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Holidays

Ecuador's Triple Crown

Ecuador
4 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Feb, Apr, Oct, Nov, Dec

17 days from

US$3,670

without flights
Mountaineer
Guided Group
TOUGH TOUGH

Summit the 3 highest peaks in Ecuador: Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo

Trip Code: ECU
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Ecuador's Triple Crown

Highlights
  • Climb Chimborazo (6310m) and stand on the furthest point from the centre of the Earth!
  • Summit Cotopaxi (5897m) and Cayambe (5790m), Ecuador's second and third highest peaks
  • Acclimatise on Imbabura (4616m) and Yanaurco (4535m), plus skills training on Cayambe
  • Unique 4-day acclimatisation trek through the Cotacachi-Cayapas bio-reserve

At a Glance
  • Group Size 6 to 12
  • 12 days trekking and climbing. Max altitude - 6310 metres
  • Join In Quito

Accommodation & Meals
  • 16 Breakfasts
  • 13 Lunches
  • 10 Dinners
  • 9 nights Guesthouse
  • 4 nights Camping
  • 2 nights Mountain Hut / Refuge
  • 1 nights Homestay
Overview

Some of the highest volcanoes on earth can be found in Ecuador, right at the northern end of the Andean Chain; this exciting trekking and climbing holiday will give you the opportunity to climb the three highest! As part of a careful program of acclimatisation, we'll also enjoy a stunning 5-day trek across the Cotacachi-Cayapas highlands, one of the most diverse and spectacular of Ecuador's bio-reserves and ascents of the smaller volcanoes Yanaurco (4535m) and Imbabura (4609m). We've also time for a walking circuit of the amazing Cuicocha crater lake and a chance to improve your mountaineering technique with some skills training, all before we turn our attention to our ‘Big 3’. First in line is Cayambe (5790m), a peak that boasts the only glaciers in the world to actually straddle the equator. Next, we tackle Cotopaxi (5895m), one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. Our last peak, the stunning, snow-capped Chimborazo (6310m), is the highest summit in Ecuador! On the summit, due to the equatorial bulge, you will be 2168 metres further from the earth's centre than the top of Everest. With a varied programme of trekking, climbing, as well as sightseeing and the chance to visit a number of traditional towns and villages, this is a chance to improve your climbing skills, bag some noteworthy peaks, and gain an insight into the history of Ecuador and the colourful culture of its Quechua-speaking Indians.

Is this holiday for you?

The main focus of this holiday is climbing a number of specific peaks in the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which are situated in different parts of Ecuador. As it is possible to reach well into the mountain areas via road, the approach days to each peak are actually very short. By contrast the climbing days will be long (8 to 12 hours) and strenuous on account of the high altitude; so group members sho …

The main focus of this holiday is climbing a number of specific peaks in the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which are situated in different parts of Ecuador. As it is possible to reach well into the mountain areas via road, the approach days to each peak are actually very short. By contrast the climbing days will be long (8 to 12 hours) and strenuous on account of the high altitude; so group members should not only have a high level of fitness but also be capable of completing long days in the mountains. The guiding ratio on Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo will be at a ratio of 1:2. As part of a careful programme of acclimatisation we will also enjoy a 5-day trek through the high Paramo of the Cotacochi-Cayapas Nature Reserve, where you can expect to be walking for around 6-7hrs per day. This involves continuous trekking above 3000 metres and up to 4535 metres, mostly on established trails and paths. All baggage during this trek is carried by pack animals and group members will carry only what they need for the day. Overall this is an ambitious mountaineering programme and a high level of fitness and previous mountaineering experience using ice axe, crampons are a pre-requisite for us to complete all of our objectives. If you have limited winter mountaineering experience, we would recommend joining one of our introductory level mountaineering holidays first. 

Why KE?

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation! This holiday includes a careful programme of acclimatisation and time for some skills training to help improve your mountaineering expertise. All of which will give you the best chance of reaching the summit of 6000m peak, Chimborazo, and standing on the point on planet Earth which is furthest from its centre!

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Itinerary

Meet at the group's accommodation in Quito. A single timed transfer from Quito Airport is provided. The transfer takes around 45mins. Our accommodation is situated in the modern part of Quito city within easy walking distance of a wide variety of restaurants and bars. Meals are not included on this day.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

After breakfast will enjoy guided walking tour of the old city of Quito, which contains many architectural gems from the Spanish Colonial era in the form of churches and grand public buildings. In the early afternoon we will receive a full briefing and equipment check from our tour leader. The rest of the afternoon is free for further independent sight-seeing or to visit Quito's fashionable Avenida Amazonas for shopping. In the evening our guide will assist with choosing and booking a restaurant for dinner, after which we'll want to head back to the hotel to make the final preparations for our trek!

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

We make an early departure for the 3.5hr drive northwards to Imbabura Province where we stop at Cuicocha Lake. We will take a warm-up stroll around and above this stunning aqua-marine crater lake, walking along the caldera rim. This is good acclimatisation as we will be at altitude of 3000-3500m. There are good views of the volcano, Cotacachi (4939m) directly to the north of the lake. After our walk we visit Tumbabiro, a small rural village approximately 40 minutes northwest of the main town of Ibarra. Most of the people who live in this area still cultivate crops of maize, beans and sugarcane using largely traditional methods and many of the buildings in and around the main square are very old and constructed using adobe mud bricks and local timbers. We stay overnight here in a charming hosterìa.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

350 M

Descent

350 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs walking

Distance

15 KM

After breakfast we have a short transfer to a village on the edge of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Nature Reserve, one of the most diverse and spectacular of Ecuador's protected areas. Here we start our four-day acclimatisation hike through the reserve. Beginning at an elevation of 2350 metres, today’s walk takes us along a ridge from where we can see all the northern volcanoes. We hike through tilled lands and natural gorges to reach the small village of San Francisco (3070m).

