Antisana 5704 m

ECU-33a / 7-day trip extension / Grade: PD

Antisana 5704 m

The Antisana volcano is the 4th highest mountain in Ecuador and by far the least climbed of the mayor summits. The volcano has four summits on the crater rim and quite big glaciers. First climbed in 1880 by British mountaineer Edward Whymper and the Swiss Carrels brothers, it has always had a reputation for being difficult and dangerous. The truth is that nowadays, it is neither. Antisana is indeed the most difficult of the highest volcanoes, due to the challenging route and the unstable weather conditions that hit the mountain most of the year. It is a demanding climb that requires a good fitness level, sufficient acclimatization and a lot of determination. It is a really fun climb and very rewarding, advisable for those looking for a less crowded peak and lots of good experiences!

Day 1 Climb: Pasocha volcano (4164 m)
Day 2 Climb: Guagua-Pichincha volcano (4794 m)
Day 3 Ilinizas – Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m)
Day 4 Climb: North Iliniza volcano (5126 m)
Day 5 Rest day – Quito or Papallacta (2800/3300 m)
Day 6 Antisana’s high camp (4500 m)
Day 7 Climb: Antisana volcano (5704 m)
Day 1

Climb: Pasochoa Volcano (4164 m)
Pick-up at hotel in Quito and transfer (2 h) to the head of trail, located at an altitude of 3848 m. From this point a very well marked trail will lead the way by farm land up to the a paramo area. Here the trail heads southwards ascending progressively until the base of the crater. The last section is the steepest, following a mountain trail up to the crater rim. The last meters to the summit are done by the edge of the crater with nice views down to the valley of Machachi also known as the “Volcanoes Avenue” and the highlands to the west. On clear days there is a perfect view to the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Rumiñahui and Artisana volcanoes. The descend is following back the same trail. Back at the starting point the group will be taken back (2 h) to Quito.
Night in hotel.
Ascent: 516 m / Descent: 516 m / Highest altitude: 4164 m / Activity duration: 5 h
Included meals: Picnic

Day 2

Climb: Guagua Pichincha volcano (4794 m)
The Pichinchas are three summits located on the Western range just above Quito. The Guagua Pichincha is the highest and the youngest of the summits, the other two are the Rucu Pichincha and the Padre Encantado (Enchanted father) and both of them lower. Guagua is also where the last eruption took place in the year 1999, but it is considered safe to climb by the geologist. The Guagua and the Rucu are very popular ascents, due to their location on the outskirt of the capital and their convenient access.
Pick-up at the hotel in Quito and transfer (2 h) to the head of the trail to a parking place at 4150 m. From the parking place, the hike will ascent by a “paramo” area finding it way through changing vegetation up to the moraine. The ascent is very straight forward, but the distance to cover is anyway considerable. There is a big gain in altitude during the hike, which works great as a preparation for higher summits. The trail back is the same of the ascent. From the parking place there is a 2 hours drive along the beautiful “Volcano Avenue” to a mountain lodge located close to the town of El Chaupi (2930 m).
Night in the mountain lodge.
Ascent: 644 / Descent: 644 m / Highest altitude: 4794 m / Activity duration: 6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 3

Ilinizas – Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m)
The climb starts after an 1 hour transfer from the mountain lodge up to the parking place located at 3680 meters. From here, the group will follow a trail by the “paramo” (Andean highland), which changes as it gains altitude into a rocky moraine. The terrain gets steeper reaching a well marked ridge that ascend to a valley that divides the twin peaks and where the Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m) is located. After arrival the mountain guide will give the pertinent instruction for the next day’s climb and will help to prepare all the needed gear. The Nuevos Horizontes hut is a very, very basic accommodation with one big area, where both the bunkbeds and the kitchen are located. The hut has the basic services as kitchen, dinning tables and toilets.
Night in dormitory with bunkbends.
Ascent: 817 m / Highest altitude: 4677 m / Activity duration: 3-4 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4

