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Offroad Ecuador Excursion PDF Print E-mail

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Offroad Ecuador -  4 Day Excursion

Overview:

  • Time Needed:  4 days / 3 nights
  • Total Distance: 483 miles / 777 kilometers
  • Approximate Offroad Distance: 380 miles / 612 Kilometers
  • Elevation gain / loss : 16,633 meters / 54,570 feet
  • Climactic Zones:  Tropical Rainforest / Tropical Grasslands / Highlands Pampa / Cloudforest
  • Provinces: Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tschallas, Cotopaxi, Bolivar, Los Rios
  • WARNING: This is not a normal motorcycle ride. This tour requires elements of endurance and stamina. Riders must be able to ride in adverse weather conditions and adverse road conditions and for long time periods of time  (up to 10 hours)

Photos from a previous OFFROAD Ecuador Excursion Tour:

 

 

 

Description:

This tour is reserved for the truly adventurous -those who love to ride off-road -  way, way off the beaten track. The tour aims to avoid pavement as much as possible and will take the rider immediately out of Quito and onto some spectacular off-road riding and to parts of Ecuador that most people don't ever get the opportunity to see.  

The route passes through a part of this world that time has forgotten, where farming is still done with ancient techniques and where people are surprised to see strangers come through their village.  We'll stop to meet people that are happy to show us their way of farming, of cooking and living.   It is a ride through incredible terrain, mountain passes and around crater lakes.  

The Offroad Ecuador Tour passes through several climactic zones and thus offers a chance to view native wildlife while gaining an intimate understanding of the incredible biodiversity found in Ecuador.

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Day 1
Quito-Chiriboga-Alluriquin-Sigchos-Chugchilán

Distance Covered: 209 km / 130 miles

You’ll begin your four day “Offroad Ecuador Tour" from our shop located in Quito, Ecuador - 2850 meters (almost 2 miles above sea level) in the Andes Mountains, on the Equator, in South America.    In 1978, Quito became the first place on the planet to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having the best-preserved historic center in all of Latin America. Quito is high on the Antiplano Plateau (the highest capital city in the world) in the Andes at 9,350 feet.  

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We suggest that you arrive a day or two early to experience our magnificent capital city while getting acclimated to high altitude before beginning the tour.  We'll provide you wtih tickets to the double-decker "hop-on / hop off" bus that will show you the best sights in the city.

On the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with the offroad motorcycle of your choice  and given a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, riding signals, etc.  

We will ride out of Quito, avoiding any suburban sprawl and immediately begin riding on a dirt road that will take us first to a chilly highland pampa mountain pass and then through fertile farmlands, beginning our curvy descent into the lowlands of Santo Domingo Province.  We will be passing by several spectacular waterfalls as we ride through small villages such as Chiriboga and other settlements in the cloudforest on the western slopes of Ecuador.   

IMG_8743Once down to about 3,000 feet in altitude, we will be in warm, humid air - quite a change in climate from where we started just a little while ago in Quito.  We will have a chance here to stop for a swim in natural basins formed by waterfalls.  We will get back on the bikes refreshed and regenerated by the mountain waters.  

We will begin a climb that will last until the end of the day.   We'll tackle some steep switchbacks that will take us up for tremendous vistas over the valley below.  Then passing after passing through dense jungles and green pastures, we arrive in the small town of San Francisco de las Pampas to have a great lunch of simple, but delicious, local cuisine and to chat with the townspeople.  

We will continue on (sometimes) challenging dirt roads, climbing in altitude  to over 11,400 feet, passing picturesque farmlands, cloudforest,  and high moorlands before arriving in the town of Sigchos, a town settled in the 1500's by the colonial Spanish.

In Sigchos we will now officially be on the famous "Quilotoa Loop" and will continue past some astonishing scenery and farmlands before arriving at Mama Hilda's Hostel in Chugchilan.  Here you find a private cozy room with a wood stove and a family-style dinner of pots and pots of  Ecuadorian food that will replenish you after a full day of riding.   You will surely fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.

