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Route Overview

10 Best Days in Ecuador Tour

10-day-route-web-650-wide

Itinerary



 
Day 1:  Quito - Tumbabiro  -- You’ll begin your “10 Best Days in Ecuador Tour” from our shop located in Quito, Ecuador’s magnificent capital city 2850 meters (almost 2 miles above sea level) in the Andes Mountains. You’ll be outfitted with the bike of your choice, a helmet, and maps as well as a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, etc.  The route for your first day has been purposefully chosen in order to acquaint you with a taste of the wide variety of different kinds of roads in Ecuador and to allow you the time to get acquainted with your bike.  You’ll visit the picturesque mountain town of Atahualpa via farm roads, before heading to the rainforest town of San Jose de Minas on high rainforest roads.  Astonishing views all the way.  Then, on to Otavalo to the famous Indian artisan market, known for its brightly colored wool and cloth crafts.  For lunch you’ll visit a great restaurant located on the relaxing shores of Lake San Pablo.  The afternoon will be spent in the town of Cotacachi (via dirt road) and then onto the indigenous town of Imantag.  Your first night will be spent at a specially chosen hotel, the Hacienda San Francisco, for a night of relaxation in the thermal hotspring baths there!



Day 2: Tumbabiro - La Concordia -- From Tumbabiro you’ll head out on some dirt and cobblestone back roads, through the town of Urcucui surrounded by sugar cane plantations.  You’ll climb in elevation to 4000 meters (2.5 miles) to a place not normally shown on tourist maps, Paramo de Pinan. You’ll then drop down to 1200 meters (.75 mile) into a valley in the tropical rainforest, passing through the small town of Apuela.  Before spending the night at the luxury Hotel Atos you’ll be biking along the Intag River to the city of La Concordia, known for its palm tree plantations and busy commerce.  



Day 3: La Concordia - Canoa -- You’ll be heading towards the Pacific Ocean today.  The route will take you to the Province of Manabi and the town of Puerto Nuevo and into some extremely remote areas and forests with abundant wildlife: parrots, howling monkeys and the “Sleepy Bears”! You’ll be biking along hilly back roads towards the town of Rio Muchacho where you will cross a river without using a bridge.  You’ll end the day at sea level on the sandy beaches along the Pacific Ocean listening to the crashing waves from a comfortable hotel in the 400 year old fishing and surfing town of Canoa.  
Day 4: "Rest Day" in Canoa  -- Break Day!  Beach time!  Canoa is one of the best surfing beaches on the Pacific Ocean (surfboard rentals and lessons are readily available). Other choices of activities include paragliding, sea-kayaking cave exploration, and whale watching.  Or you could pull up a chair at some great hang-outs, restaurants, and bars and spend the day relaxing. You can also hop on the bike and explore the surrounding areas if you want to keep riding.
Day 5: CANOA - santa marianita
We start the day and head south along the coast and cross the Bahia de Caraquez and follow the coastal roads through several fishing towns and rice paddies.  We will enjoy the coast and especially the seafood and cuisine of Manabi, the best in Ecuador.   In Montecristi we will visit a coffee factory and you will have a chance to get a “Montecristi”  otherwise known as the “Panama hat” which originated here (In the late 70´s President Nixon visited Ecuador and received a Montecristi Hat wrapped neatly in a matchbox, that’s how flexible they are).
On arrival in Santa Marianita you may be able to see whales, or you can simply relax at the hotel next to the beach watching the kitesurfers practicing their sport.
Day 5:  Canoa - Santa Marianita -- You’ll head south today along the seacoast.  You’ll cross the brand new Bahia de Caraquez bridge and pass through several small fishing villages and rice paddies.  The seafood in this area is amazing and the cuisine in Manabi, especially, is considered among the best in Ecuador.  In the town of Montecristi you can visit a coffee factory and might also be tempted to buy a “Montecristi” – also known as the original Panama hat.  In the late 1970’s President Nixon received a Montecristi hat folded neatly into a matchbox sized container!  You’ll spend the night in Santa Marianita at a hotel next to the beach watching kitesurfers practicing their sport.
Day 6: Santa Marianita - Quevedo -- Today you’ll begin to head away from the coast, passing through many cacao, rice and cattle farms and through the town of Portoveijo.  You’ll participate in a unique Ecuadorian experience - crossing a river using a “pulley ferry” – a hand-made ferry with no engine.  You’ll be asked to help pull the ferry to the other side of the river!  This part of the country is full of fishing birds of all types and a natural forest kept intact by the locals, where hundreds of South American squirrels live in the wild.  You will definitely hear and may be lucky to glimpse the famous howling monkey.  The population in this area of Ecuador make their living from agriculture, cacao plantations, and cattle. You’ll spend the night at the 4-star Olimpico Hotel in the city of Quevedo.  Quevedo was the first Chinese settlement community in Ecuador and many of the Chinese restaurants date back to the 1920’'s.



