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Introduction to Ecuador Guided Tour

12 days

From $5195
See all prices and dates

99% Paved

1% unpaved

Group Size

1 - 9 motorcycles
guaranteed departure

Accommodations

Middle to High-End
See Accommodations for details

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.

We will visit all of the major regions of continental Ecuador - the Andes, the Coast and the Amazon Basin.   We 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. We'll visit the popular "gringo" hangouts such as Canoa, Vilcabamba, Otavalo and Baños.  We 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)
  • Experienced, multilingual, local resident tour guide
  • Chase vehicle for groups of 4+ riders
  • All inclusive pricing includes meals, gas, entrance fees, etc.  No pulling out your wallet!
  • minimum particpants: 1 (guaranteed departure)
  • maximum riders: 9 (keeps things fun and easy!)
  • Pricing:    Starting at $5255-  please see the bottom of this page for pricing (which depends on the bike chosen).

 

Route Map

Elevation Profile

As featured in

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Highlights

Itinerary - Summary

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

Detailed Daily Itinerary

Click for Timeline Overview

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.

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 we'll provide you with tickets on the Hop-on / Hop - Off bus to enjoy a stress-free day in the capital.  For those who want a little more fun, we can provide you with a selfd-guided tour of Quito on one of our 150cc motorscooters.

Quito - Otavalo

Distance:
Elevation gain/ loss:  4198 m / -4446 m  13,773 ft/ -14,587 ft
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Inti-ñan Equator Museum, Mojanda Lake, Otavalo Market, Evening Music performance
Accommodations: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Day 1

Day 2

Otavalo - Samé

Distance:  367 km | 228 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +2344 m / -4999 m  | +7690ft/-16,400 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Otavalo Animal Market, Cotacachi Leather Maker, Exotic Fruit Markets
Accommodations: Acantillado Lodge

Samé - Canoa

Distance: 226 km / 140 miles
Elevation gain/ loss:  +977 m/-940m | +3205 ft/-3084 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & DInner
Activities: Shrimp farm, Black Beach, Mompiche Beach
Accommodations: Canoa Beach Hotel

Day 3

Day 4

Rest Day in Canoa

Distance: ? - motorcycle available for you to explore on your own if you wish.
Elevation gain/ loss: ?
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Available activities include parasailing, surf lessons, surfing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and nightlife
Accommodations: Canoa Beach Hotel

Canoa - Vinces

Distance: 250 km / 156 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +350 m / -330 m | +1148 ft / -1083 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Banana and chocolate plantation tour
Accommodations: Señor de los Caballos Lodge

Day 5

Day 6

Vinces - Zaruma

Distance: 359 km / 223 miles
Elevation gain/ loss:  +2659 m / -1608 m | +8724 ft / -5276 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Pineapple Plantation
Accommodations: Roland Hotel

Zaruma - VIlcabamba

Distance: 263 km / 163 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +6517 m./ -6124 m | +21,383 ft / -20,092 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Gold Mine Tour
Accommodations: Madre Tierra Ecologocal Resort

Day 7

Day 8

Vilcabamba - Cuenca

Distance: 251 km | 156 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +5131 m / -3130m | +16,834 ft / -10,259 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Saraguro Market, Colonial Cuenca
Accommodations: Hotel Victoria

Cuenca - Baños

Distance:
Riding Time:
420 km | 261 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +7176 m / -7926 m | +23,543 ft / -26,004 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Ingapirca Ruins, Chimborazo Wildlife Refuge, Hot Springs
Accommodations: Posada del Arte

Day 9

Day 10

Rest Day in Baños

Distance:  You may use the motorcycle to explore on your own
Riding Time: ?

Elevation gain/ loss: ?
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Available activities include rafting, canyoning, rapelling, swing jump, canopy zip lines, horseback riding, ATV rentals,
Accommodations: Posada del Arte Bed & Breakfast Inn

Baños - Cotococha

Distance:  You may use the motorcycle to explore on your own
Elevation gain/ loss: +2910 m /-4442 m | +9547 ft / -14,574 ft
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and DInner
Activities: Tibetan Bridge, Zip Line, Waterfalls
Accommodations: Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Day 11

Day 12

Cotococha Amazon Lodge - Quito

Distance:  234 km / 145 miles
Elevation gain/ loss: +7339 m / -4933 m | +24,078 ft / -16,184 ft
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Activities: Motorized Canoe Expedition, Hike with Native Guide, Swim in Waterfall, Tubing on Napo River, Guapulo Church

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 "After-Ride Lounge" - complete with a hot shower, jacuzzi, and open bar.

