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Cloudforest, Coast & Craters Self-Guided Tour

7 days

70% Paved

30% unpaved
Optional 100% paved route available

Availabiity

All Year Long 
No Blackout Dates
Fully Customizable

Accommodations

Unique non-touristy
Hotels and Lodges

Tour Overview

This tour is a combination of our most popular tours and will take you on some of the best roads(paved and unpaved) and to the best sights in Ecuador.   You will pass through several climatic zones, including the cloudforests, coastal savannah, beach, desert, and the cloudfoests and rainforests on the eastern and western slopes.  You will ride through some of the most bio-diverse parts of the world, seeing rural parts of Ecuador that few visitors get to see.  Experience warm sandy beaches and volcanic spring baths.  Plus a variety of foods and cuisines along the way!

At a glance

Distance:  1,237 kilometers / 769 miles  75% paved road / 25% unpaved road (standard) 100% paved option available and 60% paved / 40% unpaved option available

Lowest Elevation: 0 meters | 0 feet

Highest Elevation: 4445 meters | 14,583 feet

Elevation Gain / Loss:  14,350 meters | 47,080 feet

Time Needed:  7 days / 6 nights (add a day before and after the tour for a total of 9 days)

Climates:  Cloudforest, Tropical Rainforest, Tropical Grasslands, Desert, Highlands Pampa, Dry Forest

Recommended Gear:  Raingear, camera, waterproof saddlebags, suntan lotion, insect repellent, sunglasses, summer and winter weight gloves.

Optional Routes for Each Day : Make the ride between 60 -100% paved - its up to you!

Fully Customizable: Add extra rest days, extend the ride - just ask!

As featured in

Backroads Magazine Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile

Highlights

About Our Dual-Sport Tours

Itinerary

Day 1 - Mindo

Elevation Profile - Day 1

Image

 mindo


Day 1
Quito - Intiñan - Mindo
Distance Covered: 64 miles / 103 km

You'll begin this 7-day / 6 night “Cloudforest Coast & Craters” tour from our shop in Quito, Ecuador. In 1978, Quito became the first place on the planet to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having the best-preserved historic center in all of Latin America. Quito is high on the Antiplano Plateau (the second highest in the world) in the Andes at 9,350 feet.  We suggest that you arrive a day or two early to experience our magnificent capital city while getting acclimated to high altitude before beginning the tour.

During the first morning of the tour you’ll be outfitted with the motorcycle of your choice and given a thorough orientation answering all questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, and what to do if something unexpected occurs. You will be shown how to operate your pre-programmed GPS unit with daily routes and be given a "Road Book" with details and points of interest for each day.  You will also be provided an "emergency kit" containing a pre-paid cell phone, first aid kit, tools and other items to ensure your ride goes smoothly.  
on_the_road_to_mindo

equator_line The first day’s ride purposefully includes a sampling of the different types of roads that will be ridden.   You will have the opportunity to safely become accustomed to asphalt, dry gravel, cobblestone, and dirt farm roads. 

mindo_1Inti-ñan means “path of the Sun” in the Quechua language and the Inti-ñan Museum is situated directly on the Equator. The indigenous peoples have revered this magical site for thousands of years and you will learn how ancient people came to understand that this was the center of the world - centuries before the advent of modern geography or GPS devices. During your first stop directly on the “red line” you will experiment with gravity, and witness how water drains either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on which side of the Equator you are standing. You will also have the opportunity to see how the indigenous populations of Ecuador in various regions live by visiting models of their homes. This will enable you to better understand the cultures and ways of life that you will experience as you pass through various regions of Ecuador.

