This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in El Chaupi.
El Chaupi is a small mountain town in the Ecuadorian province of Pichincha. It lies south of Quito within the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains, near the two volcanic peaks of Illiniza Norte and Illiniza Sur in the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas. El Chaupi is considered a starting point for hiking and/or climbing the mountains, and there is not much else here besides walking or horseback riding. To get to El Chaupi, you need to fly to Quito and then take a bus to the town.
Because El Chaupi is a hiker’s town, there is a lot of budget accommodation. Hostels top the list and even some of the lodges have hostel-style backpacker dorm rooms. The Spanish word for hostel is “hostal,” so you should have no trouble asking for a bed! Most of the hostels are within walking distance of the bus stop; if you a remote lodge, make sure you ask about transportation!
Once your accommodation is sorted, you can explore El Chaupi and the surrounding towns. The region is remote and surrounded by volcanoes, despite being only one hour south of Quito. El Chaupi is often used as a base for hikers doing both Illinizas or Cotopaxi. Most guides depart from here, and it is highly recommended that you have a guide even if you have alpine hiking experience. The Illinizas are excellent acclimatisation mountains and if you aren’t familiar with hiking in the Andes, its suggested that you hike one of both of these before hiking Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, or Cayambe. Beyond trekking or glacier climbing, there isn’t much to do in El Chaupi. If you need to get your city fix, however, you can explore the nearby (also small) town of Machachi, where you can explore the old church and the municipal theatre, both in the main square.
Written by local enthusiast for El Chaupi hostelsJakob Lombardi