Volcanoes Expedition


"The volcanoes of Ecuador have given the country universal fame among the geologists of the world. They are the terror of the Indians, the admiration of the conquistadors, the study of the naturalist and the plague of the people who live near them."
Edward Whymper,
Travel Among the Andes of Ecuador, 1890.


Andeanface offers you a 13 day itinerary of volcano climbing in Ecuador, where you find high altitude climbing combined with moderate easy walking and cultural visits to historical places. During the Ecuador Volcanoes Expedition you will stay in country side farms (haciendas) which have been converted into hostels.
The Volcanoes Expedition is not only an excellent mountaineering experience, you will also see the real life of the Ecuadorian country side: it is a special and diverse mountain climbing expedition in Ecuador which we highly recommend.

Pululahua CraterDay 1
City Tour 2.800 m / 9,184 ft
Night in Quito
Andeanface staff will meet you at 09:00 in the morning for an introductory briefing about the program. As this is your first day at altitude 2,800 m / 9,184 ft, we will take you to do some easy walking and to see some of the main colonial churches in the old part of Quito such as Santo Domingo, the Basílica and the famous San Francisco, which was the first religious building constructed in South America by the Spanish, in 1538. Then we drive up to the hill of El Panecillo where an impressive statue of the Virgin looks after the city, and offers one of the greatest views of Quito. Exploring the city is a good way to begin your acclimatisation process! For the night we stay at Casa Hebling www.casahelbling.de or a similar hotel

Pululahua CraterDay 2
Pasochoa Hike - 4.200 m / 13,776 ft
Night in Quito
Having had a day to begin the acclimatization process in Ecuador, we now go for the first summit of a volcano. After a short drive we hike out into the countryside towards Pasochoa. This mountain is an ancient and heavily eroded volcano that has been inactive since the last Ice Age. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this excursion is that Pasochoa is one of the few volcanoes where we may see condors flying - the largest flying birds in South America. We return for the night in Quito.


Pululahua CraterDay 3
Rucu Pichincha Hike 4.690 m / 15,400 ft
Night in Quito

Using the cable car we go as high as 4.000m / 13,200ft in a few minutes from where we start today´s hike. Pichincha is an excellent second acclimatization hike. Rucu (Quichua for “Old”) is one of the three major peaks that make up the Pichincha massive. Quito is actually built on a shelf on the eastern side of this massif.
The hike is again straightforward and will take 4 to 5 hours (round trip). After this hike we return to Quito for the night.


Hut of Iliniza NorteDay 4
Cayambe Drive and Hike to the Hut 4.600 m / 15,088 ft
Night at the Hut

We leave Quito at 08:30 am and drive towards the mountain. Cayambe is a massive glaciated extinct volcano. It is located about 68 km North East of Quito and is the highest point on the surface of the earth through which the Equator directly passes. Cayambe is the third highest mountain in Ecuador. It is characterized by good climbing opportunities and interesting glaciers. With easy access from a comfortable hut, the glaciers of Cayambe offer an outstanding venue for our glacier school review. Huge crevasses, complex icefalls and seracs provide the ideal setting for learning ice climbing, crevasse rescue, and a variety of other basic skills.

Hut of Iliniza Norte

Day 5/6
Cayambe Glacier - Skills Review and Summit Attempt 5.780 m / 18,950 ft
Night at Refuge and Hacienda Guachala
During the glacier training on Cayambe on day 8 we cover the following subjects:

  • Snow climbing, ice axe positioning, and moving in balance
  • Self arrest techniques
  • Ice climbing (with top rope) and crampon techniques
  • Prussiking
  • Roped glacier travel
  • Discussions on high altitude physiology and other related expeditionary topics

After the session you return to the refuge for a hearty meal.
On day 6 there will be a chance to attempt the summit of Cayambe. The route to the summit follows diverse glacier terrain to near the summit crater. A gaping bergschrund presents a challenge in route finding and an exciting extra obstacle. The ascent normally takes seven hours and the descent three hours. After our summit day on Cayambe we descent to Hacienda Guachala for the night www.guachala.com

Day 7
Drive to Hacienda Guaytara 3.500 m / 11,480ft
On the western side of Antisana, above the village of Pintag, there is the Hacienda Guaytara. It was part of Pinantura farm, one of the largest farms of Ecuador, now converted into a mountain lodge. It can be used as a base for excellent hikes within the Antisana reserve. Located at 3.500 m / 11,480ft, The hacienda is a place where we can often see condors flying, a good palce to rest before moving to Antisana www.hosteriaguaytara.com


AntisanaDay 8
Antisana 4.600 m / 15,088 ft Night camping
We drive to 4.000 m and then walk to the Camp of Antisana at 4.600 m / 15,088ft ft Having arrived at the camp at lunchtime, we rest in the afternoon and evening, preparing for a night time climb. Antisana is one of the most beautiful mountains on the Andes of Ecuador. The whole natural reserve is known for its rich wildlife and remoteness. Without a doubt it is one of the most remote peaks of Ecuador.



