El Corazon (The Heart) is an eroded extinct volcano ca. 40Km southwest of Quito in the western Cordillera of the northern Andes near the agricultural town of Machachi. This tour leads you through the wide pasteland and the grasslands of the Paramo up to the summit from which you can oversee the famous “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. This name has been given to the central valley of the northern Ecuadorian Andes by the german explorer Alexander von Humboldt due to the many volcanoes that stand here lined up: Rucu and Guagua Pichincha, Atacazo, Corazon, Illiniza North and South and Chimborazo to the west and Antisana, Pasochoa, Sincholagua, Ruminahui, Cotopaxi and Tungurahua to the east.
1. Day: El Corazon
Early in the morning you start from Quito and drive South on the Panamerican Highway to Machachi and from here on a country road some 3 kilometres to the little village Aloasi and from here up the slopes of the volcano. Where the road you’re your hike begins. First you walk through cultivated fields and pastures before the landscape changes into the typical the wide grass landscape of the Paramo (Andean highlands). The nearer you get to the summit the steeper the path gets and after some 4-6 hours of hiking you reach the summit just right for lunch time. Enjoy a rest on the summit with spectacular views and the “Avenue of the volcanoes” maybe even planning to climb one of the peaks around you next. In the afternoon you hike back to the car (ca. 2-3 hours) and drive back to Quito which you will reach in the evening. -/L/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
USD 120, - per person with minimum 2 people
USD 220,- with one person
Included in the Price:
Private transportation, qualified English speaking mountain guide, meals according to the itinerary, first aid kit.
Not Included in the Price:
Personal equipment, tips, travel insurance, mountain equipment: warm and waterproof clothes, sunglasses, gloves etc.
What to bring with you:
Personal equipment, travel insurance, mountain equipment: warm and waterproof clothes (Fleece and Gore-Tex), sunglasses, gloves, sun block, hat, trekking shoes, canteen, and camera.
Please note Though the climb of El Corazon is not technical the high altitude complicates the ascent. Therefore a good physical condition is necessary for this hike. Ideally you have already been some days in the altitude e.g. Quito before climbing Guagua Pichincha as a good acclimatization is essential for a successful ascent.