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3 Peaks Challenge

  • 15 Days / 14 Night
  • Group : Private
  • Haciendas, Lodges, Refuges & Camp
  • Difficulty : 6
  • Pickup: Quito
  • Min Age : 18+

This trip is designed for competent climbers with advanced skills in ice climbing. After a few easy peaks for acclimatization and warming up, we will scale the technically demanding Iliniza Sur and then continue to the active, ever changing glaciers of Antisana. Two outstanding alpine climbs that will prepare you to conquer Chimborazo – the literal icing on the cake!

Iliniza Sur, Antisana and Chimborazo are three very different volcanic peaks – each one representing a new challenge – but they have in common that they are never crowded. This itinerary is a true off-the-beaten track climbing adventure for challenge seekers!

Starting Place


What to Expect

Only experienced mountaineer will be allowed on this trip. You need to have advanced skills in ice and rock climbing, use of technical ice axe, front pointing, glacier travel.

Please note that the actual difficulty level of these climbs is just as variable as the weather in the Andes. The snow and ice conditions are subject to changes.

  • Altitude range 2800 – 6263 m / 9186 – 20548 ft
  • Average climbing time: 8 - 11 hours for ascent + descent
  • Average gradient ascents: 40 – 75 degrees
  • Average temperatures: -0°/ 32° F (refuge) to -15° C/ 5° F (summit)
  • Best months: November - January

Day 1Quito (2800 m / 9186 ft)

Meet & greet at Quito Airport and transfer to small hotel in Quito new town. 

Night in hotel (2800 m / 9186 ft)

Day 2Pasochoa (4200 m / 13779 ft)

Acclimatization climb of Pasochoa volcano (4200 m / 13779 ft) south of Quito. It is a straight forward hike, all together 4 – 5 hours up and down. If the weather is clear, you will have awesome views of the Ilinizas twin peaks, Antisana and other snowcapped peaks. Return to Quito in the afternoon.

Night in hotel (2800 m / 9186 ft)

Day 3Rucu Pichincha (4698 m / 15413 ft)

Today we climb Quito´s very own house mountain: Rucu Pichincha. Starting from the top of the Teleferico at 3945 m / 12943 ft the ascent and descent will be done in about 4 hours. The summit (4698 m / 15413 ft) is a perfect balcony to overlook the extremely long and narrow capital city of Ecuador, nestled on the eastern slopes of Pichincha.

In the afternoon 1-hour drive along the Volcano Avenue to a small mountain lodge.

Night in hotel (3200 m / 10498 ft)

Day 4Corazon (4788 m / 15704 ft)

We complete our acclimatization climbs with Corazon, an ancient and inactive volcano in the Ilinizas Reserve. Drive to 4000 m. / 13123 ft, hike 4 hours to the summit and 2 hours back down. With clear weather you will have a good look on Iliniza Sur, the first of the 3 challenges ahead! Return to lodge.

Night in lodge (3200 m / 10498 ft)

Day 5Iliniza Refuge (4650 m / 15256 ft)

After a 1-hour transfer to La Virgen parking lot (3900 m/12795 ft), start the 3- to 4-hour hike to the Nuevos Horizontes refuge. It is a beautiful meandering trail with grasslands and Polylepis trees. The refuge is located right in the saddle between Norte and Sur. Briefing and dinner.

Night in refuge (4650 m / 15256 ft)

Day 6Iliniza Sur Summit day

At 3.00 a.m. we have a light breakfast and get ready for the ascent. From the saddle, we hike up to the glacier. Depending the amount of snowfall in previous days, climbing the steeper ramps will be more or less technical ice climbing. Several crevasses have to be crossed. The steep sections are alternated with flatter platforms where you can regain your breath for the next stretch.  Reach the summit at sunrise, enjoy the awesome views of Cotopaxi and Iliniza Norte. Descent and drive to hacienda near Cotopaxi National Park.

