Ecuador's Triple Crown

Trekking and climbing in Ecuador including the 3 highest peaks





From $2,980 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Climb Chimborazo, the furthest point from the centre of the Earth
  • Cotopaxi, the world`s highest active volcano
  • Acclimatise on Imbabura, Cyambe and a trek through the highlands
  • Cultural programme included

Some of the highest volcanoes on earth can be found in Ecuador, at the northern end of the Andean Chain. This exciting trekking and climbing holiday will give you the opportunity of climbing three of the highest peaks in Ecuador including reaching the furthest point on the planet from the centre of the Earth! Starting out to the north of the capital city of Quito, we gain acclimatisation with a circuit of the amazing Cuicocha crater lake, followed by a 3-day trek across the Cotacachi-Cayapas highlands, one of the most diverse and spectacular of Ecuador's bio-preserves and finally, the ascent of the rocky Imbabura volcano (4609 metres). We then turn our attention to the ‘Big 3', each of which is climbed from a high refuge. First in line is Cayambe (5790 metres), a peak which boasts the world's only glaciers which actually straddle the equator. Next, we tackle the challenging Cotopaxi (5895 metres), Ecuador's second highest summit and one of the world's highest active volcanoes. Descending from Cotopaxi, we travel via a stopover in the city of Riobamba, to our last peak, the stunning, snow-capped Chimborazo (6310 metres), which is the highest summit in Ecuador. On the summit you will be 2168 metres further from the earth's centre than the top of Everest! This justifiably popular holiday includes a varied programme of trekking and climbing, as well as the chance to visit a number of fascinating towns and villages for an insight into rural life and the culture of Equador's Quechua-speaking Indians.


Cotopaxi Update

On 14 - 16 August Cotopaxi erupted with several explosions and some minor lava flows. The immediate area around the volcano was evacuated and the National Park was closed to visitors. Since then the activity of Cotopaxi, both at the surface and internally, has gradually decreased but the National Park remains closed. While Cotopaxi remains active we will climb Carihuairazo (5018m) as part of our Triple Crown. The remainder of the itinerary including the ascent of Chimborazo is unaffected.

Is this holiday for you?

Our climbing holiday to Ecuador has its emphasis on climbing a number of peaks which are situated in different parts of Ecuador, rather than a continuous trek. Our vehicular transport allows us to reach well into the mountain areas and often the approach days are quite short. By contrast the climbing days can be relatively long and strenuous. The holiday also includes a three-day acclimatisation trek through the high Paramo of the Cotacochi-Cayapas Nature Reserve. This involves continuous trekking above 3,000 metres and up to c. 4,000 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 a fairly ambitious programme and a high level of fitness and previous experience using ice axe and crampons are a pre-requisite to complete all of our objectives.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group accommodation in Quito. A single transfer from Quito Airport is provided.
  • Acclimatisation in Quito (2800m). Briefing followed by walking tour of the Old City.
  • Drive to Imbabura Province, walk around Cuicocha lake and drive to Tumbabiro (2045m).
  • Trek in the Cotacochi-Cayapas nature reserve to the village of San Francisco (3070m).
  • Trek acrossa pass (3960m), climb Ollas Chico (4005m) and descend to Yanacocha (3870m).
  • Trek to Chachimbito hot springs, drive to Tumbabiro (2045m).
  • Trek to summit of Imbabura Volcano (4616m). Return to Tumbabiro (2045m).
  • Morning drive to Cayambe refuge (4700m). Afternoon skills training.
  • Climb Cyambe (5790m) and return to the refuge. Afternoon drive to Quito.
  • In Quito. Day at leisure.
  • Drive to the Cotapaxi Jose Rivas refuge (4800m).
  • Climb Cotopaxi (5895m). Descend to the refuge and drive to Machachi (2886m).
  • Drive via 'Indiginos' market or Quilotoa lake to Riobamba (2754m).
  • Drive to Chimborazo's Edward Whymper refuge (5000m).
  • Climb Chimborazo (6310m), Ecuador's highest peak. Return to the refuge and drive to Quito (2800m).
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Quito Airport is provided.
Fri 06 Nov - Sat 21 Nov Code ECU /05/15/ Adult$2,980 Status Limited (Only 1 place left) Book now
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Fri 20 Jan - Sat 04 Feb Code ECU /01/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
Sat 01 Apr - Sun 16 Apr Code ECU /02/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Quito. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Quito airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • peaks
  • airport
  • point
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group accommodation in Quito. A single transfer from Quito Airport is provided.

    at the group's accommodation in Quito. A complimentary single, timed group transfer from Quito Airport is provided. After checking in, we can meet our fellow travellers. 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 and KE Land Only services begin with the overnight stay.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

  • Acclimatisation in Quito (2800m). Briefing followed by walking tour of the Old City.

    Over breakfast, we have a briefing from our tour leader on the days ahead. After breakfast we have a 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. The afternoon is free for further independent sight-seeing or to visit Quito's fashionable Avenida Amazonas for shopping. In the evening we can choose a restaurant for dinner and we make final preparations for our trekking.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals b

  • Drive to Imbabura Province, walk around Cuicocha lake and drive to Tumbabiro (2045m).

