Derived from the Kunza word for “masculine hill,” this pair of stratovolcanic mountains are located in the Illinizas Ecological Reserve. The southern peak is slightly higher than the northern peak and they are connected to each other by a kilometer long saddle.
Most visitors go up the northern peak as it’s less technical and more of a trek than a climb when compared to its southern counterpart. The southern peak is laden with glaciers and is considered more dangerous. Regardless, it is highly recommended to utilize a guide as it is easy to get lost on either peak.
Many climbers use the Illinizas as a “warm-up” for the bigger mountains of Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Chimborazo.
The Secret Garden Cotopaxi, can help connect you with local guides for your adventuring needs.
For the braver and more technical climbers, check out this write up on Illiniza Sur (South).