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

550 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

While we take breakfast, our luggage and camping equipment is loaded onto mules, and we then set off toward the grasslands of the high Andean paramo. We first pass through mountain forest and then climb to a pass at 3960m. Before descending towards camp we make a short detour to climb Ollas Chico (4005m). After descending we continue through the unique and fascinating scenery of the Paramo to reach our campsite, at a very scenic spot beside Yanacocha lake.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1000 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Sitting just across the lake from our campsite, the peak of Yanaurco (4535m) cries out to be climbed. Making a circumnavigation of the lake we can take in the summit of this easy peak, providing some more excellent acclimatisation. Yanaurco is an extinct volcano that for pre-Columbian peoples was a mysterious and sacred mountain. A pre-Columbian structure believed to be an altar, has been discovered on the summit and so we can see if we can recognise which of the summit rocks formed this ritual table. Completing our traverse of the volcano we then continue our trek through the highlands to our next camp at 4100m.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

630 M

Descent

400 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Our path today heads generally east as we make a gradual descent down from the Paramo. We pass an ancient crater containing pre-Inca ruins and further down, we pass two more ruins which are thought to be ancient temples. Finally we reach a small village where we meet up with our transport. Here we say goodbye to the mule team and we head directly to the Chachimbiro thermal springs for a relaxing hot bath. We now return to our hosteria at Tumbabiro where we have the rest of the day to relax.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1600 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

We make an early start today for the ascent of Volcan Imbabura (4609m). We drive up to around 3400m on the eastern flank of this long-extinct volcano. Following a good trail through rich farming land, we reach the open paramo and then gain the east ridge, which is grassy and steep in places. The final 100 metres or so is a rocky scramble along the remains of the crater rim, which is airy in places. From the top there are great views of our next objective and the first of our three big mountains, Cayambe. It will take a little over 4 hours for the ascent and 2 hours or so for the descent. Reunited with our vehicles, we drive 1.5hrs to San Clemente where we have a homestay with this small village community. This stay with the San Clemente community with its insight into rural life in Andean Ecuador, is a real highlight.

Accommodation

Homestay

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1975 M

Descent

1975 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

Now much more acclimatised we turn our attention towards the first of the big peaks, Cayambe (5790m). Heading south on the Pan American Highway to Cayambe Village, we leave the tarmac and follow a dirt track which climbs steadily through farmland and open grassland. Passing several working haciendas, the track becomes narrower and bumpier and it will depend on the road condition as to how far the vehicles can go. We have a final walk to the hut, which will take between 30 minutes and an hour. The Bergé, Ruales, Oleas Refuge (4700m) is located on a ridge of Cayambe giving spectacular views over the Hermoso Glacier. It is equipped with running water and gas and is well maintained. Accommodation here is in dormitories. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to head out and practice techniques and sharpen our mountaineering skills before an early dinner and bed.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

300 M

Time

1 hr walking

We rise at midnight and start after breakfast, initially walking on rock and scree by the light of head torches until we reach the glacier. The climb of Cayambe is not technically difficult or steep and the difficulties of the ascent are those of a high glacial peak. The ascent should take us 6 or 7 hours from the hut with a further 3 to return. After some rest and refreshment we return to the vehicles and make the 3-3.5 hour drive to Quito where we check into our accommodation. Tonight we can choose a suitable restaurant for our 'one-down' celebration.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

1190 M

Descent

1190 M

Time

9 - 11 hrs climbing

A free day for rest and recovery. Time to catch up on laundry, diaries, blogging etc and/or explore Quito independently. A very worthwhile excursion is to the Mitad del Mundo just outside Quito. Here there is a museum to all things equatorial and you can stand astride a line with one foot in each hemisphere!

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

After a leisurely morning we head south and drive for around 2.5hrs to the Cotopaxi National Park. The park is also a wildlife reserve and we will certainly see lamas as we drive through the forests and grasslands surrounding the volcano. Finally, we follow a gravel road and jeep track up the slopes of the mountain to 4600m and from here, we walk up to the Jose Rivas Refuge, at an altitude of 4800m. The walk will take just under an hour. If the weather is clear there are fabulous views over Limpiopungo Lake and the nearby volcano Ruminahui. We will take an early dinner at the hut and then have an early night in preparation for the ascent of Cotopaxi.

Cotopaxi Alternative. If the level of volcanic activity does not permit Cotopaxi to be climbed, the group will instead today make the ascent of Iliniza Norte (5126m) and overnight at Chuquiragua Lodge.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

200 M

Time

1 hr trekking

As with our previous big peak, the climbing of Cotopaxi involves a midnight start in order to make the best of the snow conditions. The first hour's climb which will be made by the light of headtorches, follows a scree slope which is sometimes snow covered. Once on the glacier the route climbs slopes of around 30 - 40 degress, heading in the direction of a huge rock face, known as Yanasacha. The climb takes five to seven hours, but the reward is a magnificent view of the Valley of the Volcanoes, with Chimborazo, El Alta, Tungurahua to the south, a host of smaller Mont Blanc sized volcanoes to the east and Cayambe to the north. Cotopaxi is an active volcano and the summit offers a spectacular glimpse into the smouldering crater with sulphurous steam rising into the cold air. A three hour descent then takes us back to the refuge for lunch and hot drinks before the return to the vehicles. From here we have a short transfer down the mountain and to Lasso. This afternoon is free to rest.

