Ilinzas Norte

Difficult 13 km 5126 m 1104 m 7-8 hrs

Price: $ ---


  • Depart Lodge at 7:30am
  • Begin hiking by 8:30am
  • Hike to the refugio for snacks and a rest
  • Continue hiking the summit, which includes scrambling
  • Reach summit by 2pm
  • Begin descent down eastern face
  • Meet back up with ascent trail, and break for a rest
  • Finish hiking to the parking lot, and return to Lodge

Detailed Iterinary:

Your hike up Ilinzas Norte in Ecuador starts with a departure from the Lodge around 7:30 a.m., heading towards the entrance of the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas, which takes about 15 minutes. From there, you'll drive for another 25 minutes to the parking lot where the hike begins. The first section of the hike is a constant, moderately challenging uphill grade for about two hours. On a good day, you can see both summits of Ilinizas, as well as the rest of the volcanoes in the area, including Corazón and Cotopaxi. The views are truly breathtaking, so be sure to take plenty of photos along the way!

Next, you'll arrive at the refugio, where you can refuel and prepare for the second section of the hike. The refugio itself is quite barebones, but it can house up to 20 people at once. There are bathrooms here for those who need them. The second section of the hike is far more treacherous and demanding, taking approximately two to three hours to reach the summit. This section includes many portions of scrambling, which is a mountaineering term that describes hiking where you need to use your hands. If the weather is bad or if snow is present, your guide will connect a rope to keep you safe. Be sure to have experience with scrambling, especially in below average weather.

Once you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with fantastic views of the surrounding Ecuadorian andes and valleys. The summit of Ilinizas Norte is at 5126m, making it a great hike in preparation for larger hikes, like Cayambe, Cotopaxi, or Chimborazo. After taking some time to rest and take in the views, you'll begin the final section of the hike, which takes a new path down the eastern face of the mountain. The terrain is looser than on the ascent, so the best technique for walking down the mountain is by essentially letting yourself ski down the mountain. This part of the hike is a lot of fun, but take it slow. After about an hour and 15 minutes, you'll meet back up with the original ascent trail from section one. From there, it's about 45 minutes back to the car.

It's important to note that the weather changes rather quickly, so be sure to wear rain gear and warm clothes. If you need technical gear, such as helmets, boots, harnesses, or gaiters, they can be provided at the lodge. Additionally, a lunch box and transportation to and from Ilinizas are provided, and a guide is necessary to reach the summit. Overall, the Ilinzas Norte hike is an unforgettable experience that offers stunning views of the Ecuadorian andes, challenging terrain, and the opportunity to summit a great mountain.


  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Transportation to and from Ilinzas
  • Experienced guide, if desired (English or Spanish)
  • Technical equipment
  • 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.
Ilinizas Norte
Hikers on Ilinizas Norte
Views on the Descent
Views of the Valley on the Descent
Views of Another Peak on the Descent
Hiking Up Ilinizas in the Fog
Sign at the Parking Lot
Refugio on Ilinizas
Snowy Weather on Ilinzas Norte
Technical Climbing on Ilinzas Norte
Waterfall on the Descent from Ilinzas Norte
Wildlife on Ilinzas Norte