Located at 2,850 m (9,350 ft) and in the central valley or “Avenue of the Volcanoes” it is considered as the perfect base city for those seeking for outdoor activities such as mountaineering, hiking, trekking and rock climbing activities.
Even though Ecuador is not a good rock climbing destination due to its natural volcanic poor rock quality which is very rotten and loose, there are many climbable cracks and rock slabs suitable for climbing scattered along the country, some of them are located within Quito’s city limits, surrounding valleys and in its residential areas outside the city.
Climbing crags near the Quito areaThese following are some of the new developed rock climbing areas located within the city limits and surroundings:
The climbing facility consists of three artificial climbing walls and a boulder area. It is run by Asociacion de Escalada y Andinismo de Pichincha (AEAP).
There are many sport climbing routes there, some of them as hard as 5.12c in the Yosemite Decimal System.
Climbing gear such as ropes, harnesses, shoes, chalk bags and carabiners can be rented at the rock building facility (castle-like structure).
El rocodromo is open daily from 8 am to 7:30 pm.
- Las Canteras de Cumbaya
This area offers a wide diversity of interesting and challenging routes rated from 5.7 to 6.11b (YDS) and are about 12 meters high.
The routes are bolted and the anchoring systems on top of each slab are very well placed for setting climbing protection or top roping.
Las Canteras Routes Info
It’s the most visited climbing zone for Quito’s climbers especially on weekends. It has 20 routes of different styles and complexity ranging from 5.9 to 5.13b in the Yosemite Decimal System.
It is located 50 minute-bus ride from Quito on the way to Papallacta, better known for its hot springs.
The routes here are tall and bolted with many options to choose from. There’s a wide open area at the base of the climbing wall and can be used as a campground. New routes are being developed lately in this area which stimulates more challenges on climbers from Ecuador and abroad.
Getting thereThe climbing areas can be reached easily by car or public transportation from La Marin area in downtown Quito and from Estacion Rio Coca “ecovia” in the north.
Red Tape- Entrance fees are collected at Rocodromo and Sigsipamba. No parking fees required.
- Pets are allowed in all the climbing areas.
- Bring insect repellent.
CampingCamping at the rock climbing areas near Quito is not advisable, but in Sigsipamba where the nearby neighborhood took responsibility for the safety and area maintenance.
- Ecuador, Climbing and Hiking Guide. Rob Rachowiecki and Mark Thurber. (6th Edition). Aug. 2008.
- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands. Regis St Louis, Lucy Burningham, Aimee Dowl, Michael Grosberg. (8th Edition). Aug. 2009.