Ecuador is an exciting destination! It is one of the very best countries for adventure travel. We gathered loads of fun activities and authentic cultural encounters into this itinerary. During these 8 days, we will bike down winding roads on the Avenue of Volcanoes. For the past 4,000 years, the Andes Mountains have become a natural bridge where many cultures have based their existences and are still forming their history. The local Gods are alive and felt through the fertile soil provided by the active volcanoes. Rich traditions and customs sprinkle the mountain range. The Andes are best experienced through local trips, which allow you to experience daily life. This trip will give you that unique opportunity to discover the Cotopaxi Volcano, Quilotoa Crater Lake, Llanganates and Chimborazo. You will have the chance to explore a lot, to meet local people, to enjoy the landscapes while biking through the paramos of the volcanoes and farm fields, not to mention to stay in nice and warm farm hotels.
8 DAYS BIKING IN AVENUE OF VOLCANOES
DAY 1: CLOUD FOREST
Early in the morning, we will start our biking adventure on the ancient road, towards the village Nono, located behind the active Pichincha volcano. Descending on our bikes, we will reach the cloud forest with all of its beauty and spectacular views on the surrounding mountains. This area is known for the incredible variety of easily seen birds, like toucans, trogons and hummingbirds. We continue on our bikes to the Tandayapa village, from where our private transportation will drive us to the Tulipe village. Here, we can make a short visit to the archeological site of the same name. Dinner and night at La Posada de Yumbo.
DAY 2: INTAG VALLEY
Today, after a hearty traditional breakfast, we will continue our ride deeper into the cloud forest, in North West Ecuador. On our way to the Intag Valley, we will ride through the village of Pacto and cross the famous Equatorial Line on our bikes. Once in Intag, we will spend the night in the local hotel of this community.
DAY 3: CUICOCHA LAKE
Very early in the morning, we will take our adventure to the High Andes. This time, we will reach the Cuicocha Lagoon, the fascinating crater of an active volcano. This natural wonder is part of the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve. From here, we will descend to the Cotacachi village, known for its leather manufacturing. You will have some free time to explore this beautiful village, declared part of the Cultural Heritage of Ecuador. In the afternoon, you will have the chance to finally visit the famous Indigenous Market of Otavalo. Our accommodation this night will be in the beautiful Hacienda Guachalá in Cayambe.
DAY 4: OYACACHI – PAPALLACTA
On the fourth day of our adventure, we will be transferred by car to the North entrance of the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. This reserve got its name from the third highest volcano in Ecuadorian Andes (Cayambe). The protected area is home to more than 800 bird species and if we are lucky, we will be able to admire mammals such as deers, rabbits, foxes, bears, tapirs and a lot more. Our biking trail crosses the reserve to the village of Papallacta, where you can soothe your tired body in the natural thermal baths. Dinner and night in Papallacta.
DAY 5: ANTISANA
After breakfast, we will be transferred by car to the village Pintag and take the direction of Antisana Ecological Reserve. We will take time to discover this area on our bikes, riding to La Mica Lagoon, situated on the skirts of the Antisana Volcano, the fourth highest volcano in Ecuador. This place is very well known for its bird species such as caracaras, eagles, hawks and, with some luck we will be able to see the Andean condor, the biggest flying bird in the world. The condor is in danger of extinction in Ecuador, therefore it can be in fact a very lucky moment for you to see it in his natural habitat. In the evening, we will be transferred directly to the Cotopaxi Province, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
DAY 6: COTOPAXI
Cotopaxi is without any doubt the most favourite volcano in the world for the people who love mountains and volcanoes. Visitors from all over the planet come here to admire the highest active volcano in the world – 5,897 m (19,347 ft) above sea level. Today’s journey will take us through the Cotopaxi National Park to the Inca ruins Pucará. If the weather conditions are good, we will have spectacular views of Cotopaxi volcano! While riding, you can also see wild horses and bulls. After a delicious picnic lunch, we will descend by car from the high Andes Mountains to the town of Baños, located in the skirts of the Ecuador’s most active volcano, Tungurahua. It has been active for the last 14 years and, on various occasions, the people from the surrounding villages had to be evacuated. Baños is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Ecuador and you have the chance to have a delicious dinner and spend the night there.
DAY 7: LLANGANATES
Baños is part of the Llanganates National Park and this park is connected to the very important Inca legend of the Hidden Treasure. Inca General Rumiñahui was travelling with an enormous amount of gold for the ransom of their king, who was captured by the Spaniards. When he found out king Atahualpa was murdered, he hid the gold in this area. Explorers from all over the world were not lucky in their search of this golden treasure due to the difficult access to this area, as it is the gate to the Amazon jungle. Today, we will take a ride on our bikes towards the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, one of the top five waterfalls in Ecuador, and on the Ruta de las Cascadas, the waterfall route going from Baños to Puyo. Dinner and overnight stay back in Baños.
DAY 8: CHIMBORAZO
On our last expedition day, our trail will pass more into the Central Andes. On the side of the Panamericana highway, we will appreciate the colourful puzzle made of quinoa, potatoes, onion, and carrots fields that creates square patterns to all of the mountains in this area. We will arrive at the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve, named after Ecuador’s highest mountain, Volcano Chimborazo, 6,310 m (20,702 ft) above sea level. Our car will bring us up to the first Refuge from where we will ride the bikes down the mountain, enjoying the views of the volcano and of the vicuñas, the typical animals of this area. In the evening we will drive you back to Quito.
* The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather, National Park regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances.
Biking in magnificent landscapes
Exploring the "Ecuadorian Andes"
Certified bilingual guide
Cross country bicycles 2013 + helmets
7 nights in a hotel
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches (picnic style), 2 dinners
What's Not Included
Food not mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees to the places not mentioned in the itinerary