ECUADOR

Ecuador Volcano Challenge

11 days

ITINERARY

6 days

TREKKING

5,790m

ALTITUDE

Dates

2024 & 2025

Take on the Avenue of the Volcanoes

Challenge yourself on this 11-day adventure to Ecuador’s “avenue of the volcanoes”, a breathtaking valley running south from Quito , that is home to some of the world’s tallest active volcanoes. You will summit 5 volcanic peaks, including 2 active ones, on this varied and exciting itinerary. Cold weather, steep glacial ascents and the thin air all of high altitude all add to the challenge!

FIND OUT MORE

Join us or a free online information session, covering everything you need to know about our new Ecuador Volcanoes Challenge. From training, kit, fundraising advice to what it is like to take on the Avenue of the Volcanoes, the accommodation, food support and altitude! PLUS- special deals & offers.

The presentation will be hosted online by one of our mountain experts. There will also be a Q&A session too!

The Challenge

Incredible mountainous terrains

Ecuador is packed with variety, culture, great food, wonderful people and incredible mountainous terrain. Its volcanoes are a magnet for trekkers and mountaineers. We start with an acclimatisation day in Quito, and the chance to stand on the Equatorial line, with a foot in each hemisphere! Then we begin our journey through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, with summits of Pasachoa (4,200m), Ruminahui (4,721m), Quilotoa (3,900m) and Illinizas Norte (5,126m). These peaks offer a variety of landscapes, challenging trekking and incredible scenery. The itinerary is capped off with a summit of one of the bigger peaks. Cotopaxi (5,897m) is currently closed to summit attempts due to gas venting, so our standard package includes a summit of Cayambe (5,790m) – which lays claim to being the highest point on the equator, and the only place on the equator with snow! For the more ambitious, you can upgrade this to a summit of Chimborazo (6,310m) – the tallest point on Earth, measured from the centre!

All 3 peaks have glaciated summits and require us to use ropes, ice axes and crampons. Our local team will train us on the use of ice axes and crampons. 

The Experience

Life on the trek

On an Action Challenge trip you’ll be part of a team which takes on an adventure together – and that’s what makes the experience so special. Getting to know others, supporting each other when the going gets tough, laughing together, and sharing those special moments & the new friendships that will stay with you for many years. Led by a UK Mountain Leader and supported by a Medic overseeing the group’s wellbeing – you’ll be in safe hands, and our expert local logistics team & guides will ensure it all runs like clockwork. These are ‘fully inclusive’ trips – leaving you to focus on your challenge, and to enjoy it!

An Action Challenge trip is much more than a holiday! It brings like-minded people together in fantastic landscapes, provides the best support & great hospitality, and enables the group to take on a tough & unforgettable challenge which forges new friendships, broaden horizons, and leaves you wanting more of life’s adventures!

The blueprint for Action Challenge trip is based on delivering a high quality enjoyable experience – and doing it all safely. An experienced UK Mountain Leader ensures that all aspects of the challenge run to plan – and one of our UK Medics with an expedition med kit is on-hand to look after the group’s wellbeing – enabling everyone to have the best chance of successfully competing their challenge.

We go to great lengths to ensure that we only use the best local organisations to supply the all-important ground logistics and the on-challenge support, catering, and hospitality teams – with experienced guides leading the way on the trails with their deep local knowledge and authentic style.

Like minded people with a similar sense of adventure – but often from very different backgrounds, and with a wide range of experience, ages, levels of fitness, and personal ambitions. Our trips are perfect for individuals, couples, and small groups of friends to join – and then to take on a unique challenge as part of a larger group which shapes & bonds as the adventure unfolds!

Whether its’s the hotels,  restaurants & transfers before & after the main challenge – or the challenge accommodation & meals whilst out on the trails – our all inclusive packages mean that you will get a top quality experience at a great value price! Flights are generally included, but there’s a ‘land only’ option if you’d prefer to book your own – and single supplement accommodation upgrades are available.

VisasIf you are a ‘Flights Included’ participant, we will be organising this for you upon arrival into Amman airport. If you are travelling as a land only challenger, you must organise your own Visa. You can do this upon arrival in Amman. The cost is 40 Jordanian Dinars. 

The group comes together – takes on a tough challenge together – and then celebrates its achievements in style on the final night of the trip in a local restaurant or hotel, with medals, awards, and a maybe a bit of a party! Many of our participants make new special friends on our trips – and quite a few come back together for another challenge in the following years!

