Volcán Chimborazo

Very Difficult 8.5 km 6263 m 1428 m 2 days

Price: $ ---


  • Depart Lodge at 9:30am
  • Get dinner for later in the night in Ambato
  • Eat lunch near Ambato at 12pm
  • Enter Chimborazo Nature Preserve and head to Carrel Refuge (4850m)
  • Hike approximately two hours to high camp (5300m)
  • Eat dinner and prepare camp
  • Go to sleep by 7pm
  • Wake up at 11pm
  • Eat a small breakfast with tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Depart high camp by 12:30am
  • Hike rocky terrain and reach the glacier by 2:00am
  • Ascend the glacier to Chimborazo's summit
  • Reach summit by sunrise and enjoy the views
  • Begin the descent to high camp and arrive by 9:00am
  • Pack up camp and have a small bite to eat
  • Hike two hours back down to Carrel Refuge
  • Return to the Lodge for some well deserved lunch and rest

Detailed Iterinary:

You wake up early and depart Ilinizas Mountain Lodge around 9:30am after a hearty breakfast. The journey to Chimborazo Nature Reserve takes you through the city of Ambato where you stop to grab some food for the first night. After a short drive, you have lunch at Chaupi Uchu, which is located about 20 minutes outside of Ambato. From here, you continue your journey for another hour to reach the entrance of Chimborazo Nature Preserve. The bumpy ride up to the first refuge at Chimborazo offers stunning views of the mountain if the weather is good.

There are two refuges and a high camp at Chimborazo. The Carrel Refuge, which sits at approximately 4850m, is the first refuge and has the only car park. The second refuge, Edward Whymper Refuge, sits at 5000m and is only slightly higher than Carrel Refuge. High camp, which is located at 5300m, serves as the starting point for this trek. The two other refuges add one or two hours to the journey, respectively. High camp is a managed group of semi-permanent tents that are staffed year-round and have a kitchen to heat your dinner and boiling water. They are also well equipped with other snacks and utensils. Tourists are expected to bring their own tents, which can be provided at the Lodge. It can get very cold at night, so it's important to pack a -10°C sleeping bag or rent one at the Lodge.

To reach high camp, you have to hike for two hours from the car park to high camp. The hike is not easy, gaining an elevation of 424m and is 3km long. Plan accordingly and pack reasonably. Once arriving at high camp, you’ll eat dinner, set up camp, and try to get to bed by 6:30-7pm for an 11pm wake up.

Prior to departing the Lodge, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment. On the mountain, it can get very cold (as cold as -20°C on the summit with winds). Ensure you have enough layers: 2 socks, 3 pant layers including a waterproof outer shell, 4-5 coat layers including a waterproof outer shell. You’ll also need crampons, mountaineering boots, an ice axe, and a headlamp (all available to borrow at the Lodge). You’ll need about 2 to 2.5 liters of water and sugary snacks for the hike. You can pick these up along the way. You can also leave anything you bring at the Refugio during the hike, so don’t worry about having to hike with your sleeping bag or day shoes or other gear you may need.

You’ll wake up at 11 pm and after hydrating and having some hot water and small breakfast items, you’ll gear up and leave high camp by 12:30 am. The hike is expected to take 6 hours, and the goal is to reach the summit by sunrise.

The first two hours of the hike will be on rocky terrain, which may have snow cover, so cramp ons might be necessary. The moon and the stars will light your path, and with very little light pollution, you should be able to enjoy the stunning view of the starry sky.

After the rocky section, you’ll reach the glacier of Cayambe at around 5500m, where you’ll start the ascent of Chimborazo. The glacier is exposed and has a constant grade throughout the hike until the end, where it gets very steep. While it is not immensely difficult, it can get cold and windy. After about 4 hours of hiking on the glacier, you should reach the first summit, Ventimilla, at 6267m! Congratulations, you’ve climbed higher than any mountain in North America, Africa, or Europe!

From Ventimilla, it’s just a short walk to the taller summit, Whymper, which sits at 6270m. On a clear day, you can see most of the highest mountains in the region: Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Antisana, El Altar. Take pictures and enjoy the breathtaking scenery at the top, but remember to only stay for 10-20 minutes, as extended periods at this altitude aren’t great.

After reaching the summit, it’s time to start your descent down. The descent, although much easier than the ascent, should still be taken slowly as it might be slippery and you are now tired. In total, the descent should take 3 hours and will take you back to high camp, where you can rest and have lunch before heading back down to Ilinizas Mountain Lodge.

Remember to take it easy and stay hydrated throughout the hike, and to wear proper gear to protect yourself from the cold and wind. Enjoy the exhilarating experience of summiting Chimborazo, and the stunning views that come with it!


  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Transportation to and from Chimborazo
  • 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.
Cotopaxi and Ilinizas from Chimborazo High Camp
Beautiful Sunset from Chimborazo High Camp
Snowy on Chimborazo Summit
Chimborazo High Camp
Kitchen at Chimborazo High Camp
Hiking Down Chimborazo
Hiking to High Camp
Hiking to Chimborazo High Camp
Carrel Refuge from High Camp