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Avenue of Volcanoes, Quilotoa Loop & Amazon Basin Self-Guided Tour

4 days

100% Paved Route

<1% unpaved


All Year
with advanced reservations


Unique non-touristy
Hotels and Lodges

Tour Overview

This four-day self-guided tour will give you a good sense of the incredible variety of landscapes, climates, and cultures that are available in the small country of Ecuador. The tour takes you through two distinct regions of Ecuador - the Andes and the Amazon Basin. You will ride through the astonishing "Avenue of Volcanoes" taking you past the highest active volcanoes in the world and to the spectacular Quilotoa Crater Lake and its distinct blue-green mineral waters. Then, you will experience a ride through the Amazon jungle, packed with lush vegetation and ample opportunities for rafting, kayaking and hiking along the way.  You'll enjoy a night in an exclusive Amazon Lodge and take an excursion in a motorized canoe with a local guide to show you the local culture and wildlife in this special region of the planet.

The route and accommodations have been carefully selected to provide not only safety, comfort, and great food, but also opportunities to experience other activities such as birdwatching, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, volcanic baths, rappelling, kayaking and cave exploration along the way.

Ecuador Freedom provides a pre-programmed GPS navigation unit to accompany a "Road Book" containing thorough, day-to-day information including descriptions of local highlights and "hidden gems" that aren’t common knowledge. You can use this information to tailor your days' rides, including as much or as little as you like.


At a glance

  • Time Needed:  4 days / 3 nights
  • Total Distance: 536 miles / 862 kilometers
  • Total Elevation Gain / Loss :  14,528 meters / 47,665 feet
  • Accomodations:  Unique Luxurious Bed & Breakfast and Luxury Lodge
  • Climactic Zones:  Tropical Rainforest / Highlands Pampa / Cloudforest / Amazon Rainforest
  • Provinces: Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Bolivar, Tungurahua, Pastaza, Napo

As featured in UK Motorcycle News

Motorcycle News Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile


About Our Self-Guided Tours


Click for Timeline Overview

Travel day to Quito

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.

Day 1

Quito - Tigua

Distance: 212 km | 132 miles
Meals: Dinner
Activities:  Quilotoa Lake, Furniture Makers, Tigua Art Gallery
Accommodations: Posada de Tigua

Day 1

Day 2

Tigua - Baños de Agua Santa

Distance: 281 km | 175 miles
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Pujilli Market, Kunuyacu Hot Springs, Chimborazo Wildlife Refuge, Riobamba, Baños Hot Springs
Accommodations: Posada del Arte

Day 3

Baños - Puerto Misuahuallí

Distance:  142 km | 88 miles
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Activities:  Zip Lines, Rappeling, Zoo, Swimming, Paillon del Diablo Waterfall
Accommodations:  El Jardin Puerto Misahuallí Lodge

Day 3

Day 4

Puerto Misahuallí - Quito

Distance: 228 km | 142 miles
Meals: Breakfast
Included Activities:  Canoe Excursion, Jungle Hike with Native Guide, Tubing on Napo River or Community Visit 
Available Activities: Cave hike, zoo, hot springs and botanical garden

Return to Quito

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

Day 1 - Tigua

Elevation Profile - Day 1


Day 1  

Quito-Sigchos-Chugchilan-Quilotoa Crater Lake-Tigua

Distance Covered:  132 miles / 212 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 system that has been pre-programmed with each day's route. We will show you how to operate the GPS and give you a "Road Book" with daily paper maps listing points of interest, gas stations, lunch suggestions, etc.  Your hotel for each night 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!

Florian_Neuhauser_at_Quilotoa_LakeYou 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 astounding stretch of road 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 challenging (but fun) hairpin turns and majestic views.

You will pass through the town of Sigchos, a colonial town founded in the 1500s by the Spanish but has a long history as a trading center for indigenous peoples for centuries. The center of town has a colorful market, and there are plenty of restaurants serving up hearty local soups and savory meats.quilotoa_fields

The road weaves along dramatic cliffs with views of the deep canyon below and natural terraces and winds through more Quechua-speaking villages and their centuries-old ways of life.   We recommend a stop at the Don Bosco Woodworking shop, where children are taught the art of carpentry.  Their work is very impressive.   You will pass through the friendly town of Chugchilan and then you'll start climbing to an altitude of over 12,000 feet - arriving at the Quilotoa Crater Lake.

This fantastic lake is a water-filled caldera and is the western-most volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes.  It was created about 800 years ago in a catastrophic eruption that sent pyroclastic flows all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  Today it is a calm, peaceful place that will inspire meditation and awe.

1-zumbahua_indigenousAfter gazing in awe at the lake, you will head south through a fertile valley and more picturesque traditional indigenous villages such as Zumbahua, a farming town known for its artisan market of foods, textiles, wool, and handmade knives.  If it is Saturday, it is market day in Zumbahua, and even more worthwhile to stop to see the market.  

From Zumbahua, you'll climb again in elevation and will give you views of a golden patchwork of the Andean countryside. You'll enter the community of Tigua, known for its artists who paint bright paintings of village life and bright colored wooden masks used in traditional celebrations and rituals.  The community of Tigua has about 20 different art studios, and you can visit the galleries there that display and sell their spectacular work.

Tonight's carefully selected accommodations are at the Posada del Tigua - a family-run farmhouse and dairy farm converted into a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn. The farmhouse dates back to the 1890s and has walls that are three feet thick to help you keep warm at night.  The family that runs this inn will show you to your private room and then invite you to join them for a healthy, organic meal created from the produce of their farm.  This will be one of the best meals you will have in Ecuador. 

