Climbing Cayambe

The Cayambe Volcano (18,996 ft.) is the third highest mountain in Ecuador and the highest one directly located on the equator. Climbing Cayambe volcano is not that easy and you need a relatively good physical condition, but standing on top of this beautiful mountain will totally make up for it.

Highlights: standing on top of one of Ecuador's highest mountain, getting to Ecuador's highest point on the equator
Number of days: 1
Regions: Andes
Interests: Climbing
Category: Standard
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 105

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You leave Quito early to go to the town of Cayambe (approx. 2 hours), from there it is just about one hour to the refuge at 15,091 feet on the flanks of the Cayambe volcano. In the afternoon you climb up to the glacier, along the way you can practice the handling of your equipment. After this, you have dinner and spend the night at the refuge.
At midnight you get up for your 6 to 8 hour hike. The way back to the refuge takes just 2 to 3 hours; from there you will go back to Quito.

Make sure that you are sufficiently acclimatized before trying to climb Cayambe. Our 6-day mountain tour is a great preparation for this climb.

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ 380
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • transfer from and to Quito
  • accommodation at the refuge
  • professional English-speaking mountain guide
  • climbing equipment (boots, crampon, ice axe, harness, helmet)
  • all meals

Not included:

  • drinks
  • personal climbing and camping equipment (can be rented)
  • personal expenses
  • gratuities
  • optional excursions and activities
  • personal travel insurance


You spend the night in the refuge. Bunk beds in a dormitory are available. You should bring your own sleeping bag, comfortable for up to 14 °F (-10 °C). Dinner is provided.

Additional Information

Climbing in the Ecuadorian Andes is a true adventure! Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or just starting to get some experience, acclimatization is super important. You should be about 5 to 7 days in high altitude before you intent to climb Cayambe. We offer a 6-day mountain tour which includes some smaller summits before trying to reach the top of the Cayambe volcano. We can of course also create an individual preparation tour for you.

Looking for another challenge? Check out our Climbing Chimborazo Tour.

Read more information about the Andes on our  Andes  Information Page.

Wondering what to pack? Check out our packing list. It includes a section on what to bring for a climbing tour.

Find some more general information about Ecuador as well as practical travel information.

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