Get off the beaten track with our Abraspungo valley trek along the flanks of the snow-capped Chimborazo.

Our Abraspungo hike takes us along the northern side of Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak at 6,310m/20,702ft – one of the most impressive in all the Andes.

This hike also offers a great chance to climb a 5,000m/16,404ft mountain – Carihuayrazo.

More on Abraspungo valley trek

On the last day we climb the craggy peaks of Carihuayrazo (5,018m/16,463ft) – meaning man of strong wind.

It is relatively easy and can be done by people with no previous mountaineering experience.

Best time of year: July and August are driest and coldest, December to February can also be good. Fog and rain common at other times of year.

Before starting this trek you should already have spent several days at altitude.



Trip Highlights

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  • Remote trek next to Ecuador's highest peak.

  • Chance to bag a 5,000m Andean peak - accessible to all trekkers.

  • Magnificent views of volcanoes as we trek the circuit.

  • Fully supported with top quality, bilingual local guide.

Everything ran like clockwork. All the tour guides/drivers were on time and all transport was on time.

J. Gibbons, Ecuador tour

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Full Itinerary

Day 1: Drive to start of trek. Afternoon walk and preparation of equipment for the trek. Camping (L,D)

Drive to start of trek. Afternoon walk and preparation of equipment for the trek. Camp.

Day 2: Trek to Abraspungu valley. We walk a total of 5-6 hours to Plazapampa. Camping (B,L,D)

After breakfast we start our trek in the direction of the Abraspungu valley. You will see plenty of high altitude fauna (vicunas, alpacas, llamas birds, rabbits and deer) and the typical flora of high puna grassland.

If the weather is good, we have excellent views of the volcanoes Altar and Tungurahua. Tungurahua is very active and with a bit of luck will provide us with a spectacular show.

We walk a total of 5-6 hours uphill, till we reach our camp in Plazapampa.

Day 3: Trek Abraspungo valley (6 hours). Camping (B,L,D)

Today we hike for approximately 6 hours through the Abraspungo valley. This affords excellent views of Chimborazo and Carihuayrazo.

We set up our camp at 4,800m/15,748ft at the base of Carihuayrazo near Laguna Negra. Camp.

Day 4: Climb Carihuayrazo (5100m). Return to camp (B,L,D)

We have an early breakfast and then set off for our climb of the central peak of Carihuayrazo at 5,018m/16,463ft.

We lunch on the summit, then head back to camp in the afternoon. Camp.

Day 5: Walk to the road, meet our vehicle. Return to Quito (B)

Walk to the road head to meet our vehicle. Return to Quito.


Prices From $1,100 / £880 per person

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What's Included?

Camping and dining equipment, English-speaking guide, meals from lunch day 1 to lunch day 5, transfers to and from trek/Quito

What's Not Included?

International flights (we can look for these for you), insurance, personal expenses, tips, meals other than stated, sleeping bag.


Accommodation

Camping, two man mountain tents.

Tour Staff

We have worked for many years with our fully qualified mountain guides.

They live for climbing in the area and know the mountains extremely well. They speak English and will show you all the techniques you need in order to make a safe and successful summit trek,

We use the same local drivers and support staff we have used for many years – the cooks, porters etc all have many years experience in the mountains.


Meals

When at camp, your breakfasts will be a mix of hot drinks, cereals, fruits and toast with jams.

Lunch, while out walking, will be either sandwiches or meat and cheese with crackers, with fruits etc available on trips from basecamps.

Meals at basecamps / evening camps feature vegetables, meats and hot drinks, rice and pasta dishes. Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for – please ask.

Activity Level

The trip is open to anyone with a positive attitude who wants to walk in a stunning and remote part of Ecuador’s Andes

This is a remote trip. It is open to those with no previous trekking experience, although experience of hiking and camping is beneficial.

You need to have a very good level of fitness for the trip.

You must be very well acclimatised – with 4-5 days at altitude immediately before the hike, with walking at higher levels. We can help with acclimatisation programmes.

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Practical Information

Introduction to Ecuador

Ecuador is the second smallest South American country, and one of the most varied.

It comprises three main geographical areas: the coast, highlands and Amazon plus is home to the Galapagos Islands.

Because of its relatively compact size, it makes a great holiday destination as you can move from highlight to highlight fairly easily and rapidly.

Geography of Ecuador

Landscapes vary from the drier south to the more humid north.

The Highlands, or sierra, encompass two Andean Cordilleras (the Central and Western), which run north to south through the country. Ecuador’s largest volcano is Chimborazo (6,310m) whose summit, because of its proximity to the equator, is the closest point on earth to the sun. Several of Ecuador’s volcanoes are still active, and it’s a great area for trekking.

Descending the steep, east-facing slopes of the eastern Cordillera, one passes through a transition zone comprising dense cloud forest and humid high jungle, before entering the Amazon lowlands.

This mainly primary rainforest covers a third of the country, accounts for 5% of the population and stretches across Ecuador, from its Colombian to its Peruvian borders.

The Galapagos Islands are simply unique. Lying 600 miles off the mainland, the archipelago comprises the summits of gigantic equatorial volcanoes.

The flora and fauna of the Galapagos, long separated from their continental cousins, have evolved differently. Charles Darwin used his observations there to develop his theory of Evolution.

Weather in Ecuador

Ecuador lies between latitudes 4º south and 2º north. Overall, climate varies according to time of year, altitude and region.

 

The Sierra 

In the Ecuadorian highlands, there is little temperature variation by season as temperature depends largely on altitude.

In Quito, shade temperatures range from 6 to 10ºC in the morning and from 19 to 23ºC in the afternoon, with cool nights. In the lower basins between mountains, it gets significantly warmer.

Rainfall depends on whether an area lies closer to the eastern or western Andes. To the west, June-Sept is the dry period and Oct-May the wet (with often a short, dry spell in Dec or Jan).

The best period to visit Quito and trek and climb volcanoes such as Cotopaxi is the west Andean dry season of June-Sept and Dec/Jan. This is also Ecuador’s high season. During the Oct-May wet season, most rainfall is in the afternoons.

To the east, Oct to Feb are dry and Mar-Sept are wet. Overall, the southern highlands are drier than the northern highlands.

 

The Coast

On the Pacific coast, rainfall becomes less from north to south. The coast can be enjoyed year-round, although from June-Sept mornings are often grey with the garua mists.

Jan-May is the hottest and rainiest time of year.

 

The Amazon

In Ecuador’s Amazonian region, rain can fall at any time, but Dec-March is usually the driest season and Mar-Sept is usually the wettest period.

 

The Galapagos Islands

Galapagos can be visited at any time of year.

The warm season is Jan-Jun, bringing calm, warm waters (around 70°F) and sunny days (72-9°F or 22-32°C), February and March being the hottest and sunniest months with blue skies and sunshine.

The islands receive slightly more rainfall during these months, occasional heavy bursts in the afternoon. Great for snorkelling and you can spend a lot of time in the water without wetsuits, with great, clear waters.

The dry ‘garua’ season is Jun-Dec an it’s a great time for marine life. August and September are the coolest when you may need a jacket in the evenings and the sea can be choppy and temperature drops around 15-24ºC on average.

There can be mist on the islands in the mornings (garua) which usually burns off by midday leaving overcast skies or a sunny afternoon.

Sea temperatures may drop to 60°F- 72°F (15-22°C) during this time and snorkellers will want a wet suit for prolonged periods in the sea.

 

Health and Safety

A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.

You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

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