Atacazo is located on the western side of the Avenue of Volcanos south of Quito. This mountain is more frequently hiked by locals. It is a not-too-common acclimatization climb for mountaineers preparing themselves for ascents on 5000 meter and up peaks. The summit is covered in antennas. The actual highest point has a little shack on it.
South of Pichincha and north of El Corazón. It is clearly visible from the Panamerica highway but often ignored by those with their eyes on the more popular and higher climbs on Iliniza Norte and Cotopaxi with flank the highway just a short distance away.
There are two main routes on the mountain but the nature of the slopes really will let any hiker simply choose their own path to the summit. Driving in from the north can put you within an hour of the top.
As with so many Ecuadorian volcanoes, one needs to travel south on the Panamerican highway.
For the standard route: from Quito take any bus south from Terminal Terrestre and get dropped off on the Panamericana in extreme south Quito near Cutuglagua and the Santa Catalina Research Station.
No permits, passes, fees, or closures, but there is private property in the area so be respectful.
When To Climb
There is no permanent snow or glaciers on this mountain and it can be climbed year round. However for the best weather and the best views time your climb for December-January or July-August.
Regardless of the route it is simply a hike so no special gear is really necessary out of season unless conditions are especially bad. Nice trekker peak with great views when the weather permits.
No huts but one could camp in the area. It is not however recommended. Such a short distance from Quito this mountain begs to be dayhiked with your gear safely in your room awaiting greater things.
There is not much current information online about weather conditions.
The location is near Quito
For general route conditions the South American Explorers
probably have people that have climbed it recently among their members. They also try to keep a bulletin board updated with climbing conditions on the volcanoes in the Quito clubhouse.
Generally you can get some free route information by asking at the various climbing agencies too.