Northern Ecuador Bicycle Tour
Bike through the Andean mountains and tropical lush jungles while enjoying stunning landscapes of active volcanoes, craters, lakes, diverse wildlife and remote villages populated by traditional cultures.
Day 1: Arrival day.Meet your trip leader and group at 18:00pm.
You will be transferred in from the airport. Welcome to Quito! The largest, best-preserved colonial city of America - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. We can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00pm hours. At this time we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito.
Day 2: Biking in Cotopaxi
We begin this adventure traveling south on the pan American highway for 2 hours through The Avenue of Volcanoes, it was named by the famous German explorer Alexander Vond Humboldt. On the way enjoy views of volcanoes suvh as Cayambe, Antisana, Pichincha, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Corazon. Once we enter the park we will drive on the high alpine line where we will learn from our guide about the flora and fauna of the Paramo ecosystem, along the road we will cross a pine forest and with some luck, you could spot a whitetail deer.
Begin your journey in The Avenue of Volcanoes and start biking at an elevation of 13000 feet. Travel along a dirt road where wild horses and bulls roam, surrounded by the remains of the last eruption of Cotopaxi, which took place about 140 years ago. From here we will ride on an exciting single track all the way to the Pucara Inca Ruins, here our guides will prepare a delicious lunch for you. In the afternoon, we will continue on our way for about 1 hour to the Hacienda Santa Ana.
BIKING TIME.- from 2 to 4 hours Biking Distance.- 20 miles ( 32 Km)
Elevation Gain.- 300 feet ( 91 m)
What to wear.- Biking shorts or pants, t-shirt, fleece, biking or tennis shoes.
Accommodation: Santa Ana Hacienda or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: Papallacta Hot Springs
On this day, after breakfast, we will drive to the western part of the Ecuadorian Andes, our first stop is at the Guango Hummingbird Reserve, here enjoy the ability to view about 20 species of these marvelous birds, all while enjoying a cup of coffee or some amazon tea. Later, we continue to the Papallacta resort to check in at your cabin with location right in front of the pools of volcanic water. Today, have lunch on your own as there are plenty of choices for restaurants that offer traditional food, in the afternoon we will go for a hike in the nearby cloud forest in search of orchids, bromeliads and several other different species of flora; with some luck you could observe some birds such us tanagers, trogons, warbler, flycatchers and even a condor.
The rest of the day and night is yours to enjoy the volcanic hot springs and the Spa treatments high in the midst of the cool Andes.
Hiking time.- from 2 to 3 hours depending on the weather.
Hiking Distance.- 2 miles ( 3,2 Km) Elevation Gain.- 500 feet (152 m)
What to wear.- T-shirt, hiking pants, tennis shoes, rubber boots for rent at the reserve, bring rain gear in your day pack as well as binoculars.
Accommodation: Papallacta Hot Springs Meals : Breakfast
Day 4: Biking in Cayambe Coca
Travel upon a precious, exclusive road with no traffic in this high region. This is a special experience because this ecological reserve is very remote and pristine with little influence from people. While descending from 13000 ft (3962 m) to 9000 ft (2743 m), enjoy the views of the Andean fields and witness the surroundings of grassland and colorful flowers, with occasional deer and rabbits crossing. This park is home of the Spectacle Bear the only species in south America. Enjoy views of the Andean fields, the local people from region depend much upon the agriculture of products like potato, corn, fava beans, lupine, etc.
We arrive at the Hacienda to check-in during the early afternoon, later we will do an optional bike ride of 20 minutes each way to the Equator monument to learn a bit more of the Latitude 0.
Biking time.- from 2 to 4 hours. Biking Distance.- miles 35 ( 56 Km)
Elevation Gain.- 350 feet ( 106 m ) optional elevation gain 3000 feet
What to wear.- Biking shorts or pants, t-shirt, fleece, biking or tennis shoes, biking gloves.
