Join NRMG for a our 4th annual adventure to Ecuador. Trek through grassy highlands, climb the Cotopaxi Volcano, and explore Ecuador's local artisan markets and shops. Finish off the trip relaxing at the famous Banios de Agua Santa in Ecuador's subtropical region. This is an experience you will never forget.
Day 0 (optional) (October 31,2019) :
Arrive in Quito (2.800 m / 9,184 ft). This is an optional day to fly in, currently flights are much less expensive on this day. (Transfer in-Airport-Hotel) Overnight: Hotel in Quito. (no meals)
Day 1 (November 1, 2019): Flight Arrival/Free day in Quito
Today we have a free day to explore the city(or flight arrival), take in the culture, and do a little light shopping before the climbing itinerary begins. (no meals)
Day 2 (November 2, 2019): Acclimatization hike to Pasochoa volcano (13,878ft / 4.230 m)
We’ll leave from Quito (9,186 ft. / 2.800 m.) early in the morning and will drive southeast for about 1.5 hours through the Andean highlands until arriving at the trail head (11,483 ft / 3.500 m). As we gain elevation, we’ll be able to see the surrounding snow-capped mountains, such as Antisana, Cayambe, Illiniza, Cotopaxi and even Chimborazo far away to the south on a clear day. Once nearing the summit, we will be hiking by the ridge of the deep forest-covered caldera which takes us to the true summit soon after. It will take us about 5 hours round trip. Back at the car, we will drive to the small village of El Chaupi, which is located near to the foothills of Ilinizas. Here we will spend the following two nights in a nice Mountain Lodge.(B/BL/D)
Day 3 (November 3, 2019): Climb Corazon (15,718ft/ 4791m)
El Chaupi Corazon is another eroded and extinct volcano located about 40 km southwest of Quito. The name Corazon means “heart” in Spanish and is said to refer to the two gullies on the north west slopes which, when seen from the distance, appear to join together in the shape of a heart. It is a good second acclimatization hike after Pasochoa and before the Ilinizas. We drive up to 4,000 m / 13,120 ft to a small valley where we start the hike to the summit. It is quite an arduous walk and normally takes four hours up and one and a half hour down. On a clear day you have a beautiful view of the so-called “Avenue of the Volcanoes” including Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Ilinizas and Antisana. Drive back to the same Mountain Lodge in El Chaupi. (B/BL/D)
Day 4 (November 4, 2019): Transfer to “La Virgen”, Hike to the “Nuevos Horizontes” Refuge (15,580ft/4.750m)
After a relaxed breakfast, we will drive towards the base of Ilinizas and we will stop on a place named “La Virgen” located at 12792ft/ 3900 m. When we arrive, there will be waiting horses for carrying our gear up to the refuge. Once there, we’ll start a 3-hour hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge”, where we will relax the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served by late afternoon. Overnight in the hut. (B/BL/D)
Day 5 (November 5, 2019): Climb Iliniza Norte (16,813 ft / 5.126 m) – Drive to Quilotoa (12,513ft/3814m)
Our climbing day starts at 0500. We will have a light breakfast, pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge an hour later. We will continue hiking up towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then to Iliniza Norte summit (16,818ft/5.126m) soon after. The approach to the top involves an easy 3 hours of scrambling. Once at the summit, we will enjoy and admire the beautiful surroundings. We go down for about 3 hours to La Virgen parking lot and drive about 2 hours to the village Quilotoa. Once again, horses will be waiting to bring our gear down to the parking lot. Overnight: Hostal in Quilotoa (B/BL/D)
Day 6 (November 6, 2019): Rest day, optional walk to the Crater Lake Quilotoa
Free day to recover and enjoy the atmosphere of the Ecuadorian countryside. Quilotoa is a 3 kilometer-wide water-filled caldera and has accumulated a 820 ft deep crater lake. After visiting the Crater Lake we will drive back to Quito (about 3 hours) to the same Hostel. (B)
Day 7 (November 7, 2019): Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park, hike to the Jose Ribas Refuge (15,748 ft. / 4.800 m)
We will leave from the hostel in the morning and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park entrance. There we will have lunch and registration. From there we’ll drive east to the Cotopaxi parking lot (14,764 ft. / 4.500m) and then hike up for another hour to the Jose Ribas Refuge (15,748 ft. / 4.800 m). Once at the refuge, we will store our belongings and rest in the afternoon. Dinner and Overnight in the hut. (B/L/D).
Day 8 (November 8, 2019): Climb Cotopaxi (19,347 ft / 5.897 m) and transfer to Banios (6,232 ft. /1.900 m.)