    We make an early departure for the drive northwards to Imbabura Province where we stop at Cuicocha Lake. We will take a warm-up stroll around above this stunning aqua-marine crater lake,walking along the caldera rim. This is good acclimatisation at an average altitude of 3500 metres and will take around 4 – 5 hours to complete at a steady pace. 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 bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Trek in the Cotacochi-Cayapas nature reserve to the village of San Francisco (3070m).

    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 three-day acclimatisation hike through the reserve. Beginning at an elevation of 2500 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 bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek acrossa pass (3960m), climb Ollas Chico (4005m) and descend to Yanacocha (3870m).

    While we take breakfast, our luggage and camping equipment is loaded onto mules, and we then set off toward the grasslands of the high paramo. We first pass through mountain forest and then climb to a pass at 3960 metres. After a short descent we make a detour to climb the 4005-metre peak of Yanaurcu, an extinct volcano which for pre-Columbian peoples, was a mysterious and sacred mountain. Several years ago a pre-Columbian structure believed to be an altar, was discovered on the summit. From the peak we descend directly to our campsite, a very scenic spot beside Yanacocha lake.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Chachimbito hot springs, drive to Tumbabiro (2045m).

    Our path today heads generally east as we make a gradual descent 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 Chachimbito thermal springs for a relaxing hot bath. We now return to our hosteria at Tumbabiro.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek to summit of Imbabura Volcano (4616m). Return to Tumbabiro (2045m).

    We make an early start today for the ascent of Volcan Imbabura (4609m). We drive up to around 3400 metres 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 rocky scrambling 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 to San Clemente where we have a homestay with this small village community. Many of our clients have commented that the stay with the San Clemente community with its insight into rural life in Andean Ecuador, is a real highlight of their holiday.

    • Accommodation Homestay

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Morning drive to Cayambe refuge (4700m). Afternoon skills training.

    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 (4,650m) 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 practice techniques and sharpen our skills before an early dinner and bed.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 1 hr walking

  • Climb Cyambe (5790m) and return to the refuge. Afternoon drive to Quito.

    We rise at midnight and start after breakfast, initially walking on rock and scree by the light of headtorches 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 2½ 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 bl

    • Time 9 - 10 hrs climbing

  • In Quito. Day at leisure.

    A free day for rest and recovery. Time to catch up on laundry, diaries, blogging etc and/or for independent sightseeing. 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 straddle a line with one foot in each hemisphere.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals b

  • Drive to the Cotapaxi Jose Rivas refuge (4800m).

    After a leisurely morning we head south and drive into 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 4600 metres and from here, we walk for 20 - 30 minutes up to the Jose Rivas Refuge, at an altitude of 4800 metres. If the weather is clear there are fabulous views over Limpiopungo Lake and the nearby volcano Rumenahuai. We will take an early dinner at the hut and then have an early night in preparation for the ascent of Cotopaxi.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Cotopaxi (5895m). Descend to the refuge and drive to Machachi (2886m).

    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 Machachi (2886m).

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

    • Time 10 - 12 hrs climbing

  • Drive via 'Indiginos' market or Quilotoa lake to Riobamba (2754m).

    After a relaxing morning in our hotel we drive to Riobamba. En route we will make a stop to visit a colourful 'Indiginos' market which are famous throughout Ecuador for offering a range of locally made handicrafts. Depending on the time available and prevailing conditions, we may also visit the crater lake of Quilotoa. Arriving in the large town of Riobamba we check into our hoitel and the rest of the evening is free to explore the city.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • Drive to Chimborazo's Edward Whymper refuge (5000m).

    From Riobamba we drive to the Edward Whymper Refuge, at close to 5000 metres on the slopes of Chimborazo (6310m). The hut, named after the famous climber of the Matterhorn who was also the first person to climb Chimborazo in 1880, provides the perfect base for an attempt on Ecuador’s highest and most famous peak. When Wymper came here to make his climb it was commonly believed that Chimborazo was the world’s highest peak. As with the Jose Rivas hut on Cotopaxi, vehicles are parked below the refuge and there is a short climb to reach the accommodation. In certain snow and/or temperature conditions the guides may opt to start from the Carrel refuge which is situated at 4800 metres. Climbing Chimborazo by this route will take an extra hour. Your guides will make the decision about which hut to use. Arriving at the hut, we have an early dinner and settle down to bed ready for another midnight start.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Chimborazo (6310m), Ecuador's highest peak. Return to the refuge and drive to Quito (2800m).

    Given good weather and good snow conditions, Chimborazo presents a quite straightforward though long climb. Starting out at midnight, and following the Whymper/ Normal route, the climb begins on slopes of scree and volcanic talus before getting onto the expansive glacier. We will encounter snow slopes of average angle of 25 – 30 degrees with the occasional steeper section. It takes around 6 – 7 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). From time to time the contortions of the glacier on Chimborazo can make the normal route technically more challenging for a whole season and in these circumstances we establish a fixed camp on a different side of the mountain which will enable us to make an ascent in most seasons, weather permitting. After enjoying the sensation of being on top of the world, we make the descent which will take around 2 to 3 hours to get back back to the refuge, and after a late breakfast or early lunch, we drive 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 bl

    • Time 10 - 12 hrs climbing

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Quito Airport is provided.

