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Self-Guided Introduction to Ecuador

12 days

From $3080
See all prices

99% Paved

1% unpaved

Availability

Available All Year
Fully Customizable

Accommodations

Premium and luxury
Fine dining

Tour Overview

Ecuador is one of the most geographically, culturally, and biologically diverse countries in the world.  Amazing landscapes encompassing rainforests, Andean mountain ranges, coastal ranges, deserts and tropical grasslands make this South American country a haven for astonishing wildlife, stunning panoramas as well as rich anthropological and cultural sites.

This tour will take you to all of the best that continental Ecuador has to offer on this absolutely unforgettable motorcycle adventure.

You will visit all of the major regions of continental Ecuador - the Andes, the Coast and the Amazon Basin. You will have time to explore the major cities of Quito, Loja, Manta, Esmeraldas and Cuenca, including many places declared "World Heritage Sites" by the United Nations. You'll visit the popular "gringo" hangouts such as Canoa, Vilcabamba, Otavalo and Baños. You will experience the various cuisines and cultures of Ecuador such as the criolla cuisine in Esmeraldas, fresh coffee from plantations in Loja, fresh chocolate from the cacao plantations in Vinces, hearty soups of the Andean highlands, and steamed fish wrapped in Amazonian jungle leaves.
working_the_fields_with_animals_in_Ecuador

One of the things that sets a motorcycle trip apart from other types of tourism are the scents, fragrances and aromas that you can experience while riding - you can't experience these while travelling in a bus or car. Ecuador provides you with a feast for all your senses - you will pass through brilliant fields of multi-colored roses, see wild orchids in the rainforests, smell the eucalyptus and pine forests, ripening bananas, and ride through salty mist along the shore. You'll smell the fresh, wood-oven baked bread in colonial cities.

The tour will also take you off the beaten track to explore some of the wild areas of Ecuador.  It is one of the most adventurous tours that you can do, giving you access to untouched wildlife and unforgettable insight into how native Ecuadorians have lived for centuries.

At a glance

  • 12 Days / 11 nights (10 riding days with two rest days)
  • Total Distance Covered:  2,811 kilometers / 1,747 miles
  • Average distance per riding day : 280 kilometers / 174 miles (10 riding days)
  • 99% asphalt road / 1% dirt, gravel or cobblestone roads 
  • Elevation gain/loss: 16,385 meters / 55,232 feet
  • Luxurious hotel accomodations including unique hacienda, wilderness lodge and boutique hotel accomodations
  • Single occupancy (your own private hotel room at no extra charge)
  • Programmed GPS Navigation
  • Road Book with guide to genuine points of interest
  • 24- Hour Telephone and Roadside Assistance via provided pre-paid cell phone
  • See Pricing Below

 

Route Map

Elevation Profile

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Highlights

Itinerary

This 12-day tour is designed to intimately introduce you to Ecuador - its beautiful natural areas, its vibrant cities, its firendly villages and its loving and welcoming people.

Riding on the eastern slopesThe tour starts and ends in Quito and makes a giant loop around the entire country.  You'll head north to visit the famous animal and textile markets in Otavalo.  You'll visit with artesenal leather makers in Cotacachi. Then you'll descend to the rocky northern coast and the African- Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas, known for its cuisine and stunning marine landscapes. Ingapirca Inca Ruins

Along the coast, you'll spend a day on the beach in Canoa in Manabi province and enjoy the warmth and fun of the surfing and fishing community.  Further along you will visit the thriving port city of Manta and its traditional wooden boat builders.  Then you'll head inland and ride through the heartland, and experience life on a working banana and chocolate plantation.

Further south, the province of El Oro was once the wealthiest area of the Spanish Empire.  Its architectural heritage and still working gold mines makes it a very unique region in the world.  From there, into the Incan playground of Vilcabamba, home now to a close knit community of American expatriates.  You'll visit the city of Loja and meet the Saraguro community, an indigneous community uprooted from Bolivia by the iIncan empire.  Visiting a gold mine in Zaruma

Fantastic RIding in the AndesYou'll have a chance to stroll on the cobbled streets of the ancient city of Cuenca, another UNESCO world heritage city with a beautifully-preserved colonial center.  The route will take you to the place on Earth that is closest to heaven - Mount Chimborazo is the highest point on the planet when measured from the center of the Earth.  Then you'll head down the eastern slopes of the Andes with another rest day in the adventurous city of Baños. 

