El Corazon

  • © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • El Corazon from the Panamerican Highway - © William Mackesy
  • El Corazon from the Panamerican Highway - © William Mackesy
  • El Corazon from the east - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • El Corazon from the Panamerican Highway - © William Mackesy

Key information: El Corazon

  • A spectacular eroded volcano in the Iliniza Ecological Reserve with wondrous views of the Avenue of Volcanoes, Cotapaxi Area and Ruminahui in particular. Doable as a day walk from Quito, so, while pretty high, it is a useful acclimatizer.
  • Largely an easyish uphill climb through paramo grasslands, but the last stretch involves some scrambling with moderate exposure.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating87
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points1
  • Total rating87
  • Note: Negs: Altitude

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 7-10 hrs
  • (4 hrs if road is open)
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,788 m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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El Corazon from the Panamerican Highway - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

A relatively easy but nonetheless spectacular eroded volcano (4,788m) in the Iliniza Ecological Reserve with wondrous views of the Avenue of Volcanoes, Cotapaxi Area and Ruminahui in particular. It is doable as a day walk from Quito, so, while pretty high, it is a useful acclimatizer.

Largely an easyish uphill climb through paramo grasslands, but the last stretch involves some scrambling with moderate exposure.

There is an access road which can get you some 2 hrs from the summit, but it is often locked so worth checking the position (the Viva guide has a number). If it is closed, it is still worth climbing from the Pan-American Highway but will take you 7-10 hrs.

This can be strenuous walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather, where altitude can cause problems. Come prepared, including proper acclimatization.

Have a look at TripAdvisor - there are tens of millions of reviews, so you may get good, current views on guides, places to hike and places to stay.

Ecuador Climbing and Hiking Guide - Viva,has a worthwhile section on this walk. Find relevant books by using our Amazon search function:

Find the books and maps listed above, and many more:

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Quito Area walk page.


Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

El Corazon from the east - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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El Corazon from the Panamerican Highway - © William Mackesy...
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