Night in hacienda (3600 m / 11811 ft)

Day 7Rest day

The traditional Andean hacienda with working farm is a great place to relax after the climb. Enjoy the great mountain views, boost your energy levels with a spa treatment or massage, and why not sign up for the hacienda´s cooking class?

Night in hacienda (3600 m / 11811 ft)

Day 8Antisana Base camp (5050 m / 16568 ft)

Departure at 9.00 to Antisana Ecological Reserve. It takes about 2,5 hours to arrive at the camping area (4500 m / 14763 ft.) After installing our Base Camp, you will have time for an optional short hike on the paramo. You can see herds of wild horses and, with a bit of luck, the Andean condor. The mountain guide gives an introductory briefing, checking out the expected mountain and weather conditions. After early dinner, tuck into your sleeping bag for some sleep.

Night in base camp (5050 m / 16568 ft)

Day 9Antisana Summit day

At midnight we take a light snack and gear up for the ascent. From the Base Camp it is a short hike to the glacier. We climb through large snowfields, with several – sometimes big – crevasses, and our expert mountain guide will carefully navigate the best route considering the conditions. Some of the steeper slopes before the summit require front pointing crampon techniques. Summit time around 7.00 a.m. – with clear weather you will have wonderful views of Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Ilinizas and Cayambe, and the Amazon rainforest to the east. Descent to the basecamp takes about 3 hours. Afternoon transfer to the subtropical Patate Valley.

Night in family run lodge (2200 m / 7217 ft)

Day 10Patate Valley (2200 m / 7217 ft)

Relax in the gardens and spa of the lodge, enjoy the tranquility of Patate Valley. With clear weather you can enjoy views of Tungurahua volcano and Chimborazo.

Night in family run lodge (2200 m / 7217 ft)

Day 11Chimborazo Reserve

Today we will head to the final objective of our expedition, Mt Chimborazo. After a 2-hour transfer arrive at the lodge right at the foot of Chimborazo. Optional hike to spot vicuñas and enjoy sunset on Ecuador´s biggest mountain.

Night in lodge (3850 m / 12631 ft.)

Day 12Chimborazo High Camp

Short transfer from the lodge to the Carrel hut on Chimborazo (4800 m / 15748 ft) From here we start the 2 to 3-hour approach to the Stubel Basecamp at 5350 m. / 17.553 ft. Our mountain guide will give a safety briefing with indications about the climbing route, expected weather and snow conditions. Sleep for several hours, and at midnight get ready to start the climb.

Night in high camp (5300 m / 17388 ft)

Day 13Chimborazo Summit

We start the ascent on the glaciated ridge. The slopes have an average steepness of 30 – 40 degrees, with some icy sections of 45 degrees. After about 5 hours we reach the Veintimillia Summit (6227 m. / 20.429 ft.) With good snow conditions, sufficient time, and if you still have enough energy, you can continue for 1 more hour to the Whymper summit (6263 m. / 20.548 ft.) precisely the farthest point from the center of the earth! The descent will take 3 – 4 hours. From the parking lot transfer to Riobamba.

Night in hotel (2800 m / 9186 ft)

Day 14Spare day – Quito

This day can be used as spare day in case of bad weather. Around noon transfer to Quito.

Night in hotel (2800 m / 9186 ft)

Day 15 Departure

Free time in Quito and transfer to the airport for your international departure



  • 1 person (private tour): USD 3500
  • Party of 2 – 5: USD 2350 per person
  • Party of 6 – 8: USD 1990 per person

Price Includes

  • All private transfers according to the itinerary
  • Accommodation in hotels, lodges and refuges
  • Certified local guide for acclimatization hikes (1 guide : 4 clients)
  • ASEGUIM certified mountain guides for summit climbs (1 guide : 2 clients)
  • Meals full board during hikes and climbs + breakfast in all hotels
  • First quality climbing equipment
  • Entrance permits National Parks and Reserves

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance (must cover glacier climbing)
  • Meals on travel and rest days
  • Tips (optional)