Day 7: Quevedo - Baños -- Up early today! Your ride today will be the longest and most challenging of this “10 Best Days in Ecuador Tour”.  You’ll proceed from a warm, tropical zone at near sea level and climb to 3800 meters (2.3 miles) and then down to 1900 meters (about a mile high) in the bustling vacation town of Banos.  The route will go around the Chimborazo Mountain (6268 meters – nearly 4 miles high - the highest peak in Ecuador) and through the Palmira Desert, the largest and fastest growing desert in Ecuador.  You’ll pass through many towns that time has forgotten, including the town of Santiago de Quito which was the first Spanish settlement in Ecuador and the capital for a period of time.  You’ll see many indigenous settlements with almost no modern technology, where farming is still being performed using traditional methods.  You’ll spend the night in the city of Banos de Agua Santa famous for its health giving thermal springs.  Your hotel tonight will be the Petit Auberge with wonderful Ecuadorian-style French cuisine.
Day 8: "Rest Day" in Baños --Baños is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ecuador and is known for its production of taffy made from cane sugar, and for small shops that sell the town's famous wooden parrots. It the perfect spot for sightseeing, shopping, visiting the active volcano Tungurahua, hiking, bicycling, ATV riding, visiting the natural ecological zoo, etc.  Banos is the "Gateway to the Amazono.."

Day 9: Baños-Latacunga --You’ll bike today from Banos along some old cobblestone and dirt roads through the small farming town of Papate and along a dirt road to the city of Ambato.  Along the way you’ll travel through the indigenous city of Pujilli and to the famous crater lake of Quilotoa with an unusual green color made possible by minerals left behind the volcanic eruption that created it.   The ride will continue on the astounding “Avenue of the Volcanoes.”  You  will see 10 snow-capped volcanoes this day. before ending the day in the comfortable Hacienda San Mateo hotel.
Day 10: Latacunga - Quito -- Your last day of the “10 Best Days in Ecuador Tour” will involve biking on some intense dirt roads that meander around the mountains and volcanoes leading to the town of Machachi.  Lunch in Machachi will be at the famous “Café de la Vaca”.  After lunch you’ll ride through the incredible Cotopaxi Mountain National Park, known for the highest active volcanoes in the world.  The last leg will take you on an amazingly scenic route back to the Capital City of Quito.  You’ll need some extra layers of clothing today, as the route will be at high altitudes – you could see some snow!  You’ll reach Quito to rest, sleep and remember all the incredible things that Ecuador has to offer!
 
2011 Tour Dates, Rates and Bikes
(all prices include Bike Rental, Guide, Accomodations, Meals and Fuel)




 
July 15 - July 25, 2011
Available Bikes:
 

December 2 - December 12, 2011
Available Bikes:
SOLD OUT !
WE ARE CURRENTLY REVISING THIS PAGE.  NEW CONTENT APPEARS BELOW.  CHECK BACK SOON FOR UPDATED VERSION....(27 NOV 2011)  THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE!

updated-10-day-route

10 Best Days in Ecuador 

A Guided Motorcycle Adventure

Overview

 

This tour is all about showing you the best parts of Ecuador in just 10 days.  The tour combines a wide variety of roads and is meant for intermediate to more advanced riders.

The tour will bring you through some of the more remote areas of Ecuador, allowing you to see unspoiled wildlife and to experience the culture of the rural indigenous Ecuadorians and how subsistence farmers have lived here for centuries.   We will visit areas of Ecuador that most visitors do not get to see. 

The goal of the tour is not only to provide an excellent ride but to also enjoy the incredible outdoor activities and things to see in Ecuador.  We will visit a butterfly zoo, go on a boat ride in a crater lake, visit indigenous markets and art galleries, swim in the warm Pacific ocean, and have opportunites for kayaking, white water rafting,  whale watching, rock climbing, rappelling and numerous other first-class outdoor adventure activities.  We will also have some extra time to share some relaxing laughs, a cold beer, and local stories with Ecuadorians and other compatriot adventurers along the way.

Features:

  • 10 Days / 9 nights (with two rest days)
  • Total Distance Covered: approximately
  • Average distance per day : 
  • 50% asphalt road / 50% dirt, gravel or cobblestone roads 
  • 3-5 star hotel accomodations including unique luxury hacienda and boutique hotel accomodations
  • Single occupancy (your own private hotel room)
  • Experienced, multilingual tour guide
  • Chase vehicle for groups of 5+ riders.

