Ecuador Tours and Expeditions Agency



trip type



2 days

Starting at

USD 295

Challenge yourself by climbing the Illiniza Sur (5,263m)! 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.

Although lower in altitude than some of Ecuador’s other peaks, Illiniza Sur is more technical. The route to the summit features steep ramps, requiring more use of the ice axes and offering a different kind of challenge. Prepare for trekking and glacier climbing on some steep angles!

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 close to the Illinizas and also 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. There are also many hiking options, perfect for training for the higher peaks!


Day 1: Machachi  – Nuevos Horizontes Hut (15,583ft/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 Hut” (15,583ft/4,750m). We will relax for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner will be served by late afternoon. (-/-/D)

Day 2: Illiniza Sur Summit (17,267ft/5,263m) – Machachi

Our climbing day starts at 2am. 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 Sur summit (17,267ft/5,263m). It will take us between 4 to 5 hours to get to the top. The way back to the refuge will take about 2 hours. Once there, we will have something to eat and drink. We will pack our stuff and go down to the La Virgen parking lot 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

1.30am Wake up, light breakfast and get ready

2.30am Start ascent

7am Arrive at the summit

7.15am Start descent

9.15am Arrive at “Nuevos Horizontes Hut”. Have breakfast.

10am Depart to “La Virgen parking lot”

11.30am Arrive at “La Virgen parking lot” and depart to Machachi

1pm Arrive in Machachi


Price per person:

1 pax: $ 460,00

2 paxs: $ 295,00

3 paxs: $ 330,00

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 (boots, crampons, ice axe, harness and helmet)
Personal mountain gear (gaiters, waterproof pants, 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, 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 (backpack, 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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