Cotopaxi Alternative. If the level of volcanic activity does not permit Cotopaxi to be climbed, the group will instead today have the option to make the ascent of Ruminahui (4712m) in the Cotopaxi National Park, or to hike up to the Cotopaxi Refuge at 4800 metres, before transferring to Lasso.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1097 M

Descent

1297 M

Time

10 - 12 hrs climbing

After a relaxing morning in our hotel we drive to Riobamba, a drive of around 5hrs. We may also visit the crater lake of Quilotoa en route, or we can visit the Chimborazo National Park to get a glimpse of Chimborazo itself as we prepare for the climb of this mighty volcano! Arriving in the large town of Riobamba we check into our hostal and the rest of the evening is free to explore the city.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

We can enjoy a leisurely morning in Riobamba and make final preparations for our main climb, before returning to Chimborazo and driving up to the Carrel Refuge at 4600m; a drive of just over 1 hour. This high mountain hut was named after Jean Antoine Carrel a famous Italian mountaineer who with Edward Whymper, made the first ascent of Chimborazo in 1880. To make tomorrow's summit push shorter, and therefore more achievable, we continue on to our high camp. From the hut we cross easy scree slopes and climb for up to 3 hours to get to our sheltered camp on the west ridge. Porters will carry communal camping gear, leaving us to carry only our personal climbing equipment and sleeping bags. After an early camp dinner, we settle down for an early night in preparation for a midnight start,

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

450 M

Time

3hrs

Given good weather and good snow conditions, Chimborazo presents a quite straightforward though long climb. Starting out at midnight and following the west ridge, the climb begins with a traverse below the 'el castillo' rock formation, across either scree or snow depending on weather conditions. After 200m of ascent, we join the Normal Route, encountering snow slopes with an average angle of around 30 degrees, with the occasional steeper section. It takes around 7 - 8 hours to reach the crater rim at the Ventemilla summit and a further hour of traverse, and slight ascent, to reach the Wymper Summit which is the point on the Earth furthest from its centre. (Mount Everest is higher above sea level but owing to the Earth's 'squashed sphere' shape, Chimborazo has this attribute). After enjoying the sensation of being on top of the world, we make the descent which will take around 3-4 hours to get back to the refuge, and after a late breakfast or early lunch, we drive 5 hours back to Quito where we check into our hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or for enjoying Quito's many charms. We will no doubt wish to go out all together for a celebratory dinner this evening and our guide can give us some good suggestions for a suitable restaurant.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

1000 M

Descent

1450 M

Time

10 - 12hrs climbing

The morning is free to relax or for last minute souvenir hunting. In the afternoon a single timed group transfer is provided to Quito Airport where your holiday ends. If your flight is earlier in the day, your guide can assist you in arranging a taxi to the airport or you can also do this through your accommodation.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Peaks Peaks
Airport Airport
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Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • An experience UIAGM Mountain Guide
  • Additional licensed mountain guides (1:2 guide/clients) for the 'Big 3' (Cayambe/Cotopaxi/Chimborazo)
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • When camping a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Inflatable camping mattress whilst camping All land transport involved in the itinerary

  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

The group will meet at the hotel in Quito.

A single transfer is provided from/to Quito Airport.

Hotel contact details along with an emergency contact number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts, 13 lunches and 10 dinners are included in the holiday price. In Quito and Riobamba there is a wide range of dining options, to suit all budgets, and we have therefore not included the cost of meals in the holiday price (other than breakfasts) while staying in these towns, preferring to leave the choice to you. We suggest you budget between $7 and $20 for each of these non-included meals.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Quito and Riobamba have a wide variety of restaurants providing excellent cuisine from around the world. In the smaller towns where we stay in small hotels or hosteria, there will usually be a set meal. Ecuadorian cuisine is varied across different regions and includes excellent seafood (amazing Ceviche!), potatoes, toasted corn, and pastries stuffed with spiced meats or vegetables. For those wishing to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, you can try roasted cuy (guinea pig) – but this is strictly optional! Breakfasts consist of muesli, porridge, fruit, yogurt, eggs and toast. Depending on the day’s itinerary lunches may be taken in a restaurant or café, or they may be provided as a packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and biscuits. During the camping nights, evening meals will consist of a three course dinner using locally sourced ingredients cooked for us by our trained camp cooks.

We will spend a total of 6 nights in Quito and Riobamba, where we will stay in a simple, but comfortable and well located, family run, hosteria/guesthouses. In Tumbabiro and Lasso we will stay for 2 nights in a charming and colourful hosteria/guesthouse, with beautiful gardens.

During the trek in the Cotacachi-Cayapas we will spend 3 nights camping. Whilst camping all the camp equipment and luggage will be transported between camps by ponies, you need only carry your day pack. Our wonderful camp crew will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook and take care of all the camp chores. In camp, as well as the tents used for sleeping, there will also be a mess tent, with chairs and tables, where the group will dine (and socialise into the evening) and a toilet tent. Hot water for washing will also be provided to you in the mornings and when you arrive at the camp each day. Thermarest camping mattresses are provided.

For our night at the San Clemente Community Project the group will be divided into smaller groups and will stay with different families in the community; this has been picked out as a particular highlight by many of our groups over the years. Room will be twin-share with a shared bathroom.

During the ascents of Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo we spend a total of 3 nights in basic mountain huts/refuges. In the mountain huts the accommodation is mixed dormitories (don't forget to pack you earplugs!) with shared bathrooms.

All accommodation except the huts/refuges is on a twin-share basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending on availability, it may be possible to pre-book single rooms/tents for the nights that you spend in hotels, guesthouses and when camping. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

This trip will be led by an experienced UIAGM Mountain Guide. In addition, on the ascents of the three main peaks of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo, we use additional licensed mountain guides up to a guide to client ratio of 1:2. We also use various support staff such as minibus drivers, and on trek the group will be accompanied by a team of cooks, camp staff, and horsemen.