10-Best-Days-In-Ecuador-Tour-Day-1

Day 1

Quito-Inti'ñan-San José de Minas-Laguna de Mojanda-Peguche-Otavalo

Distance Covered: 94 miles (60 miles offroad) / 151 km (96 km offroad)

You’ll begin your "10 Best Days in Ecuador" Tour from our shop located in Quito, Ecuador - 2850 meters (almost 2 miles above sea level) in the Andes Mountains, on the Equator, in South America.   Quito was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970's for having the best preserved and least altered historic centre in all of Latin America.  We suggest you arrive a day or two early to experience this amazing town and get used to the altitude before your ride.

On the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with themotorcycle of your choice  and given a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, riding signals, etc.  

The first day's ride is intended to give you a sampling of the different types of roads we will be riding.   We will have a chance to ride on asphalt, dry gravel, cobblestone and dirt farm roads.

Our first stop will be in the middle of the world  The Inti-ñan museum is situated right on the Equator.  Inti-ñan means "center of the world" in Quechua, a native language of Ecuador.   We will take a tour of this magical site, a place that the indigenous peoples have revered for thousands of years.   We will learn how the ancient people came to understand that this was the center of the world, centuries before "modern" geography or GPS devices.   We will play with gravity here and perform some experiments to learn about the Coriolis effect caused by the Earth's rotation.  We will also get to know how the indigenous populations of Ecuador live and visit some typical homes.   This tour will give you some excellent background information on Ecuador so that you will better understand the cultures as we pass through various regions of Ecuador.

After the visit at the Inti-ñan museum, we will be riding in the Northern Hemisphere.   We will first pass through a dry desert canyon on a dusty dirt
Road-to-Perucho
road that will bring us into a deep canyon.   We will then ride out of the canyon into lush green patchwork of fields of vegetables, roses and dairy cattle.   We'll stop in the charming little town of San José de Minas with its beautiful stone church and well-manicured central park.

From San José de Minas we will climb in altitude on spectacular dirt back roads giving us grand vistas of the serene farmlands and forests below.  We will experience a great aromoas as we pass through eucalyptus and pine forests.

We will stop to add a layer of clothing as we ride up to a height of over 12,000 feet (3714 meters) to view the majestic Mojanda Lake surrounded by the Fuya-Fuya mountain which guards the lake.   This will be the first time we will be in the high-altitude paramo climate. 

From there, we will ride down, through the colonial city of Otavalo, famous for its expansive indigenous market.   We can stop here to view the various crafts, textiles and other unique colorful items for sale here. 

We will finish today's ride along the calming shores of Lake San Pablo and settle in for the night in a private lakeside cabin  at the Hosteria Cabanas del Lago.

 

 

day-2-offroad-ADVenture

 

Day 2
Otavalo-Cotacachi-Cuicocha Lake-Apuela-Nangulvi-Mindo

Distance Covered: 151 miles (~130 miles offroad)  / 244 km (~210 km offroad)

After a full American buffet breakfast on the shore of Lake San Pablo we will first stop to visit the animal market in Otavalo.  Here, local farmers bring livestock into an open marekt every Saturday morning.   They offer baby ducklings, geese, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, oxen, sheep and just about any other farm animal you can dream of.  After the market, we will get back on the bikes and head to the town of Cotacachi, just north of Otavalo. Cotacachi is known for its leather artisans.   We will stop briefly at the market in the center of town - this is a great opportunity to get a new belt, wallet  or even leather jacket at fantastic prices.  

From Cotacachi we will ride through some picturesque small towns and stop to visit the Cuicocha Lake.  This lake which is in fact a crater, lies at the foot of the extinct Cotacachi Volcano (16,300 feet or 4968 meters).  The volcano's eruptions in the past created the lake and produced the minerals that make the surrounding valley one of the most productive agricultural regions in the Andes.

 

We'll ride through some very remote sections of Ecuador, on dirt roads with very little traffic.   We will have incredible views of farmlands and natural forests.   We will pass through remote villages that are rarely visited by outsiders.
Road-to-Apuela

 

We will descend into the scenic region of the Intag river.   This area is becoming famous for its outstanding coffee, thanks to the organization of a local coffee growers association.  The Intag farmers use the large leaves of other plants like bananas, naranjilla and guayaba to give a natural shade to the coffee bushes.   These other crops also provide the farmer his own food and gives him his independence. 

