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ROAD CONDITIONS AND SAFETY

In recent years Ecuador has made significant investments in improving its highway infrastructure. The main roads between major cities are for the most part in excellent condition, despite the challenging terrain. There are occasionally segments of the road which are somewhat rough, but that is why we carry bikes that are made for the roads here. We are here to help you plan your ride!

This video shows the different kinds of roads you typically find in Ecuador including dirt, cobblestone and paved highways:

Las Cajas National Park, Ecuador from James Cole on Vimeo.

Ecuador actually has a lower accident rate than the United States. Ecuador has a fatal accident rate of only 11.7 deaths per 100,000 while the USA has 12.3 deaths per 100,000. Ecuador also beats some European countries like Portugal and Greece in road safety.

Ecuador has the lowest traffic accident rates in South America – about half the rate of accidents of neighboring Peru and fewer than the more industrialized countries like Argentina and Chile.

The statistics can be found here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

Ecuador's climate is suitable for year-round cycling. 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.

alpaca

 

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 police in Ecuador are working for your safety and security. Our experience, after riding through 15 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