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Cayambe Climb

  • 2 Days / 1 Night
  • Group : Private
  • Climb from Refuge
  • Difficulty : 4
  • Pickup: Quito
  • Min Age : 16+

Cayambe (5789 m / 18.994 ft) is Ecuador’s third highest peak and the third highest in the northern hemisphere of the America´s. And finally, it is the highest point on the world´s surface through which the equator directly passes.

Even apart from these claims, Cayambe is a must-climb-mountain: this beautiful glaciated volcano with active glaciers, huge snowfields, crevasses and snow bridges, offers a very enriching glacier travel experience. After this climb you will understand why climbing is not just about adding another summit to your list, but about enjoying the way to the summit!

Cayambe is located northeast from Quito in the Cayambe Coca Reserve, where the Andean condor still can be spotted. 

Starting Place


What to Expect

In addition to a proper acclimatization and physical fitness, for the ascent of Cayambe we recommend to have some previous mountaineering experience. You should be familiar with rope travel, and the use of crampons and ice axe.

Cayambe is influenced by the humidity of the Amazon, with unpredictable weather conditions, this means that the snow and ice conditions are subject to variations as well.

  • Altitude range 4650 m – 5789 m / 15255 – 18992 ft
  • Average climbing time on summit day: ascent 6 – 7 hours, descent 3 hours
  • Average gradient: 30 – 40 degrees
  • Average temperatures: -0°/ 32° F (refuge) to - 12° C/ 10,4° F (summit)
  • Best months: October to January

Day 1Ruales Oleas Berge Refuge

Departure from Quito at 10.00 and drive for about 2 hours to Cayambe Coca Reserve. We will make a stop on the way for lunch. A 4-wheel car will take you to the refuge at 4650 m / 15255 ft (depending on the road conditions, sometimes a short hike is necessary). The guide will give an introductory briefing in the afternoon and check your glacier skills. After an early dinner, you can sleep for a few hours.

Day 2Summit Day

After a light breakfast, we start the ascent at midnight. A rock slope leads to the huge glaciers. We will hike on large snowfields with slopes of average 30 – 40 degrees and traverse several large crevasses. Before summiting at sunrise, we have to climb a steeper section (up to 45 degrees) with more crevasses and impressive seracs. From the summit, you can admire the views of Antisana, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo, and the Amazon region to the east. The descent to the refuge takes about 3 hours. In the afternoon return to Quito. Arrive at about 14.00 p.m.



  • 1 person (private tour): USD 650
  • Party of 2 – 5: USD 380 per person
  • Party of 6 – 8: USD 340 per person

Price Includes

  • ASEGUIM certified mountain guides (1 guide : 2 clients)
  • Private transfers from Quito and return to Quito
  • Accommodation in refuge
  • Meals full board plus coffee, tea, filtered drinking water
  • First quality climbing equipment
  • Entrance permit Cayambe Reserve

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance (must cover glacier climbing)
  • Tips (optional)