Spanish + Mountain Climbing
Ecuador is considered one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. According to a study carried out by Conservation International in 1998, Ecuador is part of the list of 17 most biodiverse countries. (Read more here.)
Although a very small country, Ecuador holds a great variety of ecosystems due the presence of the Andes, the proximity of the Pacific coast, the meeting of the Humboldt and Central American currents, and the influence of the Amazon basin.
This program is designed for true nature enthusiasts, who love adventure. This unique opportunity to climb Andes mountain peaks, and learn Spanish, is a once in a lifetime experience.
The mountains in Ecuador are very accessible, yet a good challenge for anyone. While taking Spanish classes, you will either be studying at our rural school in the small indigenous mountain village of Pucurá (8441 feet) or in the well know town of Cotacachi (7,800 feet). Both locations are ideal places to learn Spanish while you adjust to the altitude. This program takes you step by step as you acclimate to the altitude, and the language.
QUICK PROGRAM ITINERARY
|Saturday||06/25/2016||Day 1||Airport Pickup – Otavalo|
|Sunday||06/26/2016||Day 2||Spanish Class|
|Monday||06/27/2016||Day 3||Spanish Class & Cuicocha hike|
|Tuesday||06/28/2016||Day 4||Spanish Class|
|Wednesday||06/29/2016||Day 5||Spanish Class & Fuya Fuya Mountain hike|
|Thursday||06/30/2016||Day 6||Spanish Class|
|Saturday||07/02/2016||Day 8||Spanish Class & Otavalo market|
|Sunday||07/03/2016||Day 9||Transfer to Cayambe Refuge & glacier school|
|Monday||07/04/2016||Day 10||Cumbre – Return to Pucará/Quito|
|Tuesday||07/05/2016||Day 11||Spanish Class and hotsprings|
|Wednesday||07/06/2016||Day 12||Spanish Class|
|Thursday||07/07/2016||Day 13||Transfer to Urbina & night climb|
|Friday||07/08/2016||Day 14||Travel to Chimborazo Refuge & Begin Cumbre|
|Saturday||07/09/2016||Day 15||Cumbre – Return to Pucará/Quito|
DETAILED PROGRAM ITINERARY
Day 1: Airport reception and transfer to our mountain cabins & Pucará Spanish School
Day 2: Spanish classes (4 hours)
Day 3: Cuicocha lake hike and Spanish classes (2 hours):
This spectacular hike allows you to enjoy beautiful landscapes, learn about the flora and the fauna of the region, and to be in intimate contact with nature. The loop around this beautiful volcanic crater lake lasts approximately 4 hours, walking at or near 3000 meters. This excursion serves as an excellent acclimatization hike.
After the hike we will rest and have 2 hours of Spanish classes.
Day 4: Spanish classes (4 hours)
Day 5: Fuya Fuya Climb from Mojanda Lake and afternoon Spanish classes:
Mojanda is a group of mountains and lakes located to the south of Otavalo. This trip will take you to the three lakes (Caricocha, Huarmicocha and Yanacocha) and involves a climb to Fuya Fuya Mountain (4275 meters). From the peak of Fuya Fuya you will have superb views and possibly spot a condor! This is also an excellent acclimatization hike.
Day 6: Spanish classes (4 hours)
Day 7: Imbabura Mountain climb (15,190 ft):
Imbabura is an impressive mountain with a crater open to the East. The route to top of this mountain passes through indigenous villages, alpine meadows, paramo, and finally rock until the summit. This mountain does not get permanent snow and is not a technical rock climb. You will reach the top without previous technical training. It is quite a long hike, but very rewarding!
Day 8: Otavalo market and Spanish classes
Day 9: Transfer to Cayambe Refuge and Glacier school:
Cayambe (19,000 ft) is the 3rd highest mountain in Ecuador, and the highest point over the Equator in the world. It lies in the eastern range of the Andes, 60 km away from both Otavalo and Quito. Cayambe has a great importance for the local indigenous people, and its slopes are heavily glaciated with numerous crevasses. Summiting this beautiful mountain requires some basic training in glacier travel, which our guides provide for you on the first day at the refuge.
Day 10: Cayambe summit and transfer to Pucará:
The second day at this site we will wake early to do an alpine accent of Cayambe, This involves hiking 7 hours to reach the summit. The summit is beautiful and very impressive, as the glaciers change colors every hour. The decent is only 3 hours, and after the hike we will drive back to Pucará.
Day 11: Hotspring and Spanish classes (4 hours)
Spanish classes in the morning and in the afternoon we head to the hotsprings near chachimbiro and have lunch. After we spend whole afternoon enjoying in the pools. All relaxed, we return to Pucara.
Day 12: Spanish classes (4 hours)
Day 13: Travel to Chimborazo region, drive the Volcano Highway:
The section of highway north of Quito to Chimborazo was named by the famous explorer Humbolt as the Volcano Highway. We will drive this route to Urbina, located in the lovely valley near the Chimborazo and Carihuayrazu peeks. We will stay overnight in a mountain lodge, hiking in the area during the afternoon.
Day 14: Refuge Carrel and night climb:
From Urbina we will drive to the Chimborazo hut. After a rest, we will try the summit with another alpine start. For many years Chimborazo was considered to be the highest mountain in the world. The summit is considered to be the closest point from the earth to the surface of the sun.
This mountain lies in the western range of the Andes, a few kilometers from the town of Riobamba. From Urbina we will transport you to the first Chimborazo refuge. This peak requires previous technical training on glaciers, so it requires the training given at Cayambe. An alpine ascent requires a very early start so that there is plenty of daylight time to summit and descent the mountain. Waking very early, we will climb for 8 hours to the summit. The descent will take about 4 hours.
Day 15: Rest and drive back to Quito or Otavalo
Price for 10 day trip: $1,311/pp if 2 people
Price for 15 day trip: $2,102/pp if 2 people
Please note: As with all technical climbing, your guide is required to take into account your wellbeing. Current weather may effect high altitude climbs and we ask that you be aware of this. Of course, we hope that you are able to complete the entire program smoothly, however our guides are given the responsibility to decide whether a climb is safe or not
- 20-28 hours one-one spanish class
- Full private transport
- Lodging in Pucará, Cayambe Refuge, Urbina and Carrel Refuge
- Food during the climbing program, only breakfast will be provided on Spanish class days. Cooking facilities are part of the services provided at our lodgings.
- Professional Spanish teacher
- Professional mountain guide
- National parks climbing permits
- Personal climbing equipment (available for rent on request)
- Extra activities