Tailor-made trip for demanding mountain bikers off the beaten tracks crossing the Ecuadorian Andes.
Along the dirt roads, railways, among the Andean villages, at the foot of volcanoes, this unusual trip provides a deep discovery of the Andes by mountain bike.
The highlights of this trip:
- The unique impression to ride in the middle of landscapes among the most unusual in the world.
- The wide variety of landscapes and encounters: Volcanoes, numerous lagoons, villages...
- Very few transfers throughout the circuit.
Day 1: Quito - City Tour - TeleferiQo - El cinto
Arrival and visit of the city of Quito. Located on a group of green hills, Quito enjoys a pleasant climate. Swarming with activity, this is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Then we will increase in height with the TéléferiQo to enjoy impressive views of the Ecuadorian capital. MTB downhill towards El Cinto.
Day 2: Quito - Chaquiñan - Quinche
Short transfer to the valley before starting the bike ride on one of the most famous routes of the city. The Chaquiñan, a dirt road and old railway begins in Cumbaya towards Quinche, through a beautiful canyon, two long tunnels and beautiful landscapes.
Day 3: Quinche - Loma Quito Cangagua - Cayambe
From El Quinche, mountain bike crossing in the direction of the northern hemisphere, we cross the line of Ecuador where we can visit the ruins of Quitoloma. We follow a path in the midst of cultivated upland fields. Very nice view of the ice giant and third summit of the country: The Cayambe.
Day 4: Cayambe - Olmedo - Zuleta - La Esperanza
From the town of Cayambe, crossing of the countryside and villages of Olmedo and Zuleta towards the community of San Clemente. Beautiful countryside landscapes at the foot of volcanoes. Mixed cobbles & earth paths and small road from Zuleta to the community of San Clemente, a charming Indian community in the area of Ibarra.
Day 5: La Esperanza - Imbabura - San Pablo - Otavalo
From the community, transfer by bus to the foot of the Imbabura volcano, to start ascending. Very nice view of the volcanoes Cotocachi west, Urcu Mojanda south and Cayambe in the southwest and of the city of Otavalo. Back to Otavalo by mountain bike through the San Pablo Lagoon.
Day 6: Otavalo - Cuicocha - Otavalo
Transfer to Laguna Cuicocha. Laguna Cuicocha unfolds in the crater of the volcano of the same name that has formed on the flanks of the volcano Cotacachi. The edges of the lake, from which emerge two islands have a varied flora and offer magnificent views of the entire province of Imbabura. On a good path, we walk around the lake.
Day 7: Otavalo market - El Valle
On Saturday it happens in Otavalo and nowhere else! The whole region is present in this weekly appointment to which has devoted a large part of the village, to trade all that one can imagine. In the early afternoon, transfer to Mojanda and downhill mountain biking from the Mojanda lagoons towards Cochasqui.
Day 8: El Valle - Patichubamba - CotopaxiPungo
From our hostel, mountain bike crossing from the Pasochoa volcano water channel in the middle of a tropical mountain forest to the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park where our accommodation is located. Breathtaking view of Cotopaxi volcano at 5,897 meters.
Day 9: Refuge & Cotopaxi National Park - Lasso
Entry into the Cotopaxi National Park to discover the Andean Paramo (low altitude vegetation with rich flora) at the foot of the active volcano, the highest in the world, which cone covered with snow peaks at 5,897m. We cross the park, progressively leaving the herds of wild horses to begin the long climbing to the refuge. Transfer to Lasso.
Day 10: Lasso - Insilivi
From our hostel, we start to explore the region of the Western Cordillera: amazing and beautiful Andean landscapes, slopes of mountains adorned with small agricultural plots, semi-desert plains dotted with sheeps and crisscrossed by canyons. Climb on a track towards Insilivi.
Day 11: Insilivi - Quilotoa
From our hostel, we cross a track to the Quilotoa lagoon. Installed in the hollow of a huge crater, the lagoon offers an absolutely wonderful sight, with tinted hues of green and turquoise. Walk around the edge of the crater and down the green lake. Spectacular views of the Illinizas northwest.
Day 12: Quilotoa - Saquisili Market - Baños
Transfer to Saquisili to attend the famous Thursday market, one of the most beautiful and authentic in Ecuador. Colorful and much less touristy than the one in Otavalo, the Saquisili market offers a bit of everything: sugar, vegetables, fabrics and especially animals (early morning). Then transfer to Baños.
Day 13: Baños
Spa town famous for its hot pools and the nearby magnificent active volcano Tungurahua (5,016 m), Baños is a small paradise where you feel that time has stopped. We follow the famous waterfalls road between Baños and Puyo where we can admire no less than 12 waterfalls along our route.
Day 14: Baños - Quito
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Quito.
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- Accomodation in double rooms
- Full pension (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Free drinking water
- All entries to national parks, churches and activities as mentioned in the intineray
Biking level 3 of 5: For keen walker. Several hiking days from 5 to 7h. The altitude has to be taken into account
In the field
- English speaking tour guide
- A driver for driving the vehicle
- Private bus reserved for the group for the entire trip
Throughout your stay, accommodation is varied:
- Hostels 3-4 stars in cities (local standards).
- Homestay (basic comfort)
- Family inn or cozy guest room
- Lodge in the Amazon
- Breakfast served at the accommodation
- At noon picnic for hiking, restaurant meals the other days
- In the evening, restaurant meals or prepared food at accomodation
Ecuadorians products help ensure varied menus and good quality.