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Day 2
Chugchilán-Quilotoa Crater Lake-Angamarca-El Corazon-Facundo Vela-Salinas 

Distance Covered: 116 miles / 187 km

After a hearty breakfast at Mama Hilda's we will head out of the charming mountain town of Chugchilan and after another blissful  ride on stunning dirt roads along deep canyons, we will arrive at the awe-inspiring Quilotoa Crater Lake, which was formed after a catastrophic volcanic eruption about 800 years ago.  The lake has a beautiful aqua-blue color to it that is unique, due to the mineral content. 

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Then we will ride to Zumbahua on a recently paved road that will give us great views of a fertile valley.  Zumbahua is a farming town with a central market square.  We usually stop here for a "second breakfast" of fresh hand made empanadas and local fried pototoes.  The snack will give us an energy boost that we will need as we head up and into chilly air.

After Zumbahua, we will once again be on unpaved dirt roads through some of the most picturesque regions of Ecuador. We will rise into highlands pampa, where wild alpacas and llamas roam free.  We'll maintain an altitude of about 13,400 feet for a while.  The people who live at this altitude have kept their traditional ways.  Many live in mud homes called "chozas" that have thatched roofs.  Inside they cook in fireplaces without a chimney to seal their homes from rain. Here they herd sheep, grow potatoes and live a simple life in a spectacularly beautiful place.

We will pass through the quaint, charming little town of Angamarca. which is known for its wood carvings and visit with the local craftsmen.  Then continuing along to the next hamlet of Shuyo, we visit a working water mill where they process grains using techniques that are centuries old.  We'll have a chance to visit a guinea pig and rabbit farm as well as visit with a local school as part of our "Pack for a Purpose" program.

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From here, we continue to descend into the subtropical climate and into the town of El Corazon - where they brew and bottle their own unique brand of moonshine - a flavored alcohol that is quite good yet inexpensive. El Corazon is a very friendly town and a good place to stop for lunch.  We'll have a tour of one of the moonshine distilleries and get a taste for the local firewater.

From El Corazon, we will again face some challenging dirt roads that wind through thick jungles and arrive in the colorful, isolated village of Facundo Vela, a place that seems like it hasn't changed much in the past 100 years. The town is usually full of horses with not a single car to be seen.  You will feel as though you have ridden into a time warp.  Facundo Vela is known for the marmalades the local nuns make by hand to fund their school.  We'll watch them stir this succulent concoction with big, wooden spoons in large hand-made copper pans. You'll want to bring a jar of this back home with you for a time when you'll enjoy breakfast thinking about this ride...   

road_to_angamarca_looking_at_chimboTaking the dirt road out of Facundo Vela, we continue to ride and gain altitude on a series of steep switchback cobblestone trails.  The air through this section of cloudforest is scented with wild orchids and tropical plants.  The air turns cooler and smells of pine and eucalyptus as we climb in altitude again.


We will cross a high mountain pass at 13,400 feet before arriving in the village of Salinas de Guaranda. This town is unique in Ecuador as it has a Swiss heritage.   Here they make chocolate and cheese in the Swiss tradition we will enjoy a good dinner at one of the local restaurants that uses the local cheese, hams, sausages and mushrooms that are produced here.   We'll enjoy a good night's sleep at La Minga. 

 

 

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Day 3
Salinas - Arrayanes - Quinsaloma - Quevedo

Distance Covered:  131 km / 82 miles

After yesterday's long ride (you will see how long 116 miles feels!) we will have time in the morning to visit the special town of Salinas de Guaranda.  Every morning, the local farmers bring their milk in on donkeys, alpaca, motorcycle and horse to the cheese factory.  We'll see how this milk is transformed into the highest quality cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmental, Tilsit and Gouda.

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  Then we will visit the chocolate factory which uses only the highest quality locally grown cacao to make truffles and chocolate bars that rival anything that Godiva can make.  The chocolates are gaining popularity around the world.  We'll also visit the local craftsmen that make soccer balls by hand. And we will witness how sheep and alpaca are sheered and their wool transformed into yarn using 100 year-old machinery brought in from the former mills of Massachusetts in the USA.