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. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

We suggest you allow approximately US$400 for miscellaneous expenses. This amount should be sufficient to cover the above meals, plus your tips to local staff (allow approximately $100), drinks etc. It is possible to use credit and bank cards to withdraw cash from ATMs in Quito and other major towns. Credit cards can also be used in restaurants and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. If you intend to bring your spending money out with you, we recommend carrying it in the form of cash US dollars which is the accepted currency in Ecuador.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your guides and trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We recommend that tips are given by the group as a whole rather than from individuals and that the group decides on a level of tipping that everyone is comfortable with. As a rough guide we suggest a contribution of around $100 from each group member should provide an appropriate 'pool' for tipping your crew.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage, which should be a soft and sturdy duffel bag and a daypack.  Your bag on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals and should not weigh more than 15kg. It is possible to leave extra baggage at the hotel in Quito. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH THE USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$21 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. You will be required to have a passport with an integrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Cuba, Iran, Syria or North Korea since March 2011* you will have to apply for a visa rather than the Visa Waiver Programme (* a full and up to date list of countries can be found on the US government website here.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA

All citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

 

Visa Ecuador

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk

 

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid.

Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary.

On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking 8 to 9 hours for consecutive days, and possibly for 12hrs or more on a summit day. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training, and we would suggest that you try to fit in a number of long weekend walks before you depart. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. There is little you can do to prepare for the altitude but if you have an excellent level of fitness this can help.

For this trip you will need to be competent in the use of an ice axe and crampons. You should also ensure that your basic 'alpine' or winter walking skills are reasonably current and if not, consider taking a weekend course or joining one of our more straightforward Alpine mountaineering trips prior to departure.

Winter Skills Courses These courses are extremely helpful if you are undertaking one of our mountaineering trips. For information about available courses, please contact: Glenmore Lodge. (Scotland's National Outdoor Training Centre). Tel. 01479 861 256 email. enquiries@glenmorelodge.org.uk

With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the great basin of the Amazon to the east, Ecuador has a complex pattern of weather. In general, the Eastern Highlands receives the most precipitation. In the Central Highlands, it is drier though cloud and rain can, and do, occur at any time during the year. In general, the days are warm with temperatures between 12 and 22°C. Evenings can be chilly in the higher towns, with night-time temperatures at freezing point above 3500m. When staying in the refuges on Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo; the outside temperature will drop well below freezing level, and this will be felt even more when camping at high camp meaning warm down-jackets are an absolute must. There is no real 'settled' weather period in Ecuador and the mountains can be attempted at any time of the year given suitable weather conditions on the day.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Ecuador. Rough Guides

  • The Andes – A guide for Climbers.

  • John Biggar Trekking in the Central Andes

  • Lonely Planet Ecuador and Galapagos

  • Galapagos Islands (Natural History guide) Pierre Constant

Ecuador. ITMB 1 ; 700,000

Double-sided map dividing the country north/south with a generous overlap. Relief is depicted by altitude tinting and spot heights for peaks and volcanoes. Glaciers, swamp areas, national parks and reserves are marked. Intermediate driving distances are indicated and further symbols depict places of interest, archaeological sites, thermal baths, beaches, etc. Latitude and longitude lines are drawn at 1° intervals. There is an index of place names and the legend is in English and Spanish.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your kit bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Gaiters

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Ski goggles

  • Gloves (1x lightweight inner pair, 1x waterproof warm pair and 1x waterproof warm mittens) 

  • Down jacket

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -10°C)*

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep kit bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock

  • Daypack (approx. 50 litres)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters, blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment

  • Mountaineering boots (see note below)*

  • Ice axe *

  • Crampons (preferably with ‘step-in’ bindings)*

  • Mountaineering or climbing harness*

  • Climbing helmet*

The following items are optional:

  • Thermarest (a foam camping mat is provided)

  • Trekking poles (recommended)

  • Trainers or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Scarf or buff

  • Earplugs (especially if you are not the one snoring in huts)

  • Swimwear (for use in thermal baths)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Notes

Mountaineering boots: We recommend either double mountaineering boots or insulated mountain boots designed for the conditions encountered at 6000 metres. Examples of the latter type of boot are the Sportiva Batura 2 and the Scarpa Phantom Guide.

Equipment hire / rental:Items marked * can be hired locally in Quito. The contract for any hire equipment will be between the hire shop and the client and not with KE Adventure Travel. However, any hire equipment required can be reserved in advance through the KE office. The approximate price** for hire equipment is given below.

  • Insulated ‘double boot’ mountaineering boots: $65

  • 12 point crampons: $45

  • Ice axe: $30

  • Climbing harness with karabiner: $50

  • Climbing helmet: $30

** The above prices are approximate and for guidance only. KE Adventure Travel cannot accept any responsibility for changes to the price of hire equipment.

PHD Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition. Click here.

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>http://www.needlesports.com/

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Galapagos Islands Cruise

7 Days
Situated over 600 miles from the mainland of South America, the remote archipelago of the Galapagos Islands needs little introduction. The Galapagos Islands are considered to the crown jewels of the natural world, achieving near mythological status following visits by Charles Darwin. It was on his second visit aboard HMS Beagle in 1835 that Darwin's scientific studies introduced the world to the theory of evolution. The islands teem with life, much of which seem totally unphased and perhaps curious of visitors. Of the thirteen major islands, on five have any form of human habitation. The environmental footprint is kept to an absolute minimum, allowing you, the visitor, a chance to explore the incredible biodiversity of these famous islands untouched by human development.Expect close encounters with blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, albatross, giant tortoises, seals, turtles and dinasaur-like lizards amongst many, many other examples.
Extension Code: GALP
Sharing Price from
US$5,105
Deposit Per Person from
US$2,400

Extension Itinerary

Arrive in Quito any time.