Return to Quito

Day 1 - Otavalo

Elevation Profile - Day 1

 

day_one_introduction_to_ecuador_

Day 1
Quito - San José de Minas - Laguna Mojanda - Otavalo 
Distance covered: 120 kms / 75 miles -- on 97% paved roads 

You’ll begin your twelve day “Introduction to Ecuador Tour" from our shop located in Quito, Ecuador - 2850 meters (almost 2 miles above sea level) in the Andes Mountains. Quito is the capital city of Ecuador with about 1.5 million residents and has some of the best examples of Spanish colonial architecture in Latin America.  Quito was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970's for having the best preserved and least altered historic centre in all of Latin America.mitad_del_mundo

quito_la_ronda_alleyOn the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with the motorcycle of your choice, a helmet communication system as well as a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, etc. 

Our first stop is in the middle of the world. Inti-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 site for thousands of years and our group 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 our first stop directly on the “red line” we will experiment with gravity, including witnessing how water drains either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on which side of the Equator we are standing. We also have the opportunity to see how the indigenous populations of Ecuador live when visiting their homes. This will enable us to better understand the cultures seen as we pass through various regions over the next few days.  Departing the Inti-ñan Museum we officially leave the Quito metropolitan region and begin riding in the Northern Hemisphere.

road_to_mojandaThe route for this first day has been purposefully chosen in order to acquaint you with a taste of the wide variety of different kinds of roads in Ecuador and to allow you the time to get acquainted with your bike.  The fun starts with a newly paved road that dives deep into a dry river canyon.  This is "canyon carving" at its finest and you'll quickly see why Ecuador is a motorcycling paradise!mojanda_lake

From the colonial town of San José de Minas with its manicured central plaza and towering church, we will climb in altitude on back roads (and an optional, short and easy dirt section) giving us grand vistas of the serene farmlands and forests below. We will experience great aromas as we pass through eucalyptus and pine forests. We will stop to add a layer of clothing as we 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. This will be the first time we will be in the high-altitude paramo climate.

From there, we will ride down through the colonial city of Otavalo, famous for its expansive indigenous market. We 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 where Simon Bolivar stayed on several occasions and famous as the site of the Pinsaqui Treaty which brought lasting peace with neighboring Colombia.

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

Photo Gallery

Full Tour Video

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of 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, short hikes on uneven terrain with some steep ascents/descents, and optional adventure sports activities such as zip lines, rapelling and kayaking. Some of the trip takes place in remote areas where medical care can be 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 the Equatorial region and 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.  Please see this page for a more comprehensive explanation of weather in Ecuador.

Ecuador, located in the "doldrums" of the Equator region, does not suffer from any major storms such as tornadoes, hurricanes or cyclones.

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 the Detailed Itinerary section on this page for details and links to the accommodations provided.  Ecuador Freedom has the right to substitute accommodations of equal or better quality due to availability and will notify you of the changes in advance, when possible.

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

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


Introduction to Ecuador Guided 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
                      
$ 5.250$ 4.640
SWM Gran Milano 440
$ 5.195$ 3,500$ 4.400
Suzuki DR650
$ 5.760$ 3,500$ 5.120
SWM RS 650R
$ 5.760$ 3,500$ 5.120
Suzuki V-Strom DL65
$ 6.335$ 3,500$ 5.480
BMW G 650 GS
$ 6.335$ 3,500$ 5.480
Yamaha Ténéré XT660
$ 6.480$ 3,500$ 5.600
KTM 690 EnduroR
$ 6.335$ 3,500$ 5.720
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
$ 6.335$ 3,500$ 5.720
BMW F700 GS
$ 6.480$ 3,500$ 5.600
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
$ 6.625$ 3,500$ 5.840
BMW F800GS
$ 6.625$ 3,500$ 5.840
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
$ 6.480$ 3,500$ 5.600
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
$ 6.725$ 3,500$ 5.960
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
$ 6.985$ 3,500$ 6.200
KTM 1050 Adventure
$ 6.985$ 3,500$ 6.200

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

Tour Includes

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental 
  • Knowledgeable, Experienced, Local Resident Guide
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Guaranteed departure policy (we go even if only one partipant signs up - we do not cancel tours on you!)
  • Support Vehicle (5+ riders)
  • Tour of Quito on doubledecker bus or self-guided scooter tour (arrive a day early or stay a day after )
  • Single occupancy in luxury hacienda, boutique hotel, 3-5 star hotel accomodations (best botel in town) - see accommodations on this page.
  • All meals on riding days
  • Tolls
  • All Gasoline & Oil
  • Canoe Excusion with native guide in Amazon jungle 
  • Entrance fees to Intiñan Solar Museum
  • Chocolate and banana tour
  • All other activities and tours listed in the itinerary
  • Pre-tour 25% discount on high quality riding gear from Klim
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • VIP access to the Freedom After-Ride Lounge with hot shower, jacuzzi, and honor bar.


  • You do NOT have to pull your wallet out on any of our guided tours!

Not included

  • Alchoholic beverages
  • 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
  • Lunch and dinner on rest days

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