Ilinizas: The Amazing Ecuadorian Twin Mountains

Throughout the past several years, Ecuador has been gaining a lot of popularity as an adventure destination. The amazing Ecuadorian Andes hold some of the continents’ highest peaks and, as a result, visitors come from all over the world to try to get to their summits. A local favourite is Ilinizas – a double-peak mountain whose name means male hill in kunza (an extinct language from the regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile). The mountain used to be a single-peak volcano but, thanks to its last explosion, had its peak divided into two summits.
Ecuador is a country of many beauties. You will often hear Ecuadorians say that this country has it all. Because of its advantageous location on the equator and the Andes mountain range that serves as its backbone, Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Not only is Ecuador favoured by tropical weather patterns that vary greatly with altitude, but the most amazing landscapes are just a few hours away from any big city.

Avenue Of The Volcanos View Of Cotopaxi At Sunset.
Stunning Sunset And Andes Mountains View.

Quito: A Must Stop On Your Journey Through the Andes

On your way to the Galapagos Islands, before boarding the dreamiest of Galapagos cruises, do make sure you stop in Quito. Stay at the unbelievable Casa Gangotena, located in the heart of the colonial downtown. You will not want to miss the opportunity to walk around this World Heritage site. If you get a clear day, visit the TeleferiQo (Quito’s cable car) and marvel at the view you will get of the volcanoes that surround it. If the sky is very clear, you will The Basilica of the National Vote towering over downtown Quito definitely be able to get a glimpse of Ilinizas to the south of Quito which is very easily recognized thanks to its iconic two peaks.

Basilica Of The National Vow In Downtown Quito.
The Basilica Of The National Vow Towering Over Downtown Quito.

Ilinizas: A Worthwhile Trip for Both Adventurers and Observers

Just looking at the amazing Andes from up close makes the journey to Ecuador worth it. These majestic mountains and volcanoes will definitely put everything you know into perspective. It is only human to feel absolutely small when standing next to the grand Cotopaxi volcano. On your way to the Cotopaxi National Park, you will see Ilinizas to your right –they are impossible to miss. If you are visiting Cotopaxi’s refuge, or are on your way to beautiful Chimborazo or Cuenca, the views that will accompany you during your journey will leave you breathless.

If You Are a Mountain Climber

If you are in optimal physical conditions, climbing North Ilinizas (the smaller of the two) can be a worthy challenge. Do take into consideration the importance of acclimatization: even the most athletic person can be a victim of mountain sickness – an illness caused by the acute exposure to an environment with less oxygen. Ilinizas shouldn’t be taken lightly. North Ilinizas – the most commonly climbed of the two — is 5,126 metres. And its brother, the host to a remnant of glacier, is 5,248 meters. The latter is only climbed by more experienced climbers because it requires a little more technical knowledge than its little brother.

Do it Right

If climbing Ilinizas is part of your plans make sure you hire a local mountain guide. The National Park does not permit individuals to climb mountains above 5,000 metres without an ASEGUIM (Ecuadorian Association of Mountain Guides) certified guide. Your guide will help you arrange a well-thought out plan to reach your objective. This plan should include acclimatization in lower mountains, numerous meals that are high in carbs during the days leading up to the climb, and no less than 3 litres of water the day before. Hydration is key to avoid mountain sickness. Take our word for it.

Updated:May 9, 2023

Published:May 9, 2017


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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