We will stop in the friendly town of Apuela and have a full Ecuadorian lunch.   We will buy some of the fresh, locally-grown Rio Intag coffee and brew a cup and enjoy the freshest coffee of your life before we get back on the bikes.

descent-into-valley

After lunch we will continue to descend into the Intag valley and stop for a swim in the warm thermal waters at the Nangulvi thermal baths.  After a refreshing swim we will continue to ride arriving on the Western Slopes.  Here we will experience the cloudforest.  This area of Ecuador is known for its abundant wildlife and bird species.  

 

We will arrive in the town of Mindo, known for its natural surroundings and fun atmosphere.   We will visit the famous butterfly museum, with some of the most incredible species of butterflies on display.  If you prefer chocolate to butterflies we can also visit the Quetzal to learn about organic chocolate growing and how cacoa is turned into chocolate.  After this full day, we will check into the cozy Hotel Caskafessu for the night.

 

Day 3

Mindo - La Concordia - Pedernales - Jama - Canoa

293 km / 182 miles on 80% asphalt road 20% unimproved dirt road

We will head out of Mindo, climbing first in elevation and then once back on route 25, you will start your descent along Ecuador's western slope.  It may be a bit foggy as we pass through the cloudforest and descend into the tropical rainforests.  From San Miguel de Los Bancos we will continue the long, gradual descent towards the coast.  You will feel the temperature of the air around you begin to rise as you roll down the curves, crossing some roaring rivers and all the way, breathtaking views to the left and right all the way.  

100_3276Watch, and you will begin to see palm trees and more "junglesque" growth along the road.  The leaves of the plants will grow in size. When you enter Manabi Province, you will begin to see that horses are a more common mode of transport than cars and buses as you head into the tropical grasslands. 

La Concordia is a commercial city, a trading center for the area's biggest crop - palm oil.  The palm groves that surround this city are almost magical.

We will arrive at the coast in the city of  Pedernales, sometimes referred to as the "Wild Wild West" because of its chaotic markets, plentiful restaurants, nightclubs, and fun-loving residents. This is the closest beach to Quito and has a festive atmosphere. This is also Ecuador's shrimp farming capital and we we be sure to have a shrimp lunch here at one of the oceanside restaurants.  It will be probably the freshest and most delicious shrimp you will ever have in your life.  There are also other great Ecuadorian seafood specialties such as Ceviche and fish chowders that you can try that will knock your socks off.

Once you leave Pedernales, you will be riding along the coastal road, passing by several natural, wild and undeveloped beaches and shrimp farms. You will pass through the quiet town of Jama - a throwback to a simpler time, where the tides and fishermen set the pace.

In Jama, we will head inland to experience the calm beauty of Manabi Province.  We will ride on some unimproved dirt farming roads and we will crossPicasa_3_11282011_113246_AM.bmp the deep Jama river without a bridge.  

You will finish today's ride in the town of Canoa.  Canoa is home to a mixed population of native fishemen, transient surfers and expatriate retirees who are seeking sun and relaxation.   We strongly recommend taking an extra rest day here in Canoa.  Our carefully selected accomodations are at the Coco Loco Hostel, right on the beach and with a great atmosphere thanks to its friendly helpful and fun staff.

 

Day 4

"Rest" Day in Canoa

Break Day!  Relaxation and sunshine!   Canoa has one of the best beaches on the Ecuadorian coast and is a very popular place for surfing (boards and lessons available from Canoa Thrills).  You can rent a sea-kayak and explore the coastal caves.   Other available activities include paragliding, whale watching, horseback riding or fishing.

Or, you can just pull up a chair at some of the great hang-outs, beachside bars and restaurants and enjoy a restful day away from the bike.

 

Day 5

Canoa - Bahia de Caraquez -  Manta - Santa Marianita - Puerto Lopez

Tour Dates:

Please - See our Tour Calendar

*GUARANTEED DEPARTURES*  - will depart even if you are the only one signed up!

(if you do not see a convenient date for you, please contact us to see if we can arrange a new tour date!)

Prices:

  • On a Suzuki DR650: $3,900
  • On a Kawasaki KLR650: $4,135
  • On a BMW R1150GS:  $4,990
  • On a BMW R1200GS: $5,125
  • Passenger Pillion Charge: $1050 (double occupancy)

Prices Include:

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcyle Rental
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Experienced, multilingual tour guide
  • Single occupancy in luxury hacienda, boutique hotel,3-5 star hotel accomodations
  • Meals
  • Tolls
  • Gasoline
  • Entry Fees

Prices do not include:

  • Airfare
  • Meals on rest days
  • Ecuador IVA tax 
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour