Ecuador’s Volcanoes

Our Ecuador’s Volcanoes journey offers incredible climbing adventures and a rich cultural experience.

Cayambe (18997’/5790m), Cotopaxi (19347’/5897m), Chimborazo (20549’/6263m)

Ecuador is a stunningly beautiful country offering snowcapped volcanoes, lush jungles, and warm hospitality.  We have refined our itinerary based on three decades leading climbs to this magnificent country.  Our journey maximizes acclimatization setting us up for success on the climbs while experiencing native culture, partaking tasty local cuisine, perusing indigenous markets, exploring cathedrals, and relaxing in hot springs.

Team members fly to Quito at an altitude of 9350’/2850m. We spend two nights here exploring the city and hiking peaks such as Pasochoa, Corazon and/or Ruca Pichincha while we acclimatize. From Quito we will travel to a climbers guesthouse at the base of the Illinizas positioning ourselves for an early ascent of Illiniza Norte (16817/5126m) the following day.

Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s 2nd highest peak and 5th highest active volcano in the world, is next.  We base ourselves out of a refugio at 15748’/4800m.  Wearing crampons and carrying ice axes while roped up our route ascends superb glaciated terrain topping out to a breathtaking view of Cotopaxi’s unique double crater and magnificent 360 degree views.  After our descent we’re rewarded with a restful stay in a beautifully preserved Ecuadorian hacienda.

Cayambe is our next objective.  At 18997’/5790m it is Ecuador’s 3rd highest volcano and the only place on our planet where the latitude and temperature reaches 0 degrees.  It rises high above the town of Otovalo that hosts one of the most impressive native markets in Ecuador.

Chimborazo holds the unique distinction of its summit being the point on our planet farthest away from the center of the earth at 20549’/6263m.  Our climb via the Whymper Route requires extensive cramponing and ice axe skills over heavily glaciated terrain.

The climbing is challenging and enjoyable with breathtaking scenery throughout. In between each climb we visit beautifully preserved haciendas, jungles, hot springs, and indigenous people’s villages and markets.

The friendships we have formed over the years make a trip with SMI to Ecuador a truly special journey.

See our Snow Travel School and Mountaineering Skills Seminar for more information about learning ice axe techniques, cramponing methods, team rope travel, and other skills applicable to climbing Ecuador’s Volcanoes.

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February 17-27, 2022



LAND COSTS INCLUDE: Professional guides, hotels, breakfasts and dinners while on the mountains, all group equipment, hut fees, private transportation to and from Quito and all destinations in between.

Airline tickets, meals in restaurants, lunch food, personal equipment and clothing, airport taxes, and tips.

Galapagos Islands Extension

Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador are the Galapagos Islands. Formed by intense volcanic activity and made famous by Charles Darwin these islands host some of the most exotic wildlife in the world including the largest turtles on earth, sea lions, countless bird species, iguanas, dolphins, and much more. These animals, incredibly, show no fear of humans! Each island offers something unique and as we tour each the adaptive qualities of the animals becomes apparent. There are also unspoiled coral reefs that make for memorable snorkeling. This is a perfect way to end a mountaineering trip to Ecuador and also makes a great trip for non climbing friends and family to join at the conclusion of our climbs.


From $3500 plus airfare to and from the islands.