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Inca Royal Roads Self-Guided Tour

10 Days

From $2,650
See all prices

97% Paved Road

3% Dirt or Cobblestone Roads (Standard)
Optional 25% Unpaved Version Available


Available all year with advanced reservations
Fully Customizable


Premium and luxury
Fine dining

Tour Overview

The Inca reigned over South America before the arrival of the Spanish and were some of the best road builders in history. On this exhilarating tour you'll follow in the footsteps of the Inca and explore many of Ecuador's national parks and wildlife areas. You'll experience Ecuador's mega-diversity of terrains, climates, and cultures as we ride through the Amazon Jungle and various altitudes of the Andes mountains. You will have the opportunity to visit rich cultural areas such as the famous markets in Otavalo, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuenca and the traditional villages of Salinas de Guaranda and Alausi.


You’ll have a map and GPS with pre-programmed routes for each day, a prepaid hotel to aim for each night and all the time in the world to get there.  Ecuador Freedom provides a "Road Book" with thorough, day-to-day information including descriptions of local highlights, history, 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. You won't waste your time on boring roads or searching for a hotel each night. You can concentrate fully on enjoying this fantastic experience.


Above all, this tour includes some of the best motorcycle roads in South America. You'll tackle the twisties around active volcanoes, ride the altiplanos at 14,500 feet, carve through deep river canyons and go deep into the Amazon jungle. 

At a glance

  • Time: 10 Days / 9 nights (with one rest day)
  • Total Distance: approximately 1865 km / 1160 miles
  • Average distance per day : 207 km / 129 miles of twisty Andean roads
  • Altitude: from 1000 feet to 14,500 feet  (300 meters to 4.500 meters)
  • Paved Route: 97% asphalt road / 3% dirt or cobblestone roads
  • Quality Riding: The best roads in Ecuador- only the most scenic and safest routes are taken.
  • Premium Lodging: Unique luxury hacienda and boutique hotel accomodations for most nights
  • Single occupancy: Your own private hotel room
  • Road Book with guide to genuine points of interest
  • Support: 24- Hour Telephone and Roadside Assistance via provided pre-paid cell phone
Click for Timeline Overview

Travel day to Quito

Arrival in Quto

Travel day to Quito

Fly to Quito's airport (code UIO) and transfer to one of the recommended hotels near our shop in tn the heart of the fashionable La Carolina neighborhood, and explore the nearby galleries, shopping, museums, and cafés.  Taxis are inexpensive, plentiful and safe from the airport - there is never a wait.

Travel day to Quito

1 or 2 days prior to the tour start date

Pre-Tour Registration and Tour of Qutio

Arrive a day or two prior to departure to enjoy Quito and stop in our shop to finalize the paperwork for an easier departure on Day 1.  A great way to see the city is with one of our self-guided scooter tours of the city.

Day 1

Quito - Otavalo

Distance: 94 miles / 151 km
Included Meals: Dinner
Activities: Inti-ñan Equator Museum, Mojanda Lake, Otavalo Market, Evening Music performance
Accommodations: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Day 1

Day 2

Otavalo - Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Distance:  306 km | 190 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Activities: Plaza de los Pochos, Paramo de Papallacta, Puerto Misahualli, Saddlemaker, Embroiderers
Accommodations: Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Day 3

Cotococha Amazon Lodge - Baños

Distance: 141 km / 88 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Included Activities: Canoe Expedition, Tubing in the Napo River, Waterfall Swim
Activities: Ruta de las Cascadas, Paillon Del Diablo, Zip line, hot springs

Accommodations: Posada Del Arte Hotel

Day 3

Day 4

Baños - Alausi

Distance: 179 km / 111 miles
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Morning in Baños, Riobamba Market, Guamote Market, Palmira Desert
Accommodations: Hosteria La Quinta

Day 5

Alausi - Cuenca

Distance: 189 km / 117 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Included Activities: Train Ride on the Nariz del Diablo, Condor Museum
Activities: Ingapirca Solar Temple Ruins, Walking Tour of Cuenca

Accommodations: Hotel Victoria

Day 5

Day 6

Rest Day in Cuenca

Distance: Motorcycle available to explore on your own
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Many activities are available such as museums, hot springs, horseback riding, city tours, archeological sites, shopping and nightlife
Accommodations: Hotel Victoria

Day 7

Cuenca - Macas

Distance: 247 km / 154 miles
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Activities: Guitar Makers, Silversmith, Macas
Accommodations: Arrayanes y Piedra Lodge

Day 7

Day 8

Macas - Salinas de Guaranda

Distance: 256 km | 159 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Sangay National Park, Lagunas Atillo, Wool Mill, Soccer Ball Maker, Cheese Maker, Chocolate Maker
Accommodations: El Refugio

Day 9

Salinas - Chugchilan

Distance:  238 km | 148 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Activities:  Kunuyacu Hot Springs, Ambato, Pujilli Market, Tribal Mask Maker, Tigua Art Gallery, Quilota Crater Lake
Accommodations: Mama Hilda