We take an early flight to San Cristobal Island, stopping off for refuelling at Guayaquil. In the afternoon, we board our boat, the Monserrat, and visit Isla Lobos, to be greeted by sea lions frolicking in the waves. We will explore this island on foot and perhaps by panga to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. There will be an opportunity to snorkel in the waters of Isla Lobos too.

Meals

B L D

We visit Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island. Here we can observe sea lions, marine iguanas and seabirds. In the afternoon we visit the giant tortoise breeding area in the highlands. Later we set sail for Bahia Gardner, a sheltered cove off Espanola Island.

Meals

B L D

Today we visit the magnificent, white sandy beach of Gardner Bay, home to colonies of sea lions and birds. There will be a chance to snorkel the turquoise waters and spot large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump-headed parrot fish. We may even be lucky enough to spot white-tipped reef sharks, napping on the bottom! We then visit Punta Suarez, one of the most wildlife-rich landing spots in the Galapagos. Here we can observe many nesting birds including the waved albatross.

Meals

B L D

Upon landing at Punta Cormorant and Floreana Island, we visit the amazing multi-coloured beaches. We observe flamingoes and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Penguins and marine iguanas can also be spotted on the water's edge. We then move on to Champion Islet where we have another chance to snorkel with sea lions and, if we're lucky, turtles and rays. Afterwards, we visit Post Office Bay where we learn all about its unique history. English whaling vessels placed a barrel here in the 18th centuary where it functioned as a rather unusual post office!

Meals

B L D

We disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we can observe many species of tortoise and land iguanas at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre. We learn about the conservation work and scientific research that is undertaken on this remote archipelago. We than catch our flight back to the mainland, and Quito.

Meals

B

Depart anytime.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Return Internal flights from Quito to Baltra and associated airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Double or twin berth cabin on full board basis (according to itinerary)
  • Cruise on a Tourist Class boat (according to itinerary)
  • Galapagos guide
What's Not Included
  • Galapagos National Park entrance $100 per person ($200 from 1 Aug 2024) payable locally in cash

  • Transit control card $20 per person (must be paid locally in cash)

  • Tips of local staff

  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Reviews

4.3 out of 5 from 4 reviews

Interesting trip ★★★★

We were unlucky with the weather in April. Following on from many weeks of rain we had a dry first week, but cloud removed any of the views we expected. Then on Cayambe we were blessed by perfect conditions for the ascent and great views. Unfortunately by the time we got to Chimborazo the clouds had returned and within an hour of the start of the ascent we had to abort due to the avalanche risk. For me there is too much tramping through pampas grass in the first week of the trip, but things impr ove with the ascent of the rocky ridge on Illiniza Norte. There is a good mix of culture and travel throughout the trip, particularly interesting are the overnight homestay and the relaxing dip in the thermal springs. The in country organisation was excellent, responding well to dealing with medical problems and individual trip changes. Accomodation in Haciendas particularly good. The Quito hotel conveniently close to the Artisans' Market. Lead Guide, Diego , an unflappable and knowledgeable source of information, with a good guide/client ratio on the two summit days. A good introductory trip with no real altitude issues.
By Ian from Huddersfield | 22 April 2017

Fantastic Trek ★★★★★

The Triple Crown trek was fantastic. Diago and his team were incredible and bent over backwards to make it an enjoyable and achievable experience for all of us. Reaching the summit of Chayambe was hard work but Julio was an excellent guide and really spurred me on to the top. I had unfortunate problems with altitude so the Campus team helped me organise a 3 day cloud forest visit rather than climbing the last two mountains. All in all an amazing trip which I would certainly recommend.

