6 Days Ecuador Road Cycling in the Andes

The Grand Tours-Ecuadorian style. Are you up for a challenge? Imagine hitting varying terrain of smooth pavement, back roads, and high-altitude passes through some of the most stunning bike routes in the country. Sweeping views of rolling hills, snow-capped volcanoes, and abundant farmland is our training ground. Bike along routes where world-class riders such as Ecuador’s own Richard Carapaz from the Movistar team train whilst immersing yourself into the local culture. Refuel after each ride with some exquisite local cuisine and fall asleep to the whispering winds of the Andes. Accommodation is provided at charming eco-lodges and colonial Haciendas

Departing: Every Friday

Highlights

  Road cycling with amazing views at high elevation

  Ride with Champion Ecuadorian Pro cyclists

  Wine tasting

  Riding across the Equator Line

  Visit the house of Richard Carapaz

  Be swept away by the past at the Otavalo Market

  Stay at unique places in every location

  Be led by top experienced guides with every step you take

  Support sustainable travel that focuses on the preservation of culture and nature

Activity Level – Challenging

Minimum Age – 12 years old

Day 1
Exploring Quito

There are no activities planned on your first day for you to be able to explore the beautiful city of Quito on your own terms. If you feel like having a guided day tour at extra cost, do not hesitate in contacting us. We are always more than happy to send you one of the expert and knowledgeable guides to learn more about the city or the surrounding areas. Please keep in mind that there is a meeting at 18:00 in the hotel’s lobby the first day to meet your guide and the rest of the group as well as learn about what’s ahead during the days of your expedition!

Overnight: Dann Carlton Hotel or similar

Day 2
Cycling Cayambe – Ibarra

The day awaits us with the greeting of the rising sun northward towards Cayambe, the third highest summit in Ecuador. A pit stop for delicious Ecuadorian coffee and biscotti with cheese and caramel, a local delicacy, gives us energy for our cycling adventure. On the road from Cayambe to Olmedo, we will witness some amazing views of the wheat, barley, potatoes, and corn plantations that line the foot of the volcano. Passing the line that marks the divide between the northern and southern hemispheres, your guides will explain why this area forms such a significant part of the culture and history of this small Andean nation. After an exhilarating morning ride, we will stop at Zuleta Hacienda, home of former president Galo Plazo Lasso. Architecturally stunning and historically a jewel amidst the mountains, the hacienda is known for its gourmet to take on local Ecuadorian fare. Here we will lunch and savor the complex flavors of Ecuador; all dishes of which have ingredients sourced directly from the hacienda itself. The afternoon takes us riding through the Imbabura province, home to many different indigenous groups who can be seen alongside the road farming, selling locally grown and harvest vegetables, and other local goods.

Overnight: Pinsaqui Hacienda or similar Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 3
Cycling The Routes Of Richard Carapaz (Champion Of Giro D’Italia)

Continuing north, we will head to the city of Tulcan located on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. The capital of El Carchi province, this is also the hometown of some of the best Ecuadorian cyclists. Not only do we get to the to hit some of the ambitious and high-altitude routes that these champions train on but we even have the chance to train alongside some of them! There is no challenge that goes unrewarded on this expedition! Our prize for pushing ourselves both mentally and physically is a stop at the house of Richard Carapaz, champion of the international competition Giro d’Italia 2019, the first Ecuadorian to have achieved such a feat.

Overnight: Pinsaqui Hacienda or similar Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4
Cycling To The Otavalo Market

Traverse the fields and plantations of northern Ecuador. Starting from San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for its wood carvings and other handicrafts, we will have the opportunity to peruse the shops of local artisans before hopping back on our bikes to ride the old road towards the small indigenous village of Peguche. Learn about weaving techniques used by the locals and the meaning behind the many patterns and materials used to make the universally recognized and stunning textiles. A yummy and very traditional lunch of quinoa soup, one of the many crops grown and harvested locally, brings us to our final stop of the day: the Otavalo Market–The largest indigenous market in Ecuador. One step into the shaded stalls and endless aisles of intricate fabrics, sweaters, carvings, and jewelry–with the sounds of the vendors beckoning you towards them–will transport you out of one world and into that of the local indigenous people.

Overnight: Pinsaqui Hacienda or similar Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 5
Cycling The Dry Valleys

From the chill of the mountain breeze into the temperate cloud forest, a richly biodiverse area where the cold currents of the upper Andes marry with the warm breeze of the Pacific, we take off on our day’s circuit. Passing fields of brilliantly colored flowers we will descend into the town of San Jose de Minas stopping at a rose plantation to learn about the cultivation of the world’s best-known flower. Did you know that the rose is one of Ecuador’s top five exports? There is a very good chance that if you have ever given roses as a gift to your mom, significant other, or received one of the fragrant and velvet-petal beauties that they were actually grown here in Ecuador! After an early afternoon of frolicking amount the flowers, we continue on to the most demanding part of the ride over the hills and through the valley before descending to the river Pisque where our transport will take us back to Quito. A moment of wind-down time and farewell fare at our departure dinner sees us to the end of an epic expedition with Activexpedition.

Overnight: Dann Carlton Hotel or similar Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6
Departure

As you depart, we thank you and wish you safe travels to wherever your final destination may be! If you wish to continue exploring more of Ecuador, we can help you organize an extension trip to places you did not see during this trip. We thank you for choosing us and hope to see you soon! Meals included: Breakfast

– Experienced & Certified English-Speaking Guide

– Private Transport

– Accommodation for five nights

– Meals as listed in the Itinerary

– Water and snacks available whenever

– Water bottle

– Biking gear: (Road or Gravel bikes, aluminum frame with carbon forks, Shimano 105), certified helmets and gloves

– All fees to reserves and museums

–  International or domestic flights

–  Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

–  Tips for guides and drivers

–  Travel Insurance – mandatory

–  Airport Transfers

6 Days – 5 Nights – from $1500 p.p minimum 2 pax – maximum 10 pax

(this price can change depending on your needs, group size, and preferences)

Packing List

We do recommend traveling light for this expedition. A duffel bag of 50 liters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 liters for daily activities should be sufficient. In Ecuador, the weather can change drastically especially when you are moving from the Andes into the tropical forest, therefore, it is best to pack for a variety of climates

–  Passport

–  Credit card

–  Two pairs of lightweight hiking pants

–  One pair of cold weather hiking pants

–  Two pairs of shorts

–  Three pairs of biking shorts

–  One bathing suits

–  Four synthetic material T-shirts

–  One cotton T-shirt

–  One bathing top or cover-up

–  One winter warm jacket

–  One fleece

–  One rain jacket

–  One pair of rain pants

–  Two buffs

–  One pair of hiking shoes

–  One pair of sneakers

–  One pair of water sandals or similar

–  Optional – biking shoes

–  One- or two-night outfits

–  One cap or hat

–  Sunscreen

–  Sunglasses

– Mosquito repellent

–  Camera

–  Headlamp

–  Optional binoculars

NOTE: Laundry is available almost at every location and is economic. We recommend taking advantage of these offered services as it aids in traveling light.