Day 9

Day 10

Chugchilan - Quito

Distance:  160 km | 100 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast

Activities: Furniture Maker, Capulin Cherry Winery

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

As featured in

Backroads Magazine Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile

Tour Highlights


Day 1 - Otavalo

Elevation Profile - Day 1

cobbled road to mojanda lake 1600

Day 1
Quito- Inti'ñan - San José de Minas - Laguna de Mojanda - Otavalo
Distance Covered: 116 miles / 186 km

Intinan museum on equator on motorcycle adventure tour in ecuadorYou’ll begin your self-guided motorcycle adventure 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 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in all of Latin America. We suggest you arrive a day or two early to experience this amazing town and to get used to the altitude before your ride.  Quito was the second capital of the Inca Empire after Cusco, Peru.Near Perucho Ecuador Motorcycle Adventure Tour

On the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with the motorcycle of your choice and given a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, and how to operate your pre-programmed GPS. We'll provide a "Road Book" with details on the route and details on points of interest for each day. We will provide you with an "emergency kit" containing a pre-paid cell phone, first aid kit, tools, and other items to ensure your ride goes smoothly.

The first day's ride is intended to give you a sampling of the different types of roads you will be riding. You will have a chance to ride on asphalt and just a few miles of ancient Incan cobblestone roads. This uneven road surface is not to challenge you or to push you - it is so that you become accustomed to your motorcycle quickly.

canyon carving on route out of quito motorcycleYour first stop will be in the middle of the world. The Inti-ñan museum is situated right on the Equator. Inti-ñan means "path of the sun" in Quechua, a native language of Ecuador. Take a tour of this magical site, a place that the indigenous peoples have revered for thousands of years. You will learn how the ancient people came to understand that this was the center of the world, centuries before "modern" geography or GPS devices. Play with gravity here and perform some experiments to learn about the Coriolis effect caused by the Earth's rotation. You 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 you pass through various regions of Ecuador over the next ten days.Laguna Mojanda

After the visit to the Inti-ñan museum, you will be riding in the Northern Hemisphere. First, pass through a desert canyon that will bring us into a deep canyon. You will then ride out of the canyon into a lush green patchwork of fields of vegetables, roses, and dairy cattle. Stop in the charming little town of San José de Minas with its beautiful stone church and well-manicured central park.  This abrupt change in scenery will be your first taste of the remarkable diversity of terrains and climates that you will experience on this ride.

otavalo market spices ecuador motorcycle adventure tourFrom San José de Minas, climb in altitude on back roads giving grand vistas of the serene farmlands and forests below. You will experience great aromas as you pass through eucalyptus and pine forests.

You might want to stop to add a layer of clothing as you ride up to a height of over 12,000 feet (3714 meters) to view the majestic Mojanda Lake surrounded by the Fuya-Fuya volcano which guards the lake. 

From there, ride down through the colonial city of Otavalo, famous for its expansive indigenous market.hacienda pinsaqui

You will finish today's ride enjoying the local music and delicious local fare at the 300-year-old Hacienda Pinsaqui - one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador and famous as the site of the Pinsaqui Treaty which brought lasting peace with neighboring Colombia. Simon Bolivar was a frequent guest of the Hacienda. Dinner is included with the tour.

Day 2 - Puerto Misahualli
Day 3 - Baños
Day 4 - Alausi
Day 5 - Cuenca
Day 6 - Rest Day in Cuenca
Day 7 - Macas
Day 8 - Salinas de Guaranda
Day 9 - Chugchilan
Day 10 - 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 give you 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-ready 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 ten days is based on several years' of experience and of 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 infrequent. 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 unique character. Below are the accommodations featured on this tour.

Video - How We Select Accommodations

Dates and Pricing

Inca Royal Roads
Self-Guided Tour
MotorcycleStandard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
Single Occupancy
1 Rider + 1 Pillion (or passenger) Sharing Room with Rider
Double Occupancy
2 People 2 Bikes Sharing Room - Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Double Occupancy
Yamaha XT250
SWM Gran Milano 440
Suzuki DR650
Suzuki DR650 (LOWERED)
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT (LOW)
Yamaha 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

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 standard
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • 25% discount on high quality riding gear from 
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • Souvenir decal
  • Luggage storage and locker usage
  • Train ride on Devil's Nose Train in Alausi
  • Canoe excursion with native guide in Amazon basin 
  • 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 (sales) tax ONLY if you are Ecuadorian
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
  • Meals not listed
  • Fuel

Available All Year Long.  Advanced reservations required.

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.

Posada del Arte, Baños

Posade del Arte, Baños

Add an extra rest day to enjoy all that Baños has to offerr!

Flat fee: $250

Hotel Victoria, Cuenca

Victoria Hotel, Cuenca

Add an extra day in Cuenca to walk this beautiful city or explore the region on your own

Flat fee: $300

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.