El Altar is an ancient volcano that has nine exciting peaks to climb (Obispo, Monja Grande, Monja Chica, Tabernáculo, los tres Frailes, Oriental, Central, Grande and Canónigo). This sublime mountain, called Capac-Urcu by the native inhabitants of the area, offers a true expedition of impressive Andean surroundings, colorful lakes, cloud forests and active volcanoes. The climbing of its peaks is suitable for climbers who wish to consolidate their skills and technical level of mixed climbing in Ecuador.

Ecuador's mountains and volcanoes offer a wide range of classic rock, snow, and ice routes with unparalleled accessibility for beginners and expert climbers. On this acclimatization and skills training tour, our explorer guests have the opportunity to climb Obispo (17,450 ft – 5,319 m), the highest peak of the Altar or Capac-Urcu.


  • Explore the natural, historical and cultural biodiversity of Ecuador
  • Develop climbing skills on snow and ice
  • • Reaching the highest peak of the Altar volcano (17,450 ft – 5,319 m)


  • A good level of physical condition
  • Previous experience in camping in natural environments
  • Experience in alpine mountaineering and rock climbing


  • Hikes and treks from 4 to 10 hours
  • Progressive ascents and descents in altitude
  • Each climber carries their own personal gear with staff assistance for the expedition group. Personal porters can be arranged
  • Overnight stays in high-altitude camps


On this great expedition our team will accompany you to visit breathtaking places of natural beauty, culture and history unique in the world, because when you travel with us you will embark on memorable tours with the guidance of experienced and expert professionals whose priority is to offer quality and efficiency in all our services.

Day 1: Arrival in Quito, Ecuador

This day is designated to travel to Ecuador and get settled in the country, our guides will be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel.

Day 2: Acclimatization – City tour Quito

Our expedition begins in Quito (9,500 ft - 2,896 m) the capital of Ecuador with the guided tour to the historical center of the city, where we will visit churches from the colonial era such as the Basilica, La Compañía, San Francisco, and the first religious building built by the Spaniards in South America. After lunch, we will continue our tour to the hill of Panecillo (9,842 ft – 3,000 m), to ascend to the impressive statue of Bernardo Legarda (mestizo master who made Quito's art of the time shine). In the afternoon we will return to the hotel to rest. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch

Day 3: Acclimatization Hike - Ruco Pichincha

Continuing with the acclimatization, we headed to the Quito Telepherique to ascend up to (14.000 ft - 4.267m). At this altitude we will start the hike through different ridges and rocky peaks until we reach the summit of Ruco Pichincha (15.700 ft - 4.785 m), here we will have lunch and observe different panoramic views of the city of Quito. This day we will start the field training learning about the rock technique and the use of fixed lines. After descending we will return to our hotel in Quito. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch

Day 4: Riobamba - Village Quimiag

In the morning we will head into the western Andes mountain range until we reach Riobamba (9,071 ft - 2,765 m), a town located at the foot of the closest point to the Sun. Here we will visit the local ice cream market made from the ice of Chimborazo; after enjoying the spectacular scenery and friendly people we will head to the village of Quimiag (13,254 ft - 4,040 m), to meet our porters and pack mules who will accompany us to the Italian Base Camp of the Altar Volcano. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch

Day 5: Italian Base Camp

This day we will leave for the Italian camp, our mules will carry the camping equipment, food, and water until we get as close as possible to the Italian camp (15,091 ft - 4,600 m), which is located southwest of Obispo, the highest peak of "El Altar". After setting up our tents, having lunch, and resting, we will have a briefing about the route we will climb (Italian Route, the Calavario Ridge, and the Waterfall Route). The rest of the afternoon will be free to take some pictures of the incredible views of Mandur Lagoon, Blue Lagoon, Green Lagoon, and Starry Lagoon. Meals included: Breakfast, Box Luch, Dinner

Day 6: Obispo Summit

Summit day! We will start our alpine climbing for approx. 10 hours taking advantage of the early morning hours. According to the weather conditions on the mountain, we will take the most suitable route, considering steep snow and ice slopes of up to 80 degrees and a rock climb of up to 5.7 in difficulty, making use of our experience in technical climbing and station assembly. Upon reaching the maximum Obispo peak (17,450 ft – 5,319 m) we will reach our reward with spectacular views of the Andean valleys, multicolored lakes, cloud forests, and active volcanoes such as Sangay. Meals included: Breakfast, Luch, Dinner

Day 7: Italian Base Camp

This is an extra day included in the itinerary for considerations of bad weather or other situations external to what was planned (intention to climb the following day if and when conditions improve). If the program is managed as planned, we will take advantage of this extra day to explore other parts of the southern end of the Altar or hike to the village of Quimiag. Meals included: Breakfast, Luch

Day 8: Return to Quito

This day we will travel back to Quito, once settled in the hotel we will enjoy a celebratory dinner to celebrate the end of our fabulous adventure. Meals included: Breakfast, Luch

Day 9: Flights Home

Farewells, transfer to the airport and flights home.

Inclusions: AM Expeditions Leadership (Registered company); Certified Mountain Guides (IFMGA, ASEGUIM | English – Spanish); All logistics and organisation for sightseeing tours; Lodging in hotels, haciendas, huts, and tents on a shared basis for the dates of your program (available on a private basis by special arrangement, subject to availability, and at added cost); meals while at huts and while climbing; group cooking equipment; admissions to museums and national parks; technical mountain gear (helmet, climbing harness, triple-action locking carabiner, ice ax, mountaineering boots, crampons); private transportation during trip.

Exclusions: Airfare; personal equipment; extra meals and beverages at hotels, haciendas and lodges; gratuities to guides; government and airport taxes; inoculations; personal insurance; excess baggage fees; personal expenses.

Getting There

Several airlines offer daily flights to Quito International Airport (UIO). Depending on how you book your flight, it may arrive in the early morning hours. Flights departing from Quito can be booked for any time.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required when traveling to Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Update on requirements for entry into ecuador by covid variant-19

When boarding the airline, all persons must present the digital Traveller’s Health Declaration, available at the following link:

  • Persons over 16 years of age must present a covid-19 vaccination card, which is at least 14 days old after completion of the vaccination schedule. In addition, a qualitative real-time RT-PCR test, with negative result, performed up to 72 hours prior to embarkation to Ecuador.
  • Minors between 2 and 16 years of age must present a negative real-time RTPCR qualitative test result performed up to 72 hours prior to shipment.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the Quito airport, follow the signs to the Arrivals Building. Proceed to the Immigrations desk for foreign travelers. They will provide you with an entrance permit adequate for your stay. Please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay in Ecuador. After you have gathered your baggage and passed through Customs you will find a departure gate where our team will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel set out in the itinerary.


Ecuador – country code +593. Most areas have mobile access and wifi connection.


The current currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Consult a financial newspaper for the current exchange rate before departure. Cash machines are readily available in Quito and Credit cards are accepted in most areas.


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