by PROJECT CORDILLERA
Cordillera de los Andes, Ecuador
Humboldt's Footsteps aims to give travelers a taste of one Alexander von Humboldt's most famous expeditions.
Often referred to as “the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived”, Alexander von Humboldt was a German polymath, geographer, naturalist, and explorer.
He first traveled the Americas from 1799 to 1804. This five-year expedition took him all over. However, it was his journey throughout the Andes where he broke records and uncovered previously untouched terrains.
He arrived in Ecuador in 1802. His six-month expedition saw him cross the epic Cordillera Real, all the way to Quito.
Humbolt's time in Ecuador included multiple expeditions to Antisana and Pichincha, and attempts to reach the summit of Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.
On Chimborazo, he reached a height of 5,878m. Even though he was 500m shy of the summit, it was a world record at the time.
An impressive feat, but even more so when you consider that Humboldt attempted this technical climb with no equipment and over 200 years ago.
His visit to Ecuador left a big impression on the country. Above all, his work has shaped and influenced many explorers, thinkers, and leaders understanding of Ecuador.
You can follow in Humboldt's footsteps on this expedition. Hike the Pasochoa, Corazón, and Cotopaxi volcanoes, and then bask in the jaw-dropping scenery from the comfort of volcanic hot springs.
Do you want to follow in the footsteps of one of the 20th centuries most important and influential thinkers? Book your space on an upcoming expedition today or check out some of our other Ecuador trips on the website.
Arrival in Quito
We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Cuicocha Crater Lake (3,400m)
Depart from Quito to Cayambe, Otavalo and Cotacachi. Follow a trail around Cuicocha lake. Late afternoon you'll be transferred to the hacienda to spend the night.
Otavalo Indigenous Market
After breakfast head to Otavalo and visit the famous market. Drive towards the Mojanda Lakes for a short hike.
Climbing Pasochoa (4,200m)
Depart form Quito to the valley of Los Chillos and the slopes of Pasochoa volcano. Walk through the páramo all the way to the summit of Pasochoa.
Climbing Corazón (4,788m)
After an early breakfast you'll head to the village of Aloasi and hike to the summit of Corazón Volcano. You'll get great views of mountains like Cotopaxi, Ilinizas and Rumiñahui.
Climbing Iliniza North (5,125m)
After breakfast you'll drive to “La Virgen” (4,000m) and walk on a trail while enjoying the sunrise, with amazing views of Cotopaxi. It's an easy and fun climb to the summit.
Cotopaxi National Park
Head to the Cotopaxi National Park and stop in the local market in the Machachi village. At the park, you'll walk to the hut at 4,800m and learn basic ice techniques for your climbing adventure the next day.
Cotopaxi Summit (5,897m)
Wake up before midnight and after a light meal get ready for the climb. You'll pass some crevasses and snow passages and finally reach the summit. After enjoying the unique view, head back to the hut and to Quito.
Papallacta Hot Springs
Today, you'll relax. After breakfast head to Papallacta and enjoy the hot springs. In the evening you'll be back in Quito.
This is a 9 day trek starting in Quito. It includes Cuicocha, Pasochoa, Corazón, Iliniza North and Cotopaxi Volcanoes.