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.
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” (15,580ft/4,750m). We will continue hiking up towards the saddle formed between both peaks and then to Illiniza Norte summit (16,818ft/5,126m). The approach to the top involves an easy 3-hour scrambling. Once at the summit, we will enjoy and admire the beautiful surroundings. We will descend from the other side of the mountain through the sandy sections and then join the same trail as on the way up, which will lead us to the parking lot, from where we will drive back to Machachi. (-/-/-)
(Times are approximate)
4.30am Breakfast at The Secret Garden Cotopaxi
5am Depart from The Secret Garden Cotopaxi
6am Arrive in Machachi. Equipment check.
6.30am Depart from Machachi
8am Arrive in “La Virgen parking lot”. Start hiking to “Nuevos Horizontes Hut”.
10.30am Arrive in “Nuevos Horizontes Hut”
10.45am Continue hike to the Illiniza Norte summit
1.45pm Arrive at the summit
2pm Start descent to “La Virgen parking lot”
5pm Arrive at “La Virgen parking lot” and depart to Machachi
6.30pm Arrive in Machachi
Price per person:
1 pax: $ 275,00
2 paxs: $ 170,00
3 paxs: $ 165,00