By Vanessa from MILTON KEYNES | 19 April 2017

Trip of a Lifetime! ★★★★★

As a mountaineer and a world traveler, I was not entirely sure what to expect from the Ecuador Volcanoes. Though I was drawn to them, they - and the country itself - seem rather obscure and not nearly as flashy as Kilimanjaro or Aconcagua. And yet, from the moment the KE rep picked me up at the airport (around midnight), I could feel the warmth and friendliness of the Ecuadorian people. KE has found gold with Camilo and Mariojlen Andrade and their ground operations, and with their exhuberant loc al trekking and climbing guides. Camilo is the ultimate Renaissance man - a classic mountaineer who has climbed the greats many times, but a gifted artist with a literary background and a love for the Kichwa culture. I felt so blessed to be welcomed not only into his hacienda Pantavi near Tumbabiro, but also to his office and his home, all three of them filled with museum-quality art. He knew so much about every plant and animal, about farming practices, about which mountains were used in pre-Columbian times for rituals. Every turn was a fascinating bit of information - and he also used this explanation time to give us rest breaks on the high altitude treks! During the first 3 days of the trek I was quite ill (altitude sickness or some water-borne issue - my advice to travelers - bring your water filter or tablets, even for washing your toothbrush or cleaning out Nalgene bottles). Camilo quickly consulted with our local guide Avram, and found an alternative route so I could continue the trek. It can't be fun for the guides to wait as the client vomits or takes a nap during the trek, but I appreciated the extra care when sick and hiking in a foreign country. Imbabura, Cayambe and Iliniza Norte were spectacular. They will go down as some of the best climbs of my life. I love scrambling, so the 2 scrambles were great fun and Cayambe was the hardest thing I've ever done, but highly rewarding as well. I am not sure what happened on Chimborazo, but the mix of sketchy conditions (black ice, loose scree & ice, 45* snow gullies) and a freak whiteout meant nobody summited. I chose to stay back in the hut. I think we were all tired by that point and there wasn't a whole lot of gusto for the summit and sometimes the mountain just says no. The stay in the village of San Clemente was one of the most special experiences I've had in a foreign country. Manuel and Laura were lovely hosts and the setup of the compound was so unique. It felt like home and I'm glad we were able to spend time there. The food was delicious - very balanced meals for high-output hiking and climbing. Always a delicious protein, a carb, some veggies and dessert. My stomach issues and altitude prevented me from truly appreciating the delicious meats and traditional dishes like arepas, humitas, plantain and quinoa soups and yucca fries. It was obvious the meats were fresh and organic, the eggs were that morning's pick, the fruits and veggies came from nearby farms. I wish I'd had much more of an appetite than I did! Also, the tea selections were really interesting! It is almost impossible to predict how the group dynamics will go, and part of this may be owed to Camilo and his leadership, but our team was amazing!!! It could not have come together better. We each found climbing partners who matched our pace and temperament, and this allowed most of us to summit most of the mountains. It was also a good thing we got along because we spent quite a lot of time together climbing, driving, eating, touring, etc... I am glad i booked a single room because, at the end of the day, I needed some time alone. But our group was amazing and I think I've made lifelong friends among my teammates. And I think we all fell in love with Ecuador. Now for the improvement feedback: We really tried to do too much on the trip. I appreciated the cultural aspects of the tour, it wasn't just about climbing - I wanted to learn something about the country. But sometimes I felt like we really needed to pare down our itinerary to get centered for our next climb. A couple times our schedule changed without notice or explanation and it took a lot out of us - exhausted us. As an example, we were supposed to stay in a local hacienda after Iliniza, a 20min drive from the trailhead (Hacienda de la Cuella). But, with no explanation, we ended up driving 4hrs to Riobamba, getting in after 9pm (after leaving Quito at 5am), totally dehydrated and barely able to eat. We went to sleep, then woke up to drive another 90 min to train on Chimborazo the next morning. Though I loved the Iliniza climb, I can say this day was so difficult - it drained every drop of my energy and it might have been much easier if we'd stayed locally after that climb. Additionally, the day we were to climb Chimborazo, we drove an hour out of our way to tour an old church, a handcraft market and a mountain lodge. We were never sure why these changes occurred and even though we were pretty easygoing, I felt like we needed to get more communications, as well as a little more rest. My teammates overruled me on the pre-Chimborazo tourism. Though the original itinerary said "leisurely morning in Riobamba," they wanted the distraction, so we proceeded with the new itinerary. I think it had no bearing on our summit - conditions and weather decided that - but I can't discount my own sheer exhaustion and its part in my decision not to attempt it. All in all, this was an extraordinary trip. KE has a great organization, fabulous ground crew/local outfitter, and its choice of lodging was so unique, I feel like we saw a side of the country that most travelers don't get to see. Again, trip of a lifetime and I will definitely book with KE again.
By Meryl from Olympia | 30 November 2016

My Ecuador Experiences ★★★

Firstly, as a country I would gladly recommend to anyone to visit and experience the mix of old and new, poor and well off, the traditional way off life v the more modern. I enjoyed the different accommodations we stayed in, especially the Tumbabiro hosteria and the home stay in the San Clemente area. I loved the food/meals we were served during our stays and when making our own choices of restaurants in the evenings. Also to the catering staff during our trekking, for making our breakfast, even ing meals and packed lunches, they did a fantastic job. our beginning and ending trip stays at the Casa Hebling in Quito was great the staff there were very helpful at all times. Our two main tour guides, Miguel and Joaquin, driver and main guide respectively were both great guys. Both friendly and helpful during the trip. So with all the good experiences mind from this trip, still the main reason for coming to Ecuador was to climb : _ Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. I firstly chose this trip because of my desire to climb Cotopaxi firstly and hopefully achieve other peaks. Now because Cotopaxi has been erupting and was out of bounds other travellers pulled out of the trip and when I arrived in Quito only 2 other people were on the trip and this would later impact myself later in the trip. I had prepared myself pretty well prior to this trip and knew from previous experiences that I normally acclimatised well but just a bit slower than others. so disappointment No.1 - Cotopaxi was out of bounds due to recent eruptions, obviously out of anyone's control but a big disappointment to myself. Disappointment No. 2 - Cayambe ascent, we failed to reach the top by about 200 metres due to glacier conditions and the amount of open crevasses. But during the ascent we were split into myself and another guy with one guide and the other person with the other guide. As we were ascending the did not stay close together and were doing there own thing. So when the guy who was roped with myself decided he could not carry on the two guides were no where near each others and Joaquin was not answering his radio. So then a lot of shouting took place to get his attention and in order for me to join the other guide we left the person who wanted return down on his own on the glacier whilst I crossed to the other guide. He must have been on his own for at least 20minutes if not longer, which I don't think is an appropriate action. The two guides should have been closer together for this very possibility. Major disappointment No.3 - Chimborazo ascent - prior to our ascent night from the refuge we climbed a separate section to the normal route and ascended to about 5500 -5600 metres, Now as the night ascent involved traversing along a ridge I don't understand why we did not climb close to this to get a understanding and feel for the route for the next day. On ascent night, I was paired with the same guy who was left with me on Cayambe and the other guy who struggled was with a separate guide. This is where the too small a group came into play and hindered my ascent. About 3 hours into the ascent traversing the ridge the guy I was ascending with slipped a number of times and became scared of falling plus to my mind there seemed to be a bit of confusion about the route by the guide. Also unbeknown to us the other guy had decided to return down with the other guide. So as soon as my climbing partner decided he wanted to descend, I was feeling fit and strong at this time, wanting to carry on and never got to attempt the summit. My heart sank as I never got the chance to climb Chimborazo. This I blame on the small group size and only having two guides. I will never get the chance to come back and do this trip again, all my prep and training went to waste which I believe with a group size of just three people impacted greatly on this trip.
By David from Calgary | 14 February 2016

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your experience of Ecuador and that you thought our local staff, accommodations and meals were all excellent. Naturally, we share your disappointment at being unable to reach the three summits. Although KE has an excellent success rate on these peaks, they provide a real mountaineering challenge and can never be guaranteed. Your guide has informed us that conditions were particularly icy during your attempt on Cayambe and Chimborazo and that you did very well to almost reach the summits of these two volcanoes. We have a guide to client ratio of 1:2 for all the summits of the 'Triple Crown' irrespective of the size of the group. Clients are paired according to ability and each rope of 2 clients plus guide operates independently. This gives everyone taking part the optimum chance of success.


