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From the Andes to the Amazon through Ecuador by mountain bike

A WORD FROM ANTOINE ON THIS tour

This themed mountain biking trip will take you over 12 days through the Ecuador most beautiful regions. You will get on your mountain bikes to discover extraordinary natural sites thanks to 260 km spread over 8 days of stages. Due to its 6,000m of positive elevation at over 4,000m altitude, this trip is intended for enthusiasts and regulars of this sport.
After your arrival in Quito, -the capital and the best-preserved Historical Center of Latin America- you will go to test your mounts in the Pichincha volcano descent. Your mountain biking trip will then begin, first in the north of the country on the “land of the Indians”. Close to Otavalo you will meet a Kichwa family. Then, there will be 4 stages between the Antisana and Illiniza reserves, after that the famous Cotopaxi park where two days of stages will be waiting for you. You will then leave for a difficult but fabulous day crossing the Chimborazo reserve. You will end your journey with a quieter stopover in the Amazon in the town of Tena.

Physical Difficulty

Culture and Visits

Nature and Activities

Recommended for

Tour highlights :

– Fully private tour.
– English-speaking guidance 24/7
– Andes mountain range reserves or national parks visits (4)
– Total covered distance by mountain bike: around 260 kilometers
– Total elevation: about 6,000m
– 4 nights in indigenous communities
– Possibility to rent a mountain bike by our ITK travel agency

Mountain bike we offer:

– Aluminium frame
– 100 mm Rock Shox Recon type fork or equivalent
– 29 ″ or 27.5 ″ wheels
– Shimano Deore group set (minimum) or equivalent

Indicative route :

mtb, tour, ecuador, itk, voyage, thematic, route, map

Explore in more detail :

Day by day :

Day 1 : Transfer-in to Quito

Transfer to a charming hotel in the modern part of Quito, the Mariscal. You will take the opportunity to rest before your trip.

Day 2 : Quito visit

A Quito guided tour, the second highest capital in the world (2850m altitude). It is also the first world-wide city to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its superb preserved historic center. You will visit churches, squares, colonial streets or even El Panecillo. It is also possible to visit the modern district and the typical Guapulo district.

Day 3 : Pichincha volcano descent (5,5km – 1000m/D-) > Otavalo > San Clemente

You will first join the Quito cable car for a 15-minute transport. Once you get to the top you will start to tame your mounts with a short but fairly technical descent. Once you have passed this first stage, you will reach the north part of the country, in Otavalo. You will sleep in a Kichwa community typical in this Ecuadorian Andes region.

Day 4 : San Clemente > San Pablo lake (35km – 700m/D+)

This morning you will leave for your first “real” stage towards the San Pablo lake. This step is neither technically nor physically difficult but, for your first few days will surely feel lack of oxygen. Your second night will be spent with a welcoming community family.

Day 5 : San Clemente > Antisana reserve(25km – 400m/D+) > Machachi

You will leave the Otavalo region early in the morning to reach the heart of the Antisana reserve. This reserve is home to the mysterious Antisana volcano, and it is one of the main places to observe the Andean condor. This will be a discovery reserve stage with little physical and technical difficulty. You will reach a very relaxing hostel in Machachi town.

Day 6 : Machachi > Ilinizas national reserve (40km – 800m/D+) > Cotopaxi National Park

This 4th stage will allow you to discover your second nature reserve, the Illinizas reserve. During this stage you will have a permanent view of the famous Cotopaxi volcano and the surrounding volcanoes such as Illinizas, El Corazón or Rumiñahui. You will then go to your superb hacienda at the Cotopaxi Park entrance where you will spend a warm evening before tackling the Cotopaxi stage the next day.

Day 7 : Cotopaxi National Park > Yanahurco (35km – 700m/D+)

This morning you will return to the famous Cotopaxi National Park. You will pass by the 5,897m-high volcano on reaching Yanahurco, where a beautiful hacienda isolated from everything will await you. During this stage you should expect temperatures that can be cold due to the altitude of around 4000m.

Day 8 : Yanahurco > Huairapamba (35km – 700m/D+) > Chimborazo region (Calpi)

You will continue your journey through Cotopaxi Park, joining Huairapamba. today’s route will be similar to yesterday’s, completing the loop around the highest active volcano in the world. You will then join a Chimborazo region typical Andean community. You will share their daily life and above all you will take the opportunity to rest before the hardest stage of this Ecuador mountain biking trip.

Day 9 : Calpi > Hermanos Carrel refuge in Chimborazo(35km – 1500m/D+)

Today you will begin the hardest stages of this trip. Indeed, you will attempt a 35km climb to reach the 4,800m Chimborazo refuge. You will have a following vehicle if you do not feel able to complete the entire stage. You will spend another night in the Calpi community.

Day 10 : Calpi > Baños > Tena > Amazon rainforest

You will have your well-deserved day off on this day. After the hardest part, you will go to relax in Baños terms and visit the famous Pailon del Diablo before heading to the Amazon to beautiful and luxurious lodge with swimming pool. You will have a total rest evening.

Day 11 : Amazon rainforest (30km – 300m/D+) > Papallacta

You will set off on your mountain bike for the easiest stage. You will go to the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest with your mounts to discover this haven of peace and tranquillity. You will reach Papallacta in the afternoon to enjoy your last evening with the thermal baths and other jacuzzis.

Day 12 : Papallacta > Quito airport- departure

On your last day you will enjoy the Papallacta thermal baths one last time before heading to the airport to catch your international back flight.

Guidance

An English-speaking private driver will accompany you on all visits. It will serve as a following car on the cycling stages. When the car cannot follow you, an ATV guide will show you the way.

Equipment

– Your all weathers specific mountain bike equipment. Make sure you have clothes for hot, cold (very cold especially in Cotopaxi Park where temperatures can drop in bad weather and rain).

– Helmet

– MTB shoes. ITK voyage Ecuador offers flat pedals or Shimano SPD type automatic pedals. You can bring your own pedals according to your habits.

– Warm and comfortable clothes for the evenings which can be chilly specially in the Andes.

Accommodation

Mix of “comfort” and “superior” accommodation:

“Comfort” option: comfortable charming accommodation, 2/3 *** type, offering a service adapted to European and American customers and single rooms.

“Superior” option: superior accommodation type 3/4 * offering quality and personalized service. The bedrooms are spacious and tasteful.

Observations

– Transfers and visits times are indicative.
– Foresee between $ 5 and $ 30 per meal not included, per person.