Ecuador Tours and Expeditions Agency



trip type



2 days

Starting at

USD 275

Start your high mountain experience by climbing the Illiniza Norte (5,126m), one of the 10 highest peaks in Ecuador! It is one of the two peaks of the Illinizas, a pair of volcanic mountains that used to be part of the same volcano.

It is one of the two peaks of the Illinizas, a pair of volcanic mountains that used to be part of the same volcano, which was then divided. Illiniza Norte does not feature a glacier like its sister peak, but instead requires scrambling to reach the top. It is a great option for people aspiring to climb above 5,000 metres for the first time, or for those training to attempt one of the higher glaciated peaks. Prepare for some high altitude trekking and scrambling!

This tour can be organised from either The Secret Garden Cotopaxi or The Secret Garden Quito. However, we recommend staying at The Secret Garden Cotopaxi, as it’s a much better location for acclimatisation! The hostel is located at 3,500 metres, 700 metres higher than Quito, which means you sleep high up and better prepare your body for high altitude trekking. There are also many hiking options, perfect for training for the higher peaks! Furthermore, this tour can be done in either one or two days. The 1-day option is better-suited for those wishing to attempt a greater-than-5,000-metre peak without more ambitious plans. The 2-day option includes staying at the Illinizas refuge for one night, and is more suitable for those training for one of the glaciated peaks, as they end up spending more time at even higher altitude and acclimatise even better. The 2-day option is also suitable for those who have not hiked above 5,000 metres before and prefer to do it a bit more gradually.


Day1: Machachi – Nuevos Horizontes Hut (15,580ft/4,750m)  

We will leave from Machachi in the morning and drive through the Avenue of the Volcanoes until we get to the village of “El Chaupi”. We will continue driving until we get to “La Virgen parking lot” (12,795ft/3,900m). Once there, we will start a 3-hour hike up to the “Nuevos Horizontes Refuge” (15,580ft/4,750m). We will relax for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served by late afternoon. (-/-/D)

Day 2: Illiniza Norte Summit (16,818ft/5,126m) – Machachi

Our climbing day starts at 5am. We will have a light breakfast, pack our climbing equipment and leave the refuge an hour later. We will continue hiking up towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then to the Illiniza Norte summit (16,818ft/5,126 m). The approach to the top involves an easy 3-hour scrambling. Once at the summit, we will enjoy and admire the beautiful surroundings. After that, we will descend to La Virgen parking lot from the other side and drive back to Machachi. (B/-/-)


(Times are approximate)

Day 1

9.30am Depart from The Secret Garden Cotopaxi

10.30am Arrive in Machachi. Equipment check.

11am Depart from Machachi to “La Virgen parking lot”

12.30pm Arrive at “La Virgen parking lot”. Start hike to the “Nuevos Horizontes Hut”.

3.30pm Arrive at “Nuevos Horizontes Hut”

6pm Light dinner and rest

Day 2

4.30am Wake up, light breakfast and get ready

5.30am Start ascent

8.30am Arrive at the summit

9am Start descent to “La Virgen parking lot”

12pm Arrive at “La Virgen parking lot” and depart to Machachi

1.30pm Arrive in Machachi


Price per person: 

1 pax: $420.00

2 paxs: $275.00

3 paxs: $295.00

Superior service
Private transportation and transfers from and to Machachi
Professional Mountain Guide IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guide) or ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides) / ratio 2 climbers – 1 guide
Technical mountain equipment (ice axe, harness and helmet)
Personal mountain gear (waterproof trousers, jacket, gloves, sleeping bag, sunglasses and head torch)
Accommodation in Nuevos Horizontes hut
All meals during the hikes and climbs (shown above with B: breakfast and D: dinner)
A registered and fully licensed Tour Operator
National Park fees and permits registration
Permanent communication through walkie-talkie between guides and office in case of an emergency
Common gear: ropes, ice screws, snow pickets, rescue gear
Fully first aid kit (Recommended by NOLS WILDERNESS MEDICINE INSTITUTE)
Rescue or evacuation service in case of any incident in the mountains

Transport from The Secret Garden Cotopaxi to Machachi ($20 for up to 4 people)
Other items (back pack, boots, batteries for the head torch, base layer tops/bottoms)
Single supplement
Meals and beverages at the hotels (lunch, dinner)
Personal insurance
Other non-specified expenses

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