Traveller Reviews
4.3 out of 5 from 4 reviews

Interesting trip
★ ★ ★ ★
We were unlucky with the weather in April. Following on from many weeks of rain we had a dry first week, but cloud removed any of the views we expected. Then on Cayambe we were blessed by perfect conditions for the ascent and great views. Unfortunately by the time we got to Chimborazo the clouds had returned and within an hour of the start of the ascent we had to abort due to the avalanche risk. For me there is too much tramping through pampas grass in the first week of the trip, but things impr ove with the ascent of the rocky ridge on Illiniza Norte. There is a good mix of culture and travel throughout the trip, particularly interesting are the overnight homestay and the relaxing dip in the thermal springs. The in country organisation was excellent, responding well to dealing with medical problems and individual trip changes. Accomodation in Haciendas particularly good. The Quito hotel conveniently close to the Artisans' Market. Lead Guide, Diego , an unflappable and knowledgeable source of information, with a good guide/client ratio on the two summit days. A good introductory trip with no real altitude issues.
By Ian from Huddersfield | 22 April 2017

Fantastic Trek
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Triple Crown trek was fantastic. Diago and his team were incredible and bent over backwards to make it an enjoyable and achievable experience for all of us. Reaching the summit of Chayambe was hard work but Julio was an excellent guide and really spurred me on to the top. I had unfortunate problems with altitude so the Campus team helped me organise a 3 day cloud forest visit rather than climbing the last two mountains. All in all an amazing trip which I would certainly recommend.

By Vanessa from MILTON KEYNES | 19 April 2017

Trip of a Lifetime!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As a mountaineer and a world traveler, I was not entirely sure what to expect from the Ecuador Volcanoes. Though I was drawn to them, they - and the country itself - seem rather obscure and not nearly as flashy as Kilimanjaro or Aconcagua. And yet, from the moment the KE rep picked me up at the airport (around midnight), I could feel the warmth and friendliness of the Ecuadorian people. KE has found gold with Camilo and Mariojlen Andrade and their ground operations, and with their exhuberant loc al trekking and climbing guides. Camilo is the ultimate Renaissance man - a classic mountaineer who has climbed the greats many times, but a gifted artist with a literary background and a love for the Kichwa culture. I felt so blessed to be welcomed not only into his hacienda Pantavi near Tumbabiro, but also to his office and his home, all three of them filled with museum-quality art. He knew so much about every plant and animal, about farming practices, about which mountains were used in pre-Columbian times for rituals. Every turn was a fascinating bit of information - and he also used this explanation time to give us rest breaks on the high altitude treks! During the first 3 days of the trek I was quite ill (altitude sickness or some water-borne issue - my advice to travelers - bring your water filter or tablets, even for washing your toothbrush or cleaning out Nalgene bottles). Camilo quickly consulted with our local guide Avram, and found an alternative route so I could continue the trek. It can't be fun for the guides to wait as the client vomits or takes a nap during the trek, but I appreciated the extra care when sick and hiking in a foreign country. Imbabura, Cayambe and Iliniza Norte were spectacular. They will go down as some of the best climbs of my life. I love scrambling, so the 2 scrambles were great fun and Cayambe was the hardest thing I've ever done, but highly rewarding as well. I am not sure what happened on Chimborazo, but the mix of sketchy conditions (black ice, loose scree & ice, 45* snow gullies) and a freak whiteout meant nobody summited. I chose to stay back in the hut. I think we were all tired by that point and there wasn't a whole lot of gusto for the summit and sometimes the mountain just says no. The stay in the village of San Clemente was one of the most special experiences I've had in a foreign country. Manuel and Laura were lovely hosts and the setup of the compound was so unique. It felt like home and I'm glad we were able to spend time there. The food was delicious - very balanced meals for high-output hiking and climbing. Always a delicious protein, a carb, some veggies and dessert. My stomach issues and altitude prevented me from truly appreciating the delicious meats and traditional dishes like arepas, humitas, plantain and quinoa soups and yucca fries. It was obvious the meats were fresh and organic, the eggs were that morning's pick, the fruits and veggies came from nearby farms. I wish I'd had much more of an appetite than I did! Also, the tea selections were really interesting! It is almost impossible to predict how the group dynamics will go, and part of this may be owed to Camilo and his leadership, but our team was amazing!!! It could not have come together better. We each found climbing partners who matched our pace and temperament, and this allowed most of us to summit most of the mountains. It was also a good thing we got along because we spent quite a lot of time together climbing, driving, eating, touring, etc... I am glad i booked a single room because, at the end of the day, I needed some time alone. But our group was amazing and I think I've made lifelong friends among my teammates. And I think we all fell in love with Ecuador. Now for the improvement feedback: We really tried to do too much on the trip. I appreciated the cultural aspects of the tour, it wasn't just about climbing - I wanted to learn something about the country. But sometimes I felt like we really needed to pare down our itinerary to get centered for our next climb. A couple times our schedule changed without notice or explanation and it took a lot out of us - exhausted us. As an example, we were supposed to stay in a local hacienda after Iliniza, a 20min drive from the trailhead (Hacienda de la Cuella). But, with no explanation, we ended up driving 4hrs to Riobamba, getting in after 9pm (after leaving Quito at 5am), totally dehydrated and barely able to eat. We went to sleep, then woke up to drive another 90 min to train on Chimborazo the next morning. Though I loved the Iliniza climb, I can say this day was so difficult - it drained every drop of my energy and it might have been much easier if we'd stayed locally after that climb. Additionally, the day we were to climb Chimborazo, we drove an hour out of our way to tour an old church, a handcraft market and a mountain lodge. We were never sure why these changes occurred and even though we were pretty easygoing, I felt like we needed to get more communications, as well as a little more rest. My teammates overruled me on the pre-Chimborazo tourism. Though the original itinerary said "leisurely morning in Riobamba," they wanted the distraction, so we proceeded with the new itinerary. I think it had no bearing on our summit - conditions and weather decided that - but I can't discount my own sheer exhaustion and its part in my decision not to attempt it. All in all, this was an extraordinary trip. KE has a great organization, fabulous ground crew/local outfitter, and its choice of lodging was so unique, I feel like we saw a side of the country that most travelers don't get to see. Again, trip of a lifetime and I will definitely book with KE again.
By Meryl from Olympia | 30 November 2016

