Ecuador's Volcano Triple Crown
Ecuador, Climbing, 16 days - from £1,845 (land only) - from €2,585 (land only) - from $2,980 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Quito. KE Land Only package services begin with single, timed group transfer from the airport to the group hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: After a briefing from our tour leader, we have a guided walking tour of the old city of Quito which contains many architectural gems from the Spanish Colonial era. The afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing or shopping in the fashionable Avenida Amazonas. Overnight in Quito.
Day 3: After breakfast at the hotel and a briefing from our guide, we drive north to Imbabura and take a walk around Cuicocha lake. Overnight at the charming hosteria Pantavi.
Day 4: After a short transfer we begin a 3 day trek through the Cotacochi-Cayapas nature reserve, today travelling as far as the village of San Francisco (3070m) where we set up camp.
Day 5: We cross a pass at 3960 metres. Before descending we climb our first peak named Ollas Chico (4005m) and camp beside Yanacocha lake at 3870 metres.
Day 6: Our final day of trekking through the Cotacochi-Cayapas passing several inca and pre inca ruins. We then head for the Chachimbito hot springs and after a hot bath we return to the hosteria Pantavi.
Day 7: An early departure today to climb volcan Imbabura (4616m). This is a varied walk starting in cultivated fields and ending with some easy scrambling on the crater rim. Overnight in hostal.
Day 8: We drive toward Cayambe, Ecuador's third highest peak. This afternoon we have glaciar school where we practice snow climbing techniques. Overnight at the refuge (4700m).
Day 9: Ascent of Cayambe. We make an 'alpine' start to have the best of the snow conditions. We reach the summit at 5790 metres and return to the refuge. In the afternoon drive to Quito. Hotel.
Day 10: A free day in Quito for rest and recuperation, doing the laundry or independent sightseeing.
Day 11: Drive on the Pan American Highway through the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes' to Cotopaxi National Park, and on a dirt road to the Jose Rivas mountain refuge at 4800 metres. Overnight at the refuge.
Day 12: An early start for the ascent of Cotopaxi (5895m). After the climb we descend to the refuge and transfer to a nearby hotel for hot showers and rest.
Day 13: After a relaxing morning we drive to Riobamba. En route we will make a stop to visit an 'Indiginos' market or Quilotoa lake. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 14: Drive to Chimborazo. Another dirt road takes us within a short walk of the refuge Edward Whymper at 5000 metres. We stay overnight at the refuge.
Day 15: We have a midnight start for the climb of Chimborazo (6310m), Ecuador's highest peak and the point on the earth's surface furthest from its centre. Afterwards we drive back to Quito where we check into our hotel.
Day 16: The morning is free to relax at the hotel or for last minute souvenir buying. In the afternoon we have a single timed group transfer to Quito airport where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.