Ilinizas and Corazón volcanoes are located about 60 km south-southwest Quito. Corazón is a perfect place to get acclimatization and scope excellent views of central valleys and neighbor peaks. Iliniza South peak has the distinction of being the sixth highest elevation (5250 mt), while Iliniza North the eighth one (5125 mt).
According to geologists, in a certain era, there was only one volcano which exploited and collapsed, transforming this huge volcano into two peaks separated by a saddle. In fact, while climbing either one, you will observe at the bottom of the old caldera the remaining green-blue lake.
Climbing Iliniza North Peak
Iliniza North is a rocky peak and very seldom is covered with snow. Its normal route does not present any big technical problem, so for trekkers, soft climbers, or people seeking for acclimatization, is the perfect mountain, Both Iliniza North and South offers some of the most enjoyable climbs and views.
North Peak is specially recommended for people who are training and seeking for acclimatization before attempting major peaks. Because of the poor services of the “Nuevos Horizontes” hut, (3740 mt) we prefer staying overnight in a locals Haciendas located in the valleys below, having comfort , great local food and better rest for the next long journey.
Day 1 – Corazón volcano
Depart from Quito in south direction towards Machachi village and Corazón volcano slopes. Acclimatization hike in the “Paramo” back to a private Hacienda for overnight and dinner.
Day 2 – Summit
Early breakfast and transfer to the parking place “La Virgen” (4,000 mt). Ascent to the top (5125 mt) via Nuevos Horizontes Hut and the settle, back to the parking lot via the sandy screed slopes. Transfer to Quito.
Climbing South Peak (5250mt.)
Iliniza South is reserved for those who have good skills on ice climbing. Because of the glacier recession, its normal route has become more and more difficult, so front point skills are mandatory. Therefore it is not recommended for beginners. This peak has the reputation of being an Alpine climb.
Day 1 – El Chaupi
Depart from Quito in South direction towards El Chaupi village and parking place “La Virgen” at 4000mt. Approach to the hut (4740 mt), overnight and diner.
Day 2 – Summit
Early wake up and breakfast. Approach to the glacier base and climbing to the top by the normal route (northeast face). Return to hut and parking lot – Drive back Quito.