Accommodation: Guachalá Hacienda Meals : Breakfast
Day 5: Biking to Otavalo
In the morning, venture for about 1 hour to the point where we start biking. It will be along a beautiful paved road that surrounds the Imbabura Volcano and experience the great views of the San Pablo Lake and the small indigenous villages of this province. During our journey, we will stop to visit a weavers workshop and learn how they make their tapestries. Lunch is on your own and the rest of the afternoon is for you to explore the Otavalo Indigenous Market. Here you will find the best souvenirs for the best prices, and most importantly most of the products are made locally by families from the area. The main things you will find here are ponchos, tapestries, blankets, jewelry, etc. In the late afternoon we will go to the hacienda for a welcome drink and a delicious dinner.
Biking time.- from 2 to 4 hours Biking Distance.- 18 miles ( Km )
Elevation Gain.- Optional 1000 feet ( 304 m )
What to wear.- Biking shorts, t-shirt, biking or tennis shoes, biking gloves
Accommodation: Pinsaqui Hacienda Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Biking into Pululahua
Today we drive for two hours heading south on the Pan-American highway, the first stop will be in Tabacundo town to see the rose shops. Most of the people in this town depend on the rose farms, they are considered among the top 5 largest business’ of Ecuador. After, we continue to the dry valley of Guayllabamba and stop for tasting the local fruit such as chirimoya.
Our bike ride will start at the small village of Yunguilla and will enter the Pululahua Crater on a dirt road into the beautiful Cloud forest. There is actually a geo-botanical reserve that is taking place inside the collapsed caldera of this old volcano. According to the experts, an immense eruption occurred here thousands of years ago and left these great formations, specifically the lava domes in the center of the volcano. While descending on our bikes, every curve will offer a chance to enjoy the amazing scenery, the two wheel adventure will finish in the center of the caldera. We will have lunch prepare by our driver and guide; and in the afternoon is optional to hike out the volcano, otherwise we continue back to Quito by bus.
Biking time.- from 2 to 4 hours. Biking Distance.- 15 miles ( 24 Km )
Elevation Gain.- 350 feet ( 106 m ) Optional 1500 feet ( 457 m )
What to wear.- Water t-shirt, shorts, sandals, expedition hat.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito. Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Departure
Today our trip will end and you will be transferred to the airport for your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart.
Meals : Breakfast
2019-2020 Price per person double occupancy in US$: $1425. Single supplement = $450
Starts Saturdays with a minimum of 2 people. Max. of 16 people. Minimum age is 8.
It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.
DRIVING TIME 2 hours driving a day
SEASON All year
ALTITUDE From 6900 feet ( 2100 m ) to 13000 feet ( 3962 m )
AVG. TEMP. Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF
DIFFICULTY LEVEL Moderate to Challenging. This program is located in the central and northern Andes of Ecuador and we cycle mostly on dirt roads, single track with one day on asphalt. The rides are mostly flat and downhill but there is also optional climbs depending on the physical level of the group. For people that need a brake or are tired, they can ride in the bus with our driver but still enjoy the attractions.
ADVENTURE GEAR Top of the line Bikes, TREK X caliber 9, 10 speed Shimano Deore, rock shock suspension, hydraulic brakes, 29 inches wheels, bontrager helmets.
ACCOMODATION All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are travelling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact us prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.
MEALS One of the highlights of this trip is the Gastronomy, most of what we eat is organic and very fresh. Products like yucca, plantains, heart of palm, salads, fish, chicken, beef, always coffee and tea. This is all prepared by professional chefs from the Haciendas, for picnic and box lunches we include a wide variety of fruit, protein, vegetables, and snacks. Vegans, Gluten free and Vegetarians are welcome in our trips, there will always be options for them.
YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES
All guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed from the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid respondents. They all have approved several extra training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking and horse riding, besides this they all are Ecuadorian and have a fantastic personality. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips.
In some locations and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.
SUGGESTED: On this Journey you will experience mostly temperate weather, sometimes at night gets a bit cold, we recommend the use of a duffel bag (60 liters) for the main luggage and a daypack (20 liters) with rain cover for activities, if possible bring a 10 liters dry bag for your small belongings while biking, the luggage will be transport by car.