The Atacazo is a volcano whose caldera measures approximately one kilometer in diameter and is open to the west. Its summits on the north face have been used for the construction of innumerable radio and television antennas. The Atacazo is mostly visible from the south of Quito, Tambillo and Alóag.
Way to the Atacazo
Near the rocks
Atacazo volcanic caldera
Western Cordillera; 8 kilometers in a straight line west of Quito (south Quito). There are two routes for approaching the Atacazo:
1) Guamaní Approach: At the southern end of Quito, known as Guamaní, intersection between Avenida Antonio José de Sucre and Calle S48, you must take the western direction until you find calle Camilo Orejuela. Continue along the Camilo Orejuela street in the same direction up the foothills of the Atacazo, then this road becomes ballasted to reach the mountain base. Already in the paramo, the Comuna Espejo is crossed and you can find a path on the left (south) that reaches the Atacazo antennas.
2) "San Juan de Chillogallo" Approach: In the south of Quito, sector of Chillogallo, at the intersection of Avenida Mariscal Sucre and Manuel Coronado, take Manuel Coronado west until Carlos Freile street, continuing to the south, it ends at Avenida El Tránsito, continue straight until you leave Quito and go to the small village of San Juan de Chillogallo. There is a narrow road that leads from San Juan to the Atacazo, currently closed to vehicular traffic, for which it will be necessary to start the hike in San Juan.
|South of Quito – Antennas Road||30min||9.5km|
|Antennas Road – Antennas 1||15min||4km|
|San Juan de Chillogallo Approach:|
|South of Quito – San Juan||30min||12km|
|San Juan – Antennas Road (closed for vehicles)||23min||9.5km|
- One day is usually required to make the summit starting from Quito.
- If you don't have private transportation, it is convenient to rent a taxi at the south of Quito to approach the Atacazo by any of the approaching routes. It is not advised to start the hike or bike ride in Quito due to safety issues.
- Following the Guamaní approach, almost reaching the paramo, you will find a vehicular door that belongs to the Comuna Espejo. This door is usually opened since the road is used by many trucks that go to the sand mines; however, there will always be a small chance of staying locked up. Walkers and bicycles can pass without problems.
- The hiking from San Juan is more interesting although it takes more time. A few years ago they allowed the passage for vehicles; but today this road is only opened for hikers and bicycles.
- The Atacazo is an easy summit, recommended for beginners.
- Innumerable antennas have been built on the Atacazo summits, generating an unpleasant panorama and a quantity of garbage.
- Anyway, on a clear day you can have interesting views of the Atacazo caldera and the surrounding cities and mountains.
- A classic cycling route passes through San Juan and goes down the old road to Chiriboga and Alluriquín.
There are some attractive hiking trails:
- Atacazo Summit from the antennas
- San Juan to Atacazo trail
- Circumvallation of the caldera with integral summits
- Trekking to Ninahuilca volcano
- Cycling route: San Juan - Alluriquín
- Ascent to the Viudita