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Quilotoa Loop Self-Guided Tour

2 days

100% Paved Route

Unpaved options available


All Year
with advanced reservations


Unique non-touristy
Hotels and Lodges

Tour Overview

Although gaining in popularity, the Quilotoa Loop is still a destination for travellers seeking adventure off the beaten track.  The Quilotoa Loop is one of Ecuador's most scenic routes.  The route takes you through small indigenous villages, spectacular mountain views, lush valleys and across roaring rivers.  The route will bring you to the spectacular Quilotoa Crater Lake, indigenous markets and give you insight into how native Ecuadorians have lived for centuries.

At a glance

  • Time Needed:  2 days / 1 night
  • Total Distance: 226 miles / 363 kilometers
  • Total Elevation Gain / Loss :  7,303 meters / 23,959 feet
  • Accomodations:  Unique Bed & Breakfast with dinner included
  • Route:  100% paved with options for 30% unpaved route if desired.
  • Availability: All Year

As featured in UK Motorcycle News

Motorcycle News Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile


About Our Self-Guided Tours


Day 1 - Chugchilan

Elevation Profile - Day 1


Day 1

Quito -Sigchos-Chugchilan

Distance Covered:  99 miles / 159 km 

After a briefing and orientation to acquaint you with the customs and rules of the road in Ecuador, you will head out on the motorcycle of your choice that has a GPS navigation that has been pre-programmed with each day's route. You will be shown how to operate the GPS and given a Road Book with daily paper maps with guides to the points of interest along the way.  Your hotel has been reserved and paid for in advance.   All you need to do now, is hop on the bike - and enjoy the ride - safe in the knowledge that you will see some of the best sights and the best roads in Ecuador!

You will roll out of Quito on the Panamerican highway, passing incredibly green high-altitude pasturelands and then after a few miles, you will find yourself in a valley surrounded on both sides by two massive mountain ranges.  This is the beginning of the famous "Avenue of Volcanoes."  You will feel tiny as you roll through this valley with snow-covered volcanoes at either side.  On the left you will get an increasingly closer and closer view of the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano, which rises to almost 4 miles in height and is the world's tallest active volcano.

The GPS unit will indicate where you will take a right, onto a stretch of road known as the "Quilotoa Loop."  This road will take you through many traditional Andean villages with friendly and helpful indigenous people and eventually to the Quilotoa Crater Lake.  For now, you will be treated to some incredible roads, challenging (but fun) hairpin turns and majestic views.  Here you can take an optional unpaved route to Sigchos - just select the option in the GPS and head into beautiful, more remote areas of the Quilotoa Loop! 

You will pass through the town of Sigchos, a colonial city founded by the Spanish in the 1500's in an indigenous settlement that was already centuries old.  Sigchos has a beautiful church and a covered market in the center of town.  Continue on newly paved road weaving past overlooks on the valley and canyons below and follw the twisty road to the friendly town of Chugchilan. Chugchilan is a firiendly Quechua town, known for its outstanding wood furniture workshops and the Andean cheeses in the center of town.  You carefully chosen accomodations for the night are at the friendly Black Sheep Inn in the center of Chugchilan.  Included is a dinner at the Inn - a great family style meal with pots and pots of food that will replenish you and help you get a good night's sleep in the chilly mountain air.


Day 2 - Quito

Click for Timeline Overview

Arrival in Quito

Travel day to Quito

Accommodations: Not included.  See "extensions" below for options.  We will provide you with a list of recommended hotels in Quito near our shop in the heart of the fashionable La Carolina neighborhood so that you can relax and explore the nearby galleries, museums, and cafés.

Travel day to Quito

1 or 2 days prior to the tour start date

Pre-Tour Registration and Tour of Qutio

If you arrive or in Quito a day or two prior to the tour, it would be a good idea to come into the office to complete the paperwork in advance.  Please bring your original passport, original drivers' license and a vaild credit card with available credit for the security deposit on the motorcycle.  See the motorcycle pages for more information on the required deposit.

Quito - Chugchilan

Distance: 159 km | 99 miles
Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Black Sheep Inn

Day 1

Day 2

Chugchilan - Quito

Distance: 204 km | 127 miles
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Pujilli Market, Tigua Art Gallery, Quilotoa Crater Lake, Saquisilli Market

Return home

Many international flights leave around midnight from Quito.  If you are catching a flight the same evening as the last day of the tour, you may enjoy VIP access to our "Freedom Riders' Lounge" - complete with a hot shower, jacuzzi, and honor bar.