After a day of rest, you'll continue to the east and drop into the Amazon basin.  You'll get to know this special region of the world through an expeiditon in a motorized canoe with a local guide at a unique lodge deep in the jungle.

Returning back to Quito you will cross over a high pass and return to the cosmopolitan capital of Ecuador with a new love and admiration for such a diverse and peaceful country.

Please see the detailed daily itinerary below...
Day 1 - Otavalo
Image

Elevation Profile - Day 1

Day 1

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

You’ll begin your 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 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.

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. 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.

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 is not to challenge you or to push you - its so you become accustomed to your motorcycle quickly.

Your 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.

After the visit at the Inti-ñan museum, you will be riding in the Northern Hemisphere. First, pass through a dry desert canyon that will bring us into a deep canyon. You will then ride out of the canyon into 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 will be your first taste of the remarkable diversity of terrains and climates that you will experience on this ride.cobblestone to mojanda

From 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.

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 -Samé, Esmeraldas
Day 3 - Canoa
Day 4- Rest Day in Canoa
Day 5 - Vinces
Day 6 - Zaruma
Day 7 - Vilcabamba
Day 8 - Cuenca
Day 9 - Baños
Day 10 - Rest Day in Baños
Day 11 - Cotococha Amazon Lodge
Day 12 - Quito
Timeline Overview

Photo Gallery

Full Tour Video

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light/moderate; travelers should be in good health and comfortable riding for extended periods of time. The itinerary suits a wide range of interests and abilities, with options for light and moderate activities or more challenging hikes. Excursions include boarding boats, climbing stairs without handrails, longer hikes on uneven terrain with some steep ascents/descents, and optional adventure sports activities such as zip lines. Much of the trip takes place in remote areas where medical care can be several hours away. Please note there are two long riding days.

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 and in the Amazon basin in June and early July. 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.

Accommodations
Throughout the tour, we stay in ideally located, high and medium-end accommodations with many amenities.  Laundry service is available on days 4 and 10. See this page for details and links to the accommodations provide.  Ecuador Freedom has the right to substitute accommodations of equal quality due to availability.

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.
Best Months for this tour: May - February.


Self-Guided Introduction to Ecuador Tour
MotorcycleStandard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
1 Pilllion Sharing Room with Rider2 People 2 Bikes Sharing Room - Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Yamaha XT250
                      
$3,140$2,160
SWM Gran Milano 440
$3,080$1,050$2,100
Suzuki DR650
$3,620$1,050$2,640
SWM RS 650R
$3,620$1,050$2,640
Suzuki V-Strom DL65
$3,770$1,050$3,000
BMW G 650 GS
$3,890$1,050$3,000
Yamaha Ténéré XT660
$4,380$1,050$3,120
KTM 690 EnduroR
$4,500$1,050$3,240
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
$4,500$1,050$3,240
BMW F700 GS
$4,380$1,050$3,120
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
$4,620$1,050$3,360
BMW F800GS
$4,620$1,050$3,360
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
$4,380$1,050$3,120
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
$4,740$1,050$3,480
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
$4,860$1,050$3,720
KTM 1050 Adventure
$4,860$1,050$3,720
Jeep Wrangler
$4,500$1,050$3,720
Volkswagen Amarok 
$4,980$1,050$4,020
Ford Ranger Diesel
 
$4,980$1,050$4,020
Addtional Passenger
+$1050

All prices are in US Dollars (USD) - the official currency of the Republic of Ecuador.

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
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners
  • 25% discount on high quality riding gear from 
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • Souvenir decal
  • Luggage storage and locker usage
  • Canoe expedition with native guide in Amazon and river tubing
  • 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
  • NO TAX FOR TOURISTS TO ECUADOR!
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
  • Fuel
  • Activities not listed as included

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