A successful challenge starts with good preparation. The better prepared you are the more confident you’ll be, and the more you’ll enjoy it! Our ‘Challenge App’ will have all the info & details of what to expect on your challenge – and how to prepare for it – and we have optional training walks, training weekends , and a place on one of our UK Ultra Challenge events to get out on the tails and test your fitness, kit, & equipment.

Itinerary & Route

Please note that some details of the itinerary may change, you will be provided with a detailed itinerary once you are signed up to the challenge.

We fly to Quito, Ecuador and enjoy a meal in our favourite restaurant that evening before we settle in for a good sleep. On day 2 we take things easy to acclimatise to the rarefied atmosphere and to recover from the long journey. We explore Quito’s famous Colonial Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with churches, lively plazas and museums. In the afternoon, we’ll head to Mitad del Mundo where the equatorial line passes, dividing the Earth in 2 hemispheres, before visiting the famous Inti-nan museum.

Meals: D on Day 1, BLD on Day 2  Accom: Hotel both days

We head to our trailhead in the foothills of Mt. Pasochoa, a trek that offers us our best chance to see the Andean Condor. One of the best treks acclimatisation getting us all prepared for a Cotopaxi summit. From the top there are some of the most beautiful vistas in the Central Andes and on a clear day we can see Cotopaxi.

Meals: BLD Accom: Hacienda

Ruminahui is a long-extinct volcano in the Cotopaxi National Park. It has 3 separate peaks, although they are not considered separate mountains, unlike the Illinizas. This climb is perfect for breath-taking views of the peaks of Elz Corazon, Illinizas and of course the ever present Cotopaxi.

Meals: BLD Accom: Hacienda

Today we stick at lower elevations, with a challenging but fun circuit around the volcanic crater of the Quilotoa Lagoon. We have the option to climb to highest point of the crater at 3900m, or descend to the water for a day of kayaking.

Meals: BLD Accom: Hacienda

Our height gain today starts getting serious with the ascent to Illinizas North, an essential preparation for our later summit. It’s a steep climb with some minor scrambling, though breath-taking scenery reaching the summit at over 5,000m!

Meals: BLD Accom: Hacienda

We transfer to Cotopaxi and make the 1 hour walk to the Jose Rivas Hut at 4,900m. From here, we take our technical kit to the lower slopes of the glacier, for a day of skills training. We will learn how to traverse the glacier on crampons, move as part of a rope team, and how to “self-arrest” using an ice axe. This is a fun day, that is essential preparation!

Meals: BLD Accom: Hacienda

After a final kit check, we set off for the mountain hut on Cayambe. After arriving, we will relax before meeting our summit guides. There will be a briefing over an early dinner, before we head to bed to get some sleep before starting our summit night climb.

Meals: BLD Accom: Hut

We start with a short scramble to reach the edge of the Laguna Verde at 4,700m, before reaching the glacier edge. Here we don crampons & rope up with our team mates for the summit. In the dark, we can see the lights of Cayambe town below us, and a sea of stars above. It’s a steep climb from here to the summit, so we will put everything we learned yesterday to the test. As we approach the summit, the sun will rise, offering up breathtaking views of the rolling white slopes below and summit above. After a final push to the summit, we savour the moment, before a 2 hour descent to the hut, where vehicles await to transfer us back to Quito & our celebration dinner!

BLD Accom: Hotel

We will transfer to the airport for our flight home to the UK.

Costs & Fundraising

We’ve three payment & fundraising options for you to take on this challenge.

Self Funding

Sign up with a £295 online deposit & balance payment due 12 weeks before, with no fundraising target.

Fundraise for Charity

Sign up with a £295 online deposit & fundraise for a charity of your choice, with different target options.

Our Brochure

The Challenge brochure details the full itinerary, inclusions, and more – download for a full run down of the challenge details. 

Dates & Prices

How it works...

SELF FUNDING

It’s like paying for an all-inclusive holiday.

You pay the registration deposit. The final balance for the trip cost will be due no later than 10 weeks before your departure date

If you want to fundraise for charity, you may still do this separately – either on or offline. All fundraising will be a direct donation to your chosen charity. Please contact them for more information.

How it works...

CHARITY FUNDRAISING

Take on one of our challenges and support a charity of your choice. You can choose how much of the trip cost you want to pay, and support your charity by fundraising the rest.

You pay the registration deposit, then fundraise double the remaining trip cost for a charity of your choice.

Action Challenge will invoice your charity for your final balance 12 weeks before departure.

You must complete 80% of your fundraising by 12 weeks before departure, with the remaining 20% completed 4 weeks after departure.

Let us know what charity you want to support when registering so that we can set up your challenge agreement.