Volcano Circuit



cruises ecuador
any day with a minimum of 2 people


  • naturalist guide
  • private transportation from / to Riobamba
  • accommodation in spacious 4-season tents (2 nights) and basic refuge (1 night)
  • meals and purified drinking water, coffee, tea
  • pack animals for the equipment
  • first quality camping equipment and waterproof bags for on the mules
  • entrance permit Chimborazo Reserve



Day 1. We leave Riobamba at 9.00 by car. We drive north for about 1 hour to the village of Tisaleo, located northeast from Carihuairazo volcano at 3300 m. / 10.827 ft. altitude. After about 5 hours hiking we will reach the first campsite, at 3850 m. / 12.631 ft. altitude.

Day 2. After breakfast we hike up to a pass at 4270 m. / 14.000 ft. altitude. If the weather is clear, we have fantastic views of Cotopaxi, Tunguraha, Altar and Carihuairazo. In this area we can see the Polylepis trees, also called “paper tree”. We continue hiking until we reach the second campsite, right at the foot of Carihuairazo, at 3990 m. / 13.090 ft. altitude.

Day 3. Today we will trek around the southflank of Carihuairazo. First we hike up to 4500 m. / 14.764 ft. and then we go down to Mechahuasca indigenous community, at 4200 m. / 13.780 ft. altitude. Here you have good chances to observe vicuñas and llamas. Also, you can see typical paramo plants like tussock grass, chuquiragua, and wild lupin (chocho de monte). After about 5 hours hiking we reach a basic refuge at 4270 m. / 14.009 ft.

Day 4. From Mechahuasca we trek along the northwest flank of Chimborazo. This is a desert-like area with tiny paramo flowers and herds of vicuñas, and one of the best places to enjoy the views of the huge glaciers of Chimborazo. After about 6 to 7 hours hiking along the Murallas Rojas route we arrive at the Carrel refuge at 4850 m. / 15912,07 ft. From here we return to Riobamba.

Arrival at about 17.00.

Volcano Circuit map
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