: Nuevos Horizontes Hut (4.700 m / 15,416 ft)

Extension: Optional 1 day weather contingency


Difficulty Level:



South Iliniza - Suggested Combinations

Even some of the smallest of the 5.000 m / 16,400 ft peaks of Ecuador require some acclimatisation training.
Below is a list of some hikes that can be done as a preparation for South Iliniza.
1. Cuicocha
3.300 m / 10,824 ft
2. Pasochoa
4.200 m / 13,800 ft
3. Corazon
4.788 m / 15,704 ft
4. North Iliniza
4.788 m / 15,704 ft

Climbing Excursions

Andeanface offers you the following Climbing Excursions in Ecuador, which you can include in your trip. Please check the different pages and contact us through
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, suggestions and prices:
Glacier School
El Altar
South Iliniza
North Iliniza