My Ecuador Experiences
★ ★ ★
Firstly, as a country I would gladly recommend to anyone to visit and experience the mix of old and new, poor and well off, the traditional way off life v the more modern. I enjoyed the different accommodations we stayed in, especially the Tumbabiro hosteria and the home stay in the San Clemente area. I loved the food/meals we were served during our stays and when making our own choices of restaurants in the evenings. Also to the catering staff during our trekking, for making our breakfast, even ing meals and packed lunches, they did a fantastic job. our beginning and ending trip stays at the Casa Hebling in Quito was great the staff there were very helpful at all times. Our two main tour guides, Miguel and Joaquin, driver and main guide respectively were both great guys. Both friendly and helpful during the trip. So with all the good experiences mind from this trip, still the main reason for coming to Ecuador was to climb : _ Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. I firstly chose this trip because of my desire to climb Cotopaxi firstly and hopefully achieve other peaks. Now because Cotopaxi has been erupting and was out of bounds other travellers pulled out of the trip and when I arrived in Quito only 2 other people were on the trip and this would later impact myself later in the trip. I had prepared myself pretty well prior to this trip and knew from previous experiences that I normally acclimatised well but just a bit slower than others. so disappointment No.1 - Cotopaxi was out of bounds due to recent eruptions, obviously out of anyone's control but a big disappointment to myself. Disappointment No. 2 - Cayambe ascent, we failed to reach the top by about 200 metres due to glacier conditions and the amount of open crevasses. But during the ascent we were split into myself and another guy with one guide and the other person with the other guide. As we were ascending the did not stay close together and were doing there own thing. So when the guy who was roped with myself decided he could not carry on the two guides were no where near each others and Joaquin was not answering his radio. So then a lot of shouting took place to get his attention and in order for me to join the other guide we left the person who wanted return down on his own on the glacier whilst I crossed to the other guide. He must have been on his own for at least 20minutes if not longer, which I don't think is an appropriate action. The two guides should have been closer together for this very possibility. Major disappointment No.3 - Chimborazo ascent - prior to our ascent night from the refuge we climbed a separate section to the normal route and ascended to about 5500 -5600 metres, Now as the night ascent involved traversing along a ridge I don't understand why we did not climb close to this to get a understanding and feel for the route for the next day. On ascent night, I was paired with the same guy who was left with me on Cayambe and the other guy who struggled was with a separate guide. This is where the too small a group came into play and hindered my ascent. About 3 hours into the ascent traversing the ridge the guy I was ascending with slipped a number of times and became scared of falling plus to my mind there seemed to be a bit of confusion about the route by the guide. Also unbeknown to us the other guy had decided to return down with the other guide. So as soon as my climbing partner decided he wanted to descend, I was feeling fit and strong at this time, wanting to carry on and never got to attempt the summit. My heart sank as I never got the chance to climb Chimborazo. This I blame on the small group size and only having two guides. I will never get the chance to come back and do this trip again, all my prep and training went to waste which I believe with a group size of just three people impacted greatly on this trip.
By David from Calgary | 14 February 2016

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your experience of Ecuador and that you thought our local staff, accommodations and meals were all excellent. Naturally, we share your disappointment at being unable to reach the three summits. Although KE has an excellent success rate on these peaks, they provide a real mountaineering challenge and can never be guaranteed. Your guide has informed us that conditions were particularly icy during your attempt on Cayambe and Chimborazo and that you did very well to almost reach the summits of these two volcanoes. We have a guide to client ratio of 1:2 for all the summits of the 'Triple Crown' irrespective of the size of the group. Clients are paired according to ability and each rope of 2 clients plus guide operates independently. This gives everyone taking part the optimum chance of success.


DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Ecuador's Triple Crown
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ECU /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 1 Nov and ends on Sun 17 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all group hotel & lodge nights (n/a in huts)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$80
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Ecuador's Triple Crown
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ECU /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Fri 17 Jan and ends on Sun 2 Feb
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all group hotel & lodge nights (n/a in huts)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$80
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Ecuador's Triple Crown
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ECU /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Fri 11 Apr and ends on Sun 27 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all group hotel & lodge nights (n/a in huts)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$80
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Ecuador's Triple Crown
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ECU /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Fri 31 Oct and ends on Sun 16 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all group hotel & lodge nights (n/a in huts)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$80
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Ecuador's Triple Crown
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ECU /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 11 Dec and ends on Sat 27 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all group hotel & lodge nights (n/a in huts)
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$80
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining at the hotel in Quito. A single transfer is included from/to Quito Airport.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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