The luggage transport
During the excursions and activities, each participant wears a light backpack containing only personal belongings needed for the day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, ...). Luggage transport is ensured by vehicle
- Passport and photocopies
- Photocopy of certificate of insurance / assistance contract
- Vaccinations records and medical indications
- Currency, credit card => The ideal is to carry personal papers and money in a discreet travel pouch worn under your clothes.
- Universal Adapter
- Flashlight (frontal ideal) and extra batteries
- Sun protection (sunglasses and bag, sunscreen SPF 30 minimum, cap / hat)
- Personal pharmacy (see below)
- Tissues / toilet paper
- Travel alarm
- Toiletries and towel (microfiber type)
- Protective plastic bag (cloth, paper ...)
- Swimsuit (pools Baños)
- A backpack 30L / 50L: this capacity lets you take all you need for a day of travel: rain clothes, warm clothes, small pharmacy, water bottles, snacks, and possibly part of the picnic
- Cream / ointment after sun
- Antibiotic broad spectrum (paracetamol, aspirin ...)
- Disinfectant for wounds (type Hexomedine)
- Set bandages, tape, scissors, blister dressing
- Hydroalcoholic gel
- Survival blanket
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No visa is required for nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada for a stay of less than 90 days. A passport valid at least 6 months after the travel date in Ecuador is enough.
Travelling with children
The foreign miners are subject to the same obligations as adults. They must hold a passport valid at least six months after the travel date.
We do not offer international flight booking. To plan your route in Ecuador, several international airlines provide transportation to Quito (or Guayaquil), such as Air France (via Bogota or Caracas), KLM, Iberia and Lan (via Madrid), American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, etc ...
No mandatory vaccine.
But vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory if you have previously been to a country situated in endemic areas.
We strongly recommend to update the classic vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio +/- whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.
Yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended if you go to the Amazon or to a province east of the Andes below 2,300 meters in altitude.
Malaria occurs below 1500 meters, mainly in the Amazon area: classification 3 (high resistance). Antimalarial treatment is necessary. Consult your doctor.
The risk is moderate in the coastal provinces. It is recommended to protect yourself in some areas: Baños, on the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure you have in addition preventive personal protection against mosquito bites (repellents, loose clothing and spanning).
Ecuador is affected by the Zika virus disease transmitted by bites of Aedes mosquitoes.
In case of pregnancy, the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the event of outbreak of fetal or neonatal microcephaly and infection Zika virus in the mother is likely. It is therefore recommended for pregnant women or for those having a project of pregnancy to consider postponing their stay or to first consult a doctor to be informed about the complications that can occur during infection by Zika virus.
Acclimatization and preventive treatment of acute mountain sickness
We recommend you before your trip to Ecuador to visit a doctor to check your ability to stay at high altitude. Andean reliefs are very marked and altitudes are significant (Quito already at 2,800m above sea level).
Whether on adventure, discovery, trekking or mountaineering tours, routes include acclimatization steps and time required for the body to adjust naturally to the altitude. By following a few simple tips especially the first days (drink regularly, avoid alcohol, overeating, too abrupt efforts ...), you will facilitate the acclimation process and avoid the most common symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath ...).
For more information, visit the Association for Research in Environmental Physiology (www.arpealtitude.org) or the International Medical Service (www.smi-voyage-sante.com)
The currency is the US dollar. Exchange rates (indicative price): 1 € = $ 1.12 or US $ 1 = € 0.89.
Most credit cards (MasterCard, Visa ...) are accepted in Ecuador in department stores. It is possible to make withdrawals * directly to distributors in major cities you will be going during your trip (Quito, Otavalo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Baños, Cuenca ...). Plan ahead among the major steps to not run out of cash for personal expenses (souvenirs ...). Moreover, it is better to have small denominations (5, 10, 20 $) because the businesses rarely have the exchange.
For stays in Galapagos, only the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Cristobal are equipped with distributors.
NB: it is difficult to change euros, the exchange is only possible in major cities in banks (limited opening hours) and exchange offices ("casa de cambio").
* Before departure, it is best to consult your bank to know your conditions / fees abroad to avoid inconvenience.
Ecuador is located in the equatorial zone where there is no clear-cut seasons. It is possible to travel throughout the year in Ecuador. The climate is however very variable and unpredictable!
It is generally cool in Quito (15 ° to 25 °), very mild in Cuenca (18 ° to 30 °) and very hot in the Amazon or on the Pacific coast (27 ° to 40 °). Galapagos, the heat is tempered by the winds that cool constantly the islands (20 ° to 35 ° C).
Ecuador is considered to be one of the safest countries in South America. However, we advise you to avoid, as far as possible, to carry valuables. The risk of theft exists, avoid displaying wealth, be vigilant in crowded places (markets, city centers ...) and leave whenever possible valuables and significant amounts of money in the safes of hotels. Do not hesitate to ask your guide in which places it is necessary to pay particular attention and which ones to avoid.
Each participant must be aware of the fact that the tour chosen may include activities (rafting, hiking, ziplining, biking ...) which may be risky. Service providers selected for those services were chosen for their professionalism and the quality of supervision and equipment. Each activity will begin with a reminder of the safety instructions.
Language & some useful words
In Ecuador, Spanish is spoken by all the population. The Quechua language and local dialects are used in remote locations. English is practiced by persons in relation to tourism (hotels & restaurants of higher category).
We recommend that you bring an adapter because the plugs are flat type 110 volts, as in the United States.
Ecuador is located on the GMT -5. The time is the same in all the country except the Galapagos (- 1 hour).The sun rises around 6am and night falls around 6pm, all year.