El Reventador is a volcano with a bad temper. The name translates to "the Exploded" and for good reason as it regularly spews and fumes, causing much unease with local inhabitants. Its most recent eruption was in 2010 but the largest recorded eruption occurred in 2002, during which the plume from the stratovolcano reached a height of 17Km and pyroclastic flows could be observed at the slopes.
Although, it has since mellowed, fumaroles activity can still often be observed in the crater. Despite El Reventador’s relative dormancy, it remains a spectacular beast to be admired, as it’s 3485m symmetrical cone bursts out of the cloud forest with solid determination. The volcano’s main peak lies inside a U-shaped caldera which is open towards the Amazon rainforest to the east.
However, due to its location, it is prone to bad weather. Levels of rainfall reaching 5500mm per year have been recorded. Until recently, the combination of unfriendly weather and permanent volcanic activity has kept explorers at bay. Nowadays, intrepid explorers attempt El Reventador regularly, but not without difficulties: Rest assured that if you are looking for a challenging mountain to climb, this active volcano won’t disappoint you.
Your trip begins as you travel 100 km from Quito on the winding highway to Lago Agrio. When you reach the base of the volcano you do your packs and camp near San Rafael Waterfall, your rest place for the first night. Your next day begins at dawn. As you climb upward the vegetation remains dense and at times almost impenetrable; when necessary you will forge your way with machetes. You will also follow rivers and cross the Odalisque lava fields, screed and mudflows left behind by El Reventador cantankerous temper. If it is a clear day when you reach the summit you will be bedazzled by shockingly extravagant vistas: the great expanse of the Amazon basin, huge vegetated cliffs, gorges and waterfalls. Because of the difficulty of the terrain, we cannot use mules to carry baggage and groups cannot consist of more than 8 people. All participants must be in excellent physical condition.
Day 01: Quito – San Rafael Waterfall
In the morning we pick you up at your hotel and drive along the Interoceanic Quito - Lago Agrio road. You cross the high pass (4000m) from Papallacta. The road leads you through Andean cloud forest and descends toward the San Rafael waterfall. With 145m height this waterfall in the depth of the cloudforest is the highest in Ecuador. On several small trail you can explore the area and try to spot some of the many birds e.g. the famous cock-of-the-rock. In this beautiful spot you will set up your first camp at ca. 1280m altitude. -/L/D
Day 02: Trekking to the Crater
Early ascent to camp 2 located at the foot of the inner caldera. Today you hike through rainforest and learn about the lush vegetation of the Amazon basin. Here you cross the spectacled bear’s territory and with a little luck you can see one member of this rare species. Sometimes also monkeys or Coatis can be seen. In the crater you can see the development of a new volcano. A very rare spectacle of nature! Tucans, Oropendolas and other species of birds will glide above us. You will need rubber boots for the muddy sections. After ca. 8 hours walk you set up your campsite. B/L/D
Day 03: Hike to the summit
In the early morning you set off towards the summit. First crossing the dense vegetation of the inner crater and then hiking up the steep slopes of the cone. If the weather conditions are good and the activity of the volcano permits, you can enjoy spectacular views of the volcanoes of the Cordillera to the west and the immensity of the Amazon rainforest from the summit of Reventador volcano to the east. In the afternoon you return back to your camp down in the crater. B/L/D
Day 04: Hike back to the road – Papallacta Hot Springs
You leave the camp early in the morning and descend in about 4-5 hours back to the road. From here you drive back up the Andean slopes to Papallacta. Here you can enjoy a relaxing bath at the thermal baths and stay the night at the comfortable hotel Termas de Papallacta. B/L/D
Day 05: Papallacta Hot Springs – Quito
After a huge breakfast you have the chance for another bath in the hot pools before you drive back to Quito where you arrive in the afternoon. B/-/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
USD 855, - per person with minimum 4 people
USD 1.175, - per person with minimum 2 people
USD 2.115,- with one person
Included in the Price:
Transportation, bilingual guide, all meals as stated in the program, collective camp equipment such 1 or 2-pers. tents, foam pad, kitchen gear etc., cook, porters, entrance national Park, camping at San Rafael Waterfall
Not Included in the Price:
International flight, personal equipment, tips, travel insurance, personal items, international airport tax Quito (USD 41,-),
What to bring with you:
Sleeping bag, sun glasses, sun block, rain wear, torch, hat, rubber boots, trekking shoes, warm clothing, canteen, camera.