Climb: North Iliniza Volcano (5126 m)
This morning’s goal is to climb the North Ilinza, one of the twin summits of the Iliniza massive. The north summit is the easier of the two from a technical point of view, but still a demanding physical ascent. The climb starts from Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m), the hike heads towards the col and then up to the north. The climb in it self is very panoramic, as it follows the southern ridge of the mountain with spectacular landscapes on both sides. During the ascent there will be short easy scrambling sections before reaching the summit. Depending on the logistics, weather conditions and the physical shape of the team, the descent can be done by the same trail or following the northern ridge, down a big scree area making it into a circular route. Back at the parking place, the team will be transferred (2-3 h) to the city of Quito or the town of Papallacta for a day rest.
Night in hotel.
Ascent: 449 m / Descent: 1266 m / Highest altitude: 5126 m / Activity duration: 8 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 5

Rest day – Quito or Papallacta (2800/3300 m)
Today is an easy going day to rest, recover and enjoy before the next climb.
It is possible to choose to stay in Quito or Papallacta, but it has to be decided in advance. There are plenty of activities to do either at the capital or at Papallacta’s hot springs.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6

Antisana’s high camp (4500 m)
After a good resting day, the team will get ready for one of the best climbs in Ecuador: Artisana volcano! The group will depart from Quito or Papallacta and drive about 2-3 hours, depending on the road conditions, to Artisana’s high camp (4500 m) located at the base of the volcano on the western flank. The transport will stop right at the campsite, which is very confortable. The idea is to get there after lunch and use the afternoon to prepare for the climb. The guide will provide all the necessary help and instructions for the climb. An early dinner and a good rest before the night’s challenge.
Night in tents.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

Climb: Antisana Volcano (5704 m)
The team will wake up early, around midnight, and have some breakfast before the departing. Once on the move, the guides will lead the way by the moraine up to the glacier’s edge. After gearing up and dividing the group in teams with a ratio of 2 clients per guides, the climb will begin by the spectacular Artisana’s glacier. One of the most challenging part of the climb, is the route finding, as it is one of the less climb volcanoes and the “standard route” is seldom marked, so the guides have to do a good job navigating through a sea of seracs and snow fields. Our goal is Artisana’s main summit (5704 m), the highest of the four, and also the most accessible. The climb, though not technically difficult, presents a series of obstacles, which makes the climb real fun. The ascent is very beautiful, as the glacier has beautiful shapes and colors. It is definitely one of the best climbs in the country!
The summit has a fantastic panoramic view towards the neighboring volcanoes: Sincholagua, Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Cayambe, between others and to the East the mighty Amazonas.
The descent is following back the ascent’s route down to the high camp. After packing down and taking a good break, the transport will take the group back to Quito (2 h).
Ascent: 904 m / Descent: 904 m / Highest altitude: 5704 m / Activity duration: 12 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

ECU-33a – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.


  • Local English speaking mountain guide during the entire program
  • Local English speaking assistant guide mountain guide during the entire program from 5 PAX
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • 1 night in shared double room in hotel in Quito
  • 1 night in shared double rooms in the Mountain lodge at Iliniza’s Park
  • 1 night in shared dormitory at Iliniza’s mountain hut – Nuevos Horizontes
  • 2 nights in shared double rooms in Quito/Papallacta
  • 1 night in shared tent at campsite
  • Entry fee to the National parks and natural reserves
  • Pasochoa, Pichincha & Iliniza volcanoes assistant mountain guides ratio: 1:4
  • Antisana’s assistant mountain guides ratio: 1:2
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary


  • Domestic or international flights
  • Separate airport transfers in case of multiple arrival/departures
  • Personal climbing and camping gear
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

QUITO: Hostal Fuente de Piedra 1 & 2  or similar

CHAUPIHuerta Sacha Mountain Hut or similar

ILINIZA: Mountain Hut – Nuevos Horizontes (no website)

PAPALLACTAHotel Termas de Papallacta or similar

ANTISANA: Campsite (no website)

Tags: Ecuador, Volcanoes, Iliniza, Antisana, PD grade, North Iliniza, Guagua Pichincha