    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 KE Land Only package services end. 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

Holiday Information

  • English speaking local leader
  • Qualified mountain guides (1:2 guide/clients) on Cayambe Cotopaxi and Chimborazo
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • A full trek service including cooks baggage animals and all equipment (excluding personal equipment) required for the 3 day trek in the Cotacachi-Cayapus National Reserve
  • 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

During this trip the group will spend a total of 6 nights in comfortable tourist standard hotels in Quito and Riobamba and a total of 4 nights in more basic hosteria accommodation in the small towns or villages of Tumbabiro, San Clemente and nearby Cotopaxi following the ascent. Accommodation here will have hot showers but these will not necessarily be ensuite. During the trek in the Cotacachi-Cayapas there are 2 nights wild camping and during the ascents of Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo we spend a total of 3 nights in mountain huts. All accommodation except the huts 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. In the mountain huts the accommodation is in dormitory beds. It is possible to book a single tent for the 2 nights camping at an extra cost. (please note single tent hire does not include hotel rooms). Depending on availability, it may also be possible to pre-book single rooms for the 10 nights that you spend in hotels and lodges. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 9 dinners are included in the holiday price. In Quito and Riobamba there is a wide range of dining options (and budget choices) 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. Clients will pay directly for a total of 4 lunches and 6 dinners. We suggest you budget between $7 and $20 for each of these meals.

Quito and Riobamba have a wide variety of restaurants providing excellent cuisine from around the world including good vegetarian food. At 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, potatoes, toasted corn, and pastries stuffed with spiced meats. For those wishing to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, you can try roasted cuy (guinea pig) or tronquito (bull penis soup), but these dishes are 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 cooks.

The group will rendezvous at the group hotel in Quito on Day 1 of the trip itinerary. A single timed transfer to the group hotel is arranged to coincide with the prefered group flights arriving in the late afternoon of Day 1. A KE representative will meet all clients using this transfer. At the end of the holiday a group transfer to Quito Airport from the the group hotel is provided to meet check in for the group flights, which depart in the early evening. Land Only clients must let us know their flight details and should indicate whether they wish to use the group transfers provided. Clients whose flight schedules do not allow them to take advantage of the group transfer, should make their own arrangements for airport transfers. Independent Quito Airport transfers can be arranged at additional cost. Please contact the KE office. Taxis are available 24 hours a day from outside the arrivals hall. It is approximately 5 miles to the city from the airport and this journey will take 20 - 30 minutes. Fares are in the range of $5 - 10. The airport has ATMs (located at the domestic terminal a few minutes walk away) and they accept all major credit and debit cards. A bureau de change is located in the international departure hall. Hotel contact details along with an emergency contact number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

This trip will be led by an experienced English-speaking local leader. In addition, on the ascents of the three main peaks of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo, we use additional qualified 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.

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.

Your baggage on the trek will be carried by baggage animals. The packed weight of your trek bag including your sleeping bag, during this part of the programme should not exceed 15kg (33 pounds) . It is possible to leave items not required on trek in the group hotel or in the support vehicle. For the remainder of the holiday your bag will be transported in the support vehicle.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

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 climbing to over 5000 metres. 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 on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking or climbing above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday.

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 trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs./33 lbs.
  • You must bring the following items:

    • Hiking boots
    • Gaiters
    • Socks
    • Trekking trousers / pants
    • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
    • Underwear
    • Baselayer shirts
    • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat or Balaclava
    • Eyewear - Sunglasses
    • Ski goggles
    • Gloves or mittens
    • Insulated over-gloves or mittens
    • 4 season sleeping bag*
    • Headtorch/Headlamp with spare batteries
    • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Water bottles 1 Litre (1 Quart) x2
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • Antibacterial handwash
    • Small towel
    • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
    • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
    • Daypack (approx. 50 litres)
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and 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)
    • Training shoes /Sneakers or similar for camp use
    • Spare laces
    • Shorts
    • Long johns (thermal underwear)
    • Scarf or buff
    • Nailbrush
    • Wet wipes
    • Earplugs (especially if you are not the one snoring in huts)
    • Swimwear (for use in thermal baths)
    • Travel clothes
    • Camera, film/memory cards, batteries
    • Penknife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
    • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
    • Down Jacket (for use in huts)


    • 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.

  • 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.
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    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.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Ecuador

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

    Transit via 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$14 and you should apply for it at

    NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA

    You should contact your GP 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.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in hill or back-country is probably the best preparation for a trip of this nature but any form of regular exercise such as running or swimming will be useful for developing aerobic fitness and better stamina. You should gradually increase your exercise leading up to departure, and in the month before setting off, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. 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.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: 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 FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    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 highland region 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 but is less likely to do so inside. 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.

    Ecuador. Lonely Planet guidebook. Ecuador. Rough Guides The Andes – A guide for Climbers. John Biggar Trekking in the Central Andes – Lonely Planet Ecuador and Galapagos Wildlife Guide Arris. 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.

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