Day 9
Antisana Summit Day 5.758 m / 18,886 ft.
We leave the camp at around 1am in the morning. First we walk for 1 hour to the start of the glacier where we put our crampons on and use the rope. A large featureless glacier is then followed, weaving between large, obvious crevasses. The final section is a bit steeper. Antisana's crater is located to the Eastern side of the mountain, during the ascent we have spectacular views of the south summit and of Cotopaxi, for now very active.
During the climb ropes will be used to protect the team from crevasses and also to provide protection on the steeper sections.
The ascent normally takes between five to seven hours up and two hours for the descent. Night at Chuquiragua Lodge: www.chuquiragualodgeandspa.com

ChimborazoDay 10
Drive to Chimborazo region 3.500 m / 11,480 ft Night at Urbina Lodge
We travel further down the “Valley of Volcanoes” and then move up onto the western flanks of Chimborazo where we spend an evening in a Lodge. This lodge sits in grassy plains below Chimborazo and allows us to rest and enjoy views of from the altiplano of Chimborazo and Carihuarirazo (also known as “Chimborazo’s Wife”). Night at Lodge.



ChimborazoDay 11
Chimborazo hike to camp 5.050m / 16,564 ft. Night Camping
Today we travel by jeep or van to the Plaza Roja (4,852m / 15,914 ft) located very close to the Carrel hut. From there, it takes us about two hours to walk to the Stübel Camp (5,050m/16,564ft ) where we spend the afternoon preparing for the climb the next day. You will be involved carrying equipment to the camp. Porters will help carrying the tents and water.



ChimborazoDay 12

Chimborazo summit day 6.310m/ 20.696ft. Night camping or at the hut
We start the climb at about midnight following the Stübel glacier until it joins the Castle Ridge (5,450m / 17,876 ft.). This variant of the normal Castle route, free from rock fall, makes it a much safer line to the top. From the Camp it normally takes eight hours to get to the main Whymper summit, from where you will enjoy beautiful views of Ecuador. The descent to the Stübel Camp takes from two to three hours. After returning to the camp we have some rest and we descend to Plaza Roja.


Day 13

Chimborazo summit day # 2. Night in Quito
In case of bad weather, the climb can be delayed one more day.

Important Note: Please note that this itinerary is a guide line only. We will do every effort to follow it, but in case of unforeseen circumstances we may have to make changes. Also note that flying days are not included in this program.


Also see our Interactive Map.

exp-volcanoes 2


Volcanoes Expedition - Departures



- Monday 25-06-2018 till 

   Saturday  07-07-2018

<<Confirmed departure spaces available

- Monday 16-07-2018 till 

   Saturday  28-07-2018

<<Confirmed departure spaces available

 - Monday 06-08-2018 till 

   Saturday  18-08-2018

- Monday 05-11-2018 till 

   Saturday  17-11-2018

 -Monday 18-11-2018 till 

   Saturday  30-11-2018

 -Tuesday 18-12-2018 till 

   Sunday  30-12-2018

<<Confirmed departure spaces available

 -Monday 31-12-2018 till 

   Saturday  12-01-2019

-Monday 07-01-2019 till 

   Saturday  19-01-2019

-Monday 14-01-2019 till 

   Saturday  26-01-2019

-Monday 04-02-2019 till 

   Saturday  16-02-2019

(Other dates can be open with a minimum of two climbers.)

Please send us an Esta dirección de correo electrónico está protegida contra spambots. Usted necesita tener Javascript activado para poder verla. to book this Volcanoes Expedition.

Volcanoes Expedition - Logistics

Duration: 13 days

Group size: 10 participants max.

Seasons: All year round

Pre-requisites: Backpacking experience

Equipment: Climbing Expeditions Gear List
Please download the Pdf

Accommodation: Hostels, mountain huts and camping

Difficulty Levels:

Pasochoa: Easy

Pichincha: Easy

Cayambe: Intermediate

Antisana: Intermediate

Chimborazo: Intermediate


Volcanoes Expedition - Prices


1 pax USD 4.500,00 per person
2 pax USD 2.500,00 per person
3 pax USD 2.400,00 per person
4+ pax USD 2.300,00 per person

Single Room Suplement
USD 420,00 per person

What the price includes

      • All transport by private vehicles during the program when needed.
      • All the food once out of Quito.
      • Accommodation: 5 hotel nights in Quito (on Bed&Breakfast type), haciendas and huts. All in double basis,  triple basis available for a group of 3 friends or a family for example.
      • Camping gear.
      • Permits and park fees.
      • One guide for the acclimatisation hikes.
      • One bilingual qualified mountain guide per every two climbers on Cayambe, Antisana and Chimborazo
      • One porter for every two climbers on Chimborazo
      • Some climbing gear: crampons, harness, helmet, ice axe and group gear such as ropes ( boots available for rent at $10 per day

The price does not include

      • International flights.
      • Travel insurance.
      • Lunch and evening meals while in Quito.
      • Alcoholic drinks.
      • Extras, laundry, tips.
      • Airport transfers 
      • Other items of Climbing gear
      • Hotel nights out of the program or if return to the cities earlier.



Volcanoes Expedition - Highlights

We offer you an excellent mountaineering experience, discovering the real life of the Ecuadorian country side:

      • Good first approach to climbing the Andes.
      • Guiding ratio of 1:2 on Cayambe , Antisana and Chimborazo
      • Good first high altitude experience.
      • A short and compact expedition with lots to do and enjoy.
      • Local guides with international experience.
      • Updated knowledge of the local conditions.
      • Great accommodation in typical "Haciendas".
      • Extra porter support available at Chimborazo.

Climbing Expeditions

Andeanface offers you four Climbing Expeditions in Ecuador, each presenting its own challenges, from long journeys to technical terrain:

Antisana Trek & Climb - 7 days / 1 mountain

Volcanoes Expedition - 13 days / 5 mountains

Glacier School - 11 days / 4 mountains

4 Summits Express - 7 days / 4 mountains