Return to Quito

Photo Gallery

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of 2/5. Travelers should be in good health and comfortable riding for extended periods of time through adverse weather and at times unpredictable road conditions. The itinerary suits a wide range of interests and abilities, with options for light and moderate activities . 

Weather and Temperatures
Weather and temperature ranges in Ecuador are generally the same year round. In the highlands, you can expect the chance of passing showers but rarely a full day of rain.  Chances for a full day of rain are more likely on the western slopes of the Andes in April and early May (where this tour takes place). There are no weather forecasts on Ecuador radio or TV stations; it is generally impossible to predict the weather in such a diverse number of climatic regions and elevations. On this tour, temperatures will be between 45 and 75 degrees fahrenheit (7-24 celsius).  The extreme cold temperatures are only experienced at the high elevation points (refer to the elevation profiles on this page).  These low temperatures are brief but riders should be prepared with a warm sweater and winter riding gloves.

A stay in a beautiful, award-winning lodge. See this page for details and links to the accommodations provided.  Ecuador Freedom reserves the right to substitute accommodations of equal quality due to availability.  We will notify you in advance of any such changes.

Packing List and Preparation
Ecuador Freedom will provide you with detailed information to prepare for the ride, including a packing list and tutorial videos.

Accommodations on this Tour

Accommodations on this tour
Our accommodations are selected for their exceptional quality, location, and uniaue character. Below are the accommodations featured on this tour.
Video - How We Select Accommodations

Dates and Pricing

Self-Guided Quilotoa Loop Tour 
Standard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
1 Pilllion Sharing Room with Rider

2 People 2 Bikes Sharing Room - Discounted Price as 2nd Bike

Yamaha XT250
SWM Gran Milano 440
Suzuki DR650
BMW G 650 GS
Suzuki V-Strom DL650
Yamaha Ténéré XT660
KTM 690 EnduroR
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
KTM 1050 Adventure

Jeep Wrangler
Volkswagen Amarok 
Ford Ranger Diesel

Available All Year Long with Advanced Reservations

Tour Includes

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental 
  • Garmin zümo navigation system with pre-programmed daily routes
  • Road Book with daily maps and points of interest guide
  • Prepaid cell phone with 24 hour support 
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Single occupancy hotel rooms are standard (best botel in town) - your own private room
  • 1 breakfast
  • 1 dinners
  • Pre-tour 25% discount on high quality riding gear from KLIM
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • Souvenir Decal
  • Luggage Storage and locker usage
  • VIP access to the Freedom Riders' Lounge™ with hot shower, jacuzzi, and honor bar.

Not included

  • Refundable security deposit to cover any damage to the rental motorcycle
  • Ecuador IVA (sales) tax ONLY if you are Ecuadorian
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
  • Meals not listed
  • Tips and gratuties 
  • Gas or Diesel Fuel

Booking and cancellation policy

To secure your booking you need to pay 50% at the time of booking your rental or tour. Please contact us and we will send you a payment request from our secure payments provider (currently we use BlueSnap and PayPal). Using our payments providers, you may pay with any major credit card or with your checking account.

Deposits are refundable minus 10% of the total rental or tour price only if cancelled at least 90 days prior to departure or pick-up date. Cancellations are very costly to us as they impede our planning and ability to sell rentals and tours to other customers. Therefore, cancellations for any reason made less than 90 days before the pickup or departure date are not refundable nor may they be applied to a future rental or tour.

To protect yourself from this loss of your deposit, it is up to you to secure travel insurance that covers cancellations due to health problems, family tragedies or problems with flight departures, etc.  

To get a free quote for travel insurance that will reimburse you in case you must cancel your trip (plus provide medical and repatriation coverage in case of an accident), just go to www.allianztravelinsurance.com and enter agency code F203715 which will indicate to them that you are travelling with us.  

We highly recommend Ripcord Travel Insurance, a partner of ours.  They provide very extensive travel insurance plus outstanding repatriation and assistance in an emergency.  To purchase, just go to this page.

The balance (second 50%) of your rental or tour is due when you pick up the bike in our office in Quito.   The second 50% can be paid in cash or with a credit card.  We accept Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

© 2018 Ecuador Freedom Corporation, Quito, Ecuador