6 Days Cayambe Program

Cayambe with 18.996 ft / 5.790 m of height, is a beautiful active volcano, and the highest point on the equator line that splits the Earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This beautiful mountain is located inside of the Cayambe-Coca National Park in the western Andes of Ecuador, 60 km / 37 mi north of Quito.

If you are passionate for hiking and mountaineering, this short program allows you to climb the third highest elevation in Ecuador! In addition, this program is ideal for people without much experience, since do not required high technical skills. Besides the experience of climbing the giant CAYAMBE, you will also know the Andean cultural richness reflected in the colorful indigenous markets, beautiful colonial towns, old haciendas and the Andean farming lands.

Days of Tour 6

Fuya Fuya 13.780 ft / 4.200 m

Imbabura 15.200 ft / 4.630 m

Northern Illiniza 16.818 ft / 5.126 m

Cayambe Volcano 18.996 ft / 5.790 m

Fitness Level Very difficult
Technical Level Intermediate


*Depending on the season and conditions of the rivers


Day 1: Cuicocha Hike (10.500 ft / 3.200 m)

We will start our acclimatization process with hike around Cuicocha lake, located at 10.170 ft / 3.100 m in Imbabura Province two hours north of Quito.

This is a short but beautiful hike in one of the most gorgeous places of Imbabura, also known as the Lakes Province. Cuicocha lake, is the ancient crater of Cotacachi Volcano, the highest point of Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve. The hike travel along the surrounding crater edge that shelters the lake, as well as the Yerovi and Wolf volcanic domes at the base of the extinct volcano summit placed at 16.220 ft / 4.944 m.

Once we finish the hike, we will visit Otavalo and the Ponchos Plaza, the largest artisans market in Latin America known for wonderful handmade arts and crafts. (B/L/D)

Day 2: Fuya Fuya (14.000 ft / 4.270 m)

Fuya Fuya located 15 km from Otavalo, is the highest peak remaining of the ancient caldera of Mojanda volcano. The hike to the summit is starts at 12.140 ft / 3.700 m at the shore of the beautiful Mojanda lake.

After two hours of hike, we will reach the summit and enjoy an incomparable view of this amazing place, its lake and the surrounding volcanoes such as Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe.  (B/L/D)

Day 3: Imbabura (15.682 ft / 4.780 m)

Continuing our acclimatization and training process, this day will ascend Imbabura volcano, which is traditionally considered by indigenous people of the area as a sacred mountain.  We will drive to the east side of the mountain to start the hike to its summit, which takes about four to five hours depending on the pace. At the beginning, there is a steep moor section before reach the rock ridge that take us to the northern summit of its crater. After enjoy this second summit we will hike down 3 hours and drive back to Quito to rest.  (B/BL/D)

Day 4 : Northern Illiniza (16.818 ft / 5.126 m)

This day, we are ready to make our first climb over 16.500 ft / 5.000 m! The Illinizas are two peaks left by the original volcano located within the Illiniza Ecological Reserve.  Northern Illiniza, is beautiful rocky mountain of 16.818 ft / 5.126 m that offers the opportunity to reach this height without much technical difficulties.

We will start the ascend hike at 12.800 ft / 3.900 m by a steep sand ridge until get the Nuevos Horizontes hut in between the two peaks at 15.400 ft / 4.700 m. After a break, we will start the final climb with some easy scramble rock passages that will take us to the summit! (B/BL/D)

Day 5: Cayambe Glacier Practices (15.400 ft / 4.700 m)

We will drive two hours from Quito to Cayambe-Coca National Park and settle-in at Oleas Berge hut at 4.600 m / 15.100 ft. Then we will get ready for practice basic techniques for glaciers travel.

In the afternoon, we will return to the hut to prepare equipment and rest for a while. Early dinner at 18:00 and sleep time, since we will wake up at midnight to attempt the summit! (B/BL/D)

Day 6: Cayambe Summit (18.996 ft / 5.790 m)

We will wake-up at midnight, dress up and have breakfast. The ascent hike start around 1:00 and takes approximately 6-7 hours to get the summit depending on the pace. After enjoy the summit for a while start the descent that takes about 3 hours.

Once in the hut, we will have time to have a nap and then pack up everything to travel to Quito.

On the way back to Quito, we will have a well deserve farewell meal and some beers to celebrate end of this amazing program!  (B/BL/L)


  • Panoramic view of “The Avenue of Volcanoes”
  • Cuicocha Lake (Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reseve)
  • Mojanda Volcano and lake
  • Imbabura Volcano
  • Illinizas Volcanoes (Illinizas Ecological Reserve)
  • Cayambe Volcano (Cayambe National Park)
  • Andean communities and towns
  • Andean farming life
  • Flora and fauna of moorlands
  • Transportation for the entire program
  • Bilingual certified ASEGUIM guides
  • Meals: (B) breakfast, (BL) box lunch, (L) lunch, (D) dinner
  • Safe drinking water during the whole program
  • Accommodation in huts and hotels during the whole program
  • Permits and park fees
  • Climbing gear: helmet, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axe, rope and carabineers
  • Flight tickets
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra sports and alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips


  • Day backpack for the acclimatization hikes (20 L)
  • Comfortable backpack for the climbs and hikes to huts (30-40 L)
  • Comfortable, warm clothing (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Rain jacket and rain pants (3rd layer)
  • Winter hat and/or face mask
  • Thermal and waterproof gloves
  • Liners and thermal socks (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Cap, sunglasses and sun screen
  • Hiking boots
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Personal grooming kit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Bottles or thermos to refill water


  • Camera
  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Personal first aid kit and medicines
  • Extra thermal gloves
  • Comfortable backpack for the climbs (30 L)
  • Comfortable, warm clothing (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Rain jacket and rain pants (3rd layer)
  • Winter hat and/or face mask
  • Thermal and waterproof gloves
  • Liners and thermal socks (1st and 2nd layers)
  • Brimmed hat, sunglasses and sun screen
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Personal hygiene kit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Camera
1 Cuicocha lake 5 hrs easy novice 10.500 ft / 3.200 m 10.170 ft / 3.100 m
2 Fuya Fuya summit 4 hrs easy novice 14.000 ft / 4.270 m 12.140 ft / 3.700 m
3 Corazon summit 7 hrs moderate beginner  15.682 ft / 4.780 m 12.140 ft / 3.700 m 
4 Northern Illiniza 8 hrs difficult beginner  16.818 ft / 5.126 m 12.800 ft / 3.900 m
5 Cayambe Glacier  4 hrs moderate intermediate 15.100 ft / 4.600 m 15.100 ft / 4.600 m
6 Cayambe Summit 10 hrs very difficult intermediate 18.996 ft / 5.790 m 15.100 ft / 4.600 m
TOTAL 38 hrs very difficult intermediate  18.996 ft / 5.790 m 10.170 ft / 3.100 m


4P or more 3P 2P 1P
$1690 $1890 $1990 $3290


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