Day 2 - Baños de Agua Santa

Day 3 - Puerto Misahualli

Day 4- Quito

Photo Gallery

What to Expect

This self-guided adventure will start in our offices located in the fashionable Carolina neighborhood of Quito.  Prior to your departure, we will provide a detailed and thoughtful presentation on Ecuadorian rules of the road, customs and courtesies. We will instruct you on how to operate your pre-programmed GPS navigation unit and given a packet that includes your prepaid hotel vouchers, daily map sheets with points of interest, descriptions of local highlights, and "hidden gems" that aren't common knowledge.  You can use this information to tailor your days - including as much or as little as you like. The route will be reviewed with you in detail to provide you with additional useful information about the timing, suggestions for lunch stops and where to get gas along the way.  

On the morning of your departure, you will be provided the adventure motorcycle (or 4x4) of your choice which is fitted with waterproof luggage system, a first aid kit, a tankbag if you want one, spare innertubes (or tire repair kit) and a set of tools. In addition, you will have a prepaid cell phone to call us for support at any time during your trip.  We will carefully review the bike using our multi-point checklist to be sure that everything is in perfect working order before your departure and that you know what to do in case of an emergency or breakdown.

The route you will follow over the next four days is based on several years' of experience and riding these routes many times on our guided version of the tour.  The route consists of paved backroads that avoid traffic as much as possible.  There are several stops available which are marked on the GPS unit and the daily route sheets.  Upon request, Ecuador Freedom can provide you with route options containing some off-the-beaten-track unpaved, natural dirt roads.  

You will have many opportunities for amazing photos and stops in remote villages where visitors are very rare. Locals are friendly and the areas visited are very safe with very low crime rates. 

During your ride, Ecuador Freedom staff will monitor your daily progress using an onboard GPS satellite tracking system and can assist you by telephone if you need to change your route, need roadside assistance or help in any way.

Upon returning, you will have access to our honor bar, jacuzzi, hot shower and staff that can assist you with your next destination.

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 March, April and early May.  This ride will be in elevations between 1200 feet in the Amazon basin  (where temperatures can be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) to 14,500 feet (where temperatures can be in the 30's Fahrenheit). Dressing in layers is recommended.  Please see this article for more information about the weather in Ecuador. 

Throughout the tour, you will stay in carefully selected, ideally-located, non-touristy, comfortable accommodations. See this page for details, photos, and links to the accommodations provided.  Ecuador Freedom has the right to substitute accommodations of equal quality due to availability and will notify you of these changes.

Packing List and Preparation
Ecuador Freedom will provide you with detailed information to prepare for the ride, including a packing list.  You should know how to make general motorcycle repairs and maintenance and to be able to change an innertube (click for a video tutorial).  Before you travel, we recommend that you familiarize yourself in advance with these recommended guidebooks and maps.

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 Ave. Volcanoes, Quilotoa Loop & Amazon Basin Tour 
Standard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
Single Occupancy
1 Pilllion Sharing Room with Rider
Double Occupancy
Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Double Occupancy
Yamaha XT250
BMW G310GS (LOWERED)$1,025$375$840
SWM Gran Milano 440
Suzuki DR650
Suzuki DR650 (LOWERED)$1,095n/a$910
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT (LOW)$1,200$375$1040
Yanaha Ténéré XT660
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT

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
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Single occupancy hotel rooms are standard (best botel in town) - your own private room each night!
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 2 dinners
  • Canoe excursion and hike with native guide in the Amazon Jungle
  • Tubing in the Napo River
  • 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 After-Ride Lounge™ with hot shower, jacuzzi, and wet 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

Before booking a self-guided tour with us, please carefully read our Self-Guided Motorcycle Tour Terms and Conditions

To secure your booking you will need to pay 50% at the time of booking your rental or tour. Please contact us using the "Reserve Now" button on this page and we will send you a payment request from our secure payments provider (currently we use "Kushki" - a secure payments provider.  Alternatively, we may request payment through PayPal. If you prefer to send a wire transfer, please let us know and we will provide our banking details.

Deposits are refundable minus 10% of the total rental or tour price only if canceled 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.

PLEASE NOTE DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC:  All reservations through 2021 are completely flexible.  If you have to change the dates for your trip for a Covid-19 related reason, you may do so for any date through December 31, 2021 at no additional charge. Please notify us as soon as possible for any change in your plans.  

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, civil unrest, acts of God, family tragedies or problems with flight departures, etc.  

We recommend Ripcord Travel Insurance.  They provide very extensive travel insurance plus have 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, (United States Dollars) or with PayPal or with a credit card.  We accept Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.  A 100% refundable security deposit using a credit card for the rental motorcycle or 4x4 is also required and is separate from the payment for the tour.  Security deposits are $500 - $2000, depending on the vehicle selected.

Available Extensions

Add additional rest days to your trip to relax and explore the area on your own.  Simple, flat fees include extra lodging, breakfast and vehicle rental fees.

El Jardin Misahualli Lodge

El Jardin Misahualli Lodge

Add an extra day in the Amazon Basin. Flat Fee: $300 | $450 for 2 people 1 room Jungle and Fishing Excursion: $190 for 1-4 people

Termas de Papallacta

Termas de Papallacta

Add an additional day, staying in a private cabin with hot springs at the Termas de Papallacta Lodge. Flat Fee: $400

Galapagos Cruise

Galapagos Cruise

We work with the the longest-running cruise operator in the Galapagos and offer our tour customers special reduced pricing on permium tours in the Galapagos of 4,5 and 8 day cruises.

Please let us know if you would like more info

© 2020 Ecuador Freedom Corporation, Quito, Ecuador. All Rights Reserved. Todos derechos reservados.