ROAD CONDITIONS AND SAFETY
Over the past 8 years. Ecuador has made significant investments in modernizing and improving the safery its highway infrastructure. In fact, Ecuador has the highest investment of GDP in infrastructure in the Americas. There are thousands of miles of newly paved roads and Ecuador now has some of the most exciting motorcycle roads in South America.
Despite all of the investment in improving its roads, there are still many fantastic unpaved roads that lead to very special places (although they are being paved more and more each year) Ecuador is a great place for a dual-sport (on and off- road) motorcycle. You can choose to ride all paved routes, dual-sport routes or unpaved offroad routes. Ecuador has rhe roads for every type of motorcyclist!
Ecuador's climate is suitable for year-round motorcycling. You will need a wide variety of outerwear - it gets pretty cold in the high altitudes and you will occasionally need winter gloves and heavy outerwear. In the lower altitudes it is very warm and you will want a minimum of protection. You may have to add or remove layers throughout your day of riding.
There are road hazards you may not be used to – alpaca who think about jumping across the road, a herd of cattle moseying along the right side and magnificent scenery that will distract you constantly.
Unlike most Latin American countries, Ecuador has a high import tax on used vehicles, so they are quite expensive here and people take better care of them. Strict safety inspections are in place so you will find most Ecuadorians are driving safe cars. Driving in Quito or Guayaquil is just like driving in any major city – you need to be alert and make sure you are seen. The result of the high taxes is that there is very little traffic on Ecuador's newly paved roads.
Ecuador has one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Of course, you should be careful with your belongings when you are in the big cities, just like everywhere in the world. Keep an eye on your camera and your i-phone - don't set them down without keeping your eye on them.
Ecuadorian drivers can sometimes be a bit undisciplined. They are alert and quite aware of their surroundings, however. They are not in cruise control eating hamburgers! They are aggressive when it comes to passing and can veer over to the wrong side of the road to avoid potholes ( however, this is becoming less and less of a problem as the roads are in great condition). As long as you ride defensively (pull to the right and let him pass you for example) and stay alert you should have no problems. Never ride at night if you can aooid it, as there are a lot of unmarked obstacles and few warning signs, plus many wild animals that come out at night.
As everywhere there are unwritten rules of the road and "courtesies" - we will go over these in detail when you pick up your bike.
|The police in Ecuador are working for your safety and security. Our experience, after riding through 16 Latin American countries, is that they are of very high integrity. While Ecuador has tough traffic laws in place, the government does not view traffic fines as a source of revenue. There are VERY few radar guns or speed traps in Ecuador! As in all Latin American countries, there are checkpoints along the road where you will be required to show identification and papers for the vehicle you are driving. We will provide you with everything you need to quickly pass these checkpoints