Midnight will be our wake up time, and our departure to the top (19,347 ft. / 5.897 m) will be shortly after. Before our ascent, we will have a hot drink and get our gear ready for the ascent, which will take us about 6 to 8 hours. Each climber will get a box lunch for the climb. Once at the summit we’ll take our time to take pictures of the crater and surroundings, and then we’ll head down back the refuge (3 to 4 hours). Once at the refuge we will pack our belongings, have something to eat and drink and go back to the parking lot where our transportation will be ready to take us to the south, the subtropical town of Banios. In the afternoon, we will celebrate the success of our climb. Overnight: Hotel in Banios. (B/BL).
Day 9 (November 9, 2019): Free day in Banios.
Enjoy “Banios de Agua Santa” and its charming atmosphere. On this day, we have the option to take an excursion to the waterfalls, visit the zoo, rent a bike or explore this amazing area by foot. There are many options, activities and lots of fun! Overnight: Hotel in Banios. (B)
Day 10 (Novemeber 10, 2019): Banios – Mountain Lodge Urbina/ Return to Quito (12,467ft/3800m)*
Free morning in Banios. After lunch we drive 1.5 hours to the Mountain Lodge Urbina. The lodge is near our next objective, the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo. We take the afternoon for some R&R. Overnight: Mountain Lodge Urbina. (B/-/D)
*If you are not planning on doing the Chimborazo extension, this will be the day you head back to Quito in preparation for your return flight.
Day 11 (November 11, 2019): Urbina – Refuge Carrel 15,748ft – High Camp on Chimborazo 17,388ft
After breakfast, we will drive for about 1 hour to reach the Carrel Hut on Chimborazo. We will then start our ascent to high camp at 15,748ft. In the high camp, we will go over all logistics and set up the tents, kitchen etc. This will take about 3 hours. Early dinner and rest. (B/BL/D)
Day 12 (November 12, 2019): Summit climb Chimborazo (20,564ft/6310m)
We will get up before midnight to begin our ascent on Chimborazo. After 8 hours, we will reach the first summit named Veintimilla (20,570ft) and then to the our second summit called Whymper (20,564ft). At about noon, we will be back in the refuge where our transport will be waiting for us to drive back to Quito. Total walking time between 10 to 14 hours. In Quito we will stay at the same hostel. (B/BL)
Day 13 (November 13, 2019): Transport to airport and flights home
Transfer to the airport and flight home. (B).
B= Breakfast L= Lunch BL= Boxed Lunch D= Dinner
Cotopaxi climb only (10 days)
$2250 per person
Chimborazo extension (13 days)
additional $750 per person
All transportation to/from the mountains
Transportation to/from airport
All meals listed on the itinerary
All technical gear
Free use of any of our rental gear (Down Jackets, gaiters, goggles, rain jackets, etc.) on a first come, first serve basis. (We can bring these to Ecuador for you, although baggage fees may apply)
Certified IFMGA guide
1 to 2 guide ratio for Cotopaxi climb
Flights to/from Ecuador
Travel insurance and rescue insurance
(Highly recommended, this is how you will get a refund if you need to cancel. Basic travel insurance coverage as low as $100 @ www.travelinsurance.com)
Food/Drinks while in the city
This is a required personal gear list for our Ecuador Expedition, you are responsible for bringing these items. All technical gear is included (Ice axe, crampons, helmet, ropes, mountaineering boots).
This is a high altitude expedition and a high level of fitness is required, all participants should be physically fit and prepared for long days in the mountains. Climbers should have previous crampon and ice axe experience. Climbers should be able to carry a 40 pd. pack through rugged terrain for 12+ hours.
A non-refundable $500 deposit secures your spot. Trips run rain, shine, sleet, or snow. Please do not make travel arrangements until a confirmation email is received. The full amount is due 60 days prior to your trip start date (September 1st). Any cancellations over 60 days of your adventure will receive a full refund minus the deposit. Any cancellations within 60 days of your adventure are non-refundable. Cotopaxi is an active volcano, and last minute changes may be necessary if the mountain is deemed unsafe for climbing. We highly recommend travel and rescue insurance. If something happens, this will cover your expenses. NRMG reserves the right to dismiss any participant if they are not physically, mentally, or technically (inadequate gear) prepared. NRMG also reserves the right to dismiss anyone if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any dismissals by NRMG are not eligible for a refund. As professional mountain guides, our cancellation policy helps with our guides job security. There is no guarantee of reaching the summit, as peoples physical fitness, the weather, and the rigors of high altitude climbing can be a factor. Our job is to provide a safe and fun experience for everyone. Must sign waiver. Subject to weather. 14+ with parent/legal guardians signature required.