Departing the Inti-ñan Museum you are now officially outside of the Quito metropolitan region, and have begun riding in the Northern Hemisphere. Your second stop is to view the beautiful Pululahua Crater Geo-Botanical Reserve, a crater formed by a volcanic eruption 2,500 years ago. From there, head onto the western slopes of the Andes that are full of dense, green forests and steep mountains. The roads have been recently paved and riding these sharp curves is certain to be exhilarating fun.
colibri_en_la_ecoruta_del_quinde

You can have lunch in the garden of a fantastic restaurant in the heart of the cloudforest.   You'll watch in amazement as hundreds of colorful birds surround us as you enjoy the local cuisine.

septimo_paraiso_cloudforest_reserveChanging the pace a little bit, you'll take a left turn off the main highway and venture onto an unpaved, unmarked road that leads even deeper into the cloudforest. Here, at the world-famous Bellavista Cloudforest Bird Lodge, you can take a break on their amazing patio and watch hundreds of hummingbirds flitting around. These are all of a completely different species than the birds seen at lunch.  There is no other place on earth where so many species of birds can be viewed.  Note that the unpaved section is optional - you can continue along the newly paved highway all the way to Mindo if you are not comfortable riding on unpaved roads. This option is programmed into the GPS.
septimo_paraiso_heated_garden_pool

 

Continue through the lush cloudforest along clear streams with cascading waterfalls to the funky, eclectic town of Mindo. Mindo is situated in a warm microclimate cloudforest that’s known for its natural beauty and great restaurants. You can visit the El Quetzal chocolate factory for a tour that entertains while educating about the farming and processing of organic cocoa and how it is turned into chocolate and formed into bars. You will want to sample this chocolate, as Ecuador produces some of the best chocolate in the world.

After your visit to the The Quetzal, check into the carefully-selected accommodations for the night deep in the cloudforest setting at the charmingly luxurious Septimo Paraiso Resort, winner of the 2017 "Best Cloudforest Lodge" by Luxury Travel Guide.

Day 2 - Canoa

Day 3 - Quevedo

Day 4- Salinas de Guaranda

Day 5 - Baños de Agua Santa

Day 6- Chugchilan

Day 7 - Quito

Timeline Overview

Photo Gallery

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of 4/5  meaning it ihas a moderate activity level; 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. Parts of the trip take place in remote areas where medical care can be a few hours away. The programmed GPS offers either a dual-sport or 100% paved route.  We will review these options with you in your pre-ride briefing.

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 (where most of this tour takes place) in April and early May. The rest of the year has fantastic weather!  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 40 and 95 degrees fahrenheit (4-35 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 you should be prepared with extra layers, rain gear, a wool sweater and winter gloves. We may have to change the route due to road conditions or riding abilities and depending on the group preferences and requests, we can add more or less off road riding into this tour.

Accommodations
Throughout the tour, we stay in ideally located, high and medium-end accommodations with many amenities. See this page for details and links to the accommodations provide.  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 unique character. Below are the accommodations featured on this tour.
Video - How We Select Accommodations

Dates and Pricing

Available all year with advanced reservations.


Cloudforest Coast & Craters Self-Guided Tour
Standard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
1 Pillion (or passenger) Sharing Room with Rider2 People 2 Bikes Sharing Room - Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Yamaha XT250
                      
$2,035$1,360
SWM Gran Milano 440
$2,000$695$1,265
Suzuki DR650
$2,325$695$1,640
SWM RS 650R
$2,325$695$1,640
Suzuki V-Strom DL65
$2,650$695$1,850
BMW G 650 GS
$2,650$695$1,850
Yamaha Ténéré XT660
$2,815$695$1,920
KTM 690 EnduroR
$2,830$695$1,990
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
$2,830$695$1,990
BMW F700 GS
$2,815$695$1,920
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
$2,900$695$2,060
BMW F800GS
$2,900$695$2,060
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
$2,815$695$1,920
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
$2,970$695$2,130
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
$3,110$695$2,270
KTM 1050 Adventure
$3,110$695$2,270
Jeep Wrangler
$3,110$695$2,270
Volkswagen Amarok 
$3,250$695$2,445
Ford Ranger Diesel
 
$3,250$695$2,445

Tour Includes

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental 
  • GPS Navigation System with programmed routes for each day
  • Back-office tracking and monitoring
  • Road Book with daily maps and guide to points of interest
  • Detailed pre-ride briefing
  • Preparation lists, information and videos
  • Prepaid cell phone with 24 hour support
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Single occupancy hotel rooms
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
  • 25% discount on high quality riding gear from 
  • 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

  • 100% Refundable security deposit to cover any damage to the rental motorcycle
  • Ecuador IVA tax (12%) - ONLY if you are Ecuadorian
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito

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.  

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.

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.  

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