FIVE DAY MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURE
QUITO – COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK
Our five-day biking adventure begins as we drive south to Cotopaxi National Park, two hours from Quito. At the base of Cotopaxi Volcano, we embark on the first leg of our journey: a wild ride downward to the silvery lake of Limpiopungo. Across the paramo landscape you often see wild herds of horses galloping free, as well as dainty clusters of paramo flowers in yellows, pinks and lavenders. Eventually, we pedal through pine-forested lands until reaching the park’s guard station, where a llama herd is typically seen. In the afternoon, we drive to Urbina, where we spend the night in a mountain chalet.
CHIMBORAZO TO BANOS
We head out early for the drive south to volcano Chimborazo, the highest peak in Ecuador at 6310 meters (20,697 ft.) At the base camp we hop on our bikes and begin the downward descent through a magical Andean landscape to the small village of San Juan, nearby Riobamba. Before reaching this point, we’ll be served our lunch in a very typical Indian village. In San Juan we load the bikes on the jeep roof and drive to Baños, a small town famous for its hot springs, and spend the night there.
PUYO AND THE AVENUE OF THE ORCHIDS
We take a pre-breakfast dip in the thermal baths of Baños before pedaling east toward Puyo. You’ll notice the dramatic temperature and vegetation changes as we descend into the steamy Amazon basin. Bike along the Avenue of the Orchids to the Amazonian frontier town of Puyo. Lunch. Drive through quichua villages and tropical rainforest to Tena town in the Amazon basin. Overnight and dinner in a jungle lodge at the river bank.
Today our travel is by foot as we explore pristine Amazon rainforest. On this hike, we will see a beautiful waterfall as well as exotic flora and fauna. We stand a good chance of spotting flocks of Amazon parrots, macaws and toucans. We have a 30 km bike ride through the forest back to the lodge. In the afternoon we relax at the lodge, enjoying a swim in a protected bay in the river.
PAPALLACTA – QUITO
We begin by driving by jeep up into the Andes (Guacamayos Pass). We cycle to the town of Baeza at the base of the Andes. We enjoy a picnic lunch, and then drive up to the Papallacta thermal baths for a well-earned soak in the toasty hot springs. From the Ave Maria Pass (4200m), we then bike back towards Quito along the Chiche river basin. This is one of the longest downhill rides in the world, about 45 km. The last 12 kilometers will be on the famous railroad line going through five tunnels, one of which is 322 meters long. The spectacular ride takes us speeding through wide stretches of paramo and cloud forest, with the Andean sun illuminating the way. Some days can be chilled by occasional fog, so don’t forget your mittens and fleece. In Tumbaco we pile the bikes on the jeep’s roof and head back to Quito.
$540 p/p for a group of 2 to 4 people
$460 p/p for a minimum group of 5 person
|What to bring:|
|Warm clothes in layers ( can get hot!)||Sun block|
|Cap or hat||Sun glasses|
|Windbreaker||Change of clothes|
|Trekking shoes or sneakers||Toiletries|
|Camera||Extra snacks and water|
|Copy of passport|
Price Doesn’t Include: