South Iliniza 5263 m

ECU-34a / 5-day trip / Grade: AD

South Iliniza 5263 m 1

The twin peaks of Ilinizas, located 60 km. south of Quito, offer one of the best climbs in the area, combining high altitude with some technical climbing. Slightly higher than its twin, South Iliniza has a glacier with some short technical passages that are really fun. A great mountain for adventuring into a more demanding climb, but still within the possibilities of a novice climber.

The program we have put together focuses on getting a good degree of acclimatization and training before the summit attempt.

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 Climb: South Iliniza Volcano (5263 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. The descent is done by the same trail back to the hut.
Night in dormitory with bunkbends.
Ascent: 449 m / Descent: 449 m / Highest altitude: 5126 m / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Climb: South Iliniza Volcano (5263 m)
The South Iliniza is a glaciated peak that, due to its location, accumulates more humidity than its northern twin peak. Therefore the glacier has a slower melting rate and still survives. The climb is a technical one, which demands knowledge in the use of technical gear, as there are ramps between 45 to 75 degrees, all depending on the conditions. It is also known to be crevassed and can turn complicated according to the snow accumulation.
Very early morning departure from the hut, hike up to the col between the Ilinizas. From the saddle, the trail takes a southwards direction as the terrain steepens until the glacier. The team will gear up and, depending on the size of the group, divide in teams of 2 clients per guide. The climb follows a series of ramps that varies in difficulty according to the conditions. Sometimes the terrain can be rocky on certain spots, making the ascent even more demanding. The climb in it self is just amazing and really good fun. The view from the summit is stunning and, on clear days, it is possible to see most of the Ecuadorian Andes in almost full extend. The descent is done by the same route back to the hut. After packing, the group will continue down to the parking place and then on to Quito (3 h).
Ascent: 586 m / Descent: 1403 m / Highest altitude: 5263 m / Activity duration: 10-12 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

ECU-34a – 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
  • 2 nights in shared dormitory at Iliniza’s mountain hut – Nuevos Horizontes
  • Entry fee to the National parks and natural reserves
  • Pasochoa, Pichincha & North Iliniza volcano assistant mountain guides ratio: 1:4
  • South Iliniza 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 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

ILINIZAS’ NATIONAL PARK: Mountain Hut – Nuevos Horizontes (no website)

Tags: Climbing, Ecuador, Iliniza, Pasochoa, AD grade, North Iliniza, Guagua Pichincha