Volcán Cayambe

Very Difficult 7.4 km 5790 m 1167 m 2 days

Price: $ ---


  • Depart Lodge at 10:30am
  • Eat lunch in Cayambe (city) at around 1pm
  • Arrive at Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca by 2:30pm
  • Drive to the Refugio Ruales Oleas Berge
  • Eat dinner around 5pm
  • Try to go to sleep around 6 or 7pm
  • Wake up 11pm
  • Hydrate and gear up
  • Depart Refugio at 12am
  • Arrive at Cayambe glacier by 2am
  • Hike up Cayambe glacier to summit by sunrise
  • Arrive Cayambe summit, 5790m!!
  • Return to Refugio by 9:30am
  • Eat breakfast and pack at Refugio
  • Return to the Lodge by 2pm

Detailed Iterinary:

You wake up early and have breakfast at Ilinizas Mountain Lodge before departing at 10:30am. The journey to Cayambe takes around 2.5 hours, and checkout the amazing scenic views along the way. Stop at El Compartido in the city of Cayambe for a delicious lunch before heading to Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca. This national park is huge and extends to portions of Amazonia Ecuador. Once you arrive at the park entrance, brace yourself for a bumpy ride on a rough road that leads to Refugio Ruales Oleas Berge. This is where you’ll be spending the night, and it's a great place for rest and acclimatization. The Refugio has many bunk beds and each room is warm, but you'll need to bring a 0°C sleeping bag. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the Refugio and get some sleep early as you'll wake up at 11pm for the summit attempt.

As a reminder, before heading to Cayambe, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for the climb at the Lodge. You'll need multiple layers of clothing, including waterproof outer layers, and mountaineering gear such as cramp ons, boots, an ice axe, and a headlamp. You can borrow these items from the Lodge, if needed. Make sure you have enough water (2.5 liters) and snacks for the hike. You can also leave any extra gear at the Refugio during the hike, so don't worry about overpacking.

At 11pm, wake up and hydrate before gearing up and leaving the Refugio by midnight. The goal is to reach the summit of Cayambe by sunrise, which should take around 6 hours. The first part of the hike is on rocky terrain, so cramp ons aren't necessary at this point. You'll need your harness, boots, helmet, and headlamp for this portion of the hike. Take a moment to look up at the sky and enjoy the stars, as there is very little light pollution in the area. After the rocky section, you'll reach the glacier of Cayambe at around 4900m, where you'll need to put on cramp ons and start the ascent. The glacier is fairly exposed, but the hike is not too difficult, though it can be tiring and cold.

After about 4 hours of hiking on the glacier, you should reach the summit at 5790m. Take in the stunning views of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Antisana, El Altar, and other mountains in the region. Don't stay too long at the summit as you need to start your descent back down. The descent should take around 3 hours and will take you back on the same route you took up. Take your time as it can be slippery and you are likely to be tired.

Once you reach the Refugio, enjoy a well-deserved breakfast and pack your things for departure. Returning to the Lodge takes around 3 hours, which is a great time to take a nap. Once back at Ilinizas Mountain Lodge, rest and relax before heading out to explore the rest of Ecuador. Climbing Cayambe is an amazing adventure and you should be proud of your accomplishment!


  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Transportation to and from Cayambe
  • Experienced guide, if desired (English or Spanish)
  • Technical equipment (if needed)
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

Additional Information:

  • For a budget-friendly option, we recommend a minimum of 2 people for the tour.
  • Our knowledgeable guides are available upon request. Solo trekking is also possible and we can provide recommendations.
  • Let us create a personalized tour for you! Share your interests and we'll suggest other places to visit.
  • Children aged 4-12 are welcome and enjoy a 50% discount.
  • Please note that activities are weather-dependent and may be subject to change.
  • Our tours are tailored to the physical conditions of our guests, and we will adjust accordingly for an enjoyable experience.
View From Cayambe
Night Sky on Cayambe
Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca
Cayambe Summit
Hikers Near the Summit of Cayambe
View from Refugio Ruales Oleas Berge
Sunrise on Cayambe Summit