We'll head back onto the bikes, taking a dirt road that will bring us through breathtaking high altitude paramo - with crystal waterfalls.  We'll ride for a while along a high ravine overlooking the western slopes with expansive views over the coastal plains.  We'll stop in the hamlet of Arrayanes, population 87.  The townspeople here work together to make a cheese called "Andino" which is savory, buttery and slightly sharp.  We'll get one of the rounds of cheese and carry it for a snack in the saddlebags.  

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We'll continue down through several sets of switchbacks, with each turn giving us tremendous vistas.  We'll ride past towering 300 feet waterfalls and through other friendly villages.  We'll begin to see mandarin orange trees, sugar cane, and exotic fruits growing along roaring whitewater rivers. 

We'll ride through the towns of San Luis and continue our descent to sea level.  Here we will be treated to long rolling hills that make it seem we are on an extended motocross track through a garden.  We will smell the aroma of cacao drying in the sun, and see the beautiful palm groves that are magical.

We will end the day in the city of Quevedo.  Quevedo was the first Chinese settlement community in Ecuador and many of the Chinese restaurants date back to the 1920's and is known as Ecuador's "Chinatown."  We will enjoy a bountiful Chinese dinner before settling into the luxurious Hotel Olimpico for the night.

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Day 4
Quevedo-Pucayacu-Sigchos-Isinlivi-Quito

Distance Covered:  155 miles / 250 Km 

From Quevedo we will climb back into the tropical rainforest region; first passing grand palm, banana and cacao plantations and then into coffee country.  

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We'll stop in Pucuyacu - which has a local animal and farmer's market.  From Pucuyacu, we will do a river crossing and then begin the steepest climbs you will have ever seen.   We climb over 6,000 feet in just 4 miles.  Again, you will be blown away by the views we get along this road.  

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We will cross back into the town of Sigchos, which we passed on "Day 1" and finish riding the scenic "Quilotoa Loop" riding amazing roads of cobblestone with tremendous vistas in all directions. We'll go through the village of Isinlivi, which has an ancient indigenous pucará - a mound and fortress built in a strategic place.  Isilivi is known for its carpenters,

 woodworkers and they make exquisite wood carved doors and statues.

From here, we will climb again to go over the Guingopana Pass - here we'll get a view of snow capped volcanoes before we head down a twisty cobbled road and through the farming town of Toacaso.  Then we will pass several farms that produce roses and other cut flowers -one of Ecuador's major exports.

We will pass the famous market town of Saquisili (and stop there if it is a market day) and continue onto the Panamerican Highway, also known as the "Avenue of Volcanoes".  We will stop for a final meal with your riding companions at the famous Cafe de la Vaca before heading into Quito with a great adventure to tell your friends about...

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Prices:
On a Honda XL200:  $990
On a Suzuki DR200: $990
On a Suzuki DR650:  $1150
On a Kawasaki KLR650: $1190
Passenger Pillion Charge: NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS TOUR
Prices Include:
Unlimited Mileage Motorcyle Rental
Saddlebags
Experienced, multilingual tour guide
Single occupancy in luxury hostal and 3 and 4 star hotel accomodations
Meals
Tolls
Gasoline
Entry Fees
Prices do not include:
Airfare
Meals on rest days
Ecuador IVA tax
Hotel accomodations before and after the tour
Available Discounts:
Sign up one additional rider - get $100 off your price!
Sign up two riders get $300 off your price!

Dates:

Any departure date during the year - minimum only one rider - advanced reservations required.

Scheduled Departures:

UPCOMING DEPARTURES:  

  • 01 JULY 2017
  • 29 SEPTEMBER 2017
  • 06 JANUARY 2018

OR CONTACT US WITH A DATE THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO SCHEDULE IT IN.

Prices:

  • On a Yamaha XT250: $1555
  • On a Suzuki DR650:  $1675  (Lowered suspension available on request)
  • On a Kawasaki KLR650: $1675
  • On a Husqvarna Terra TR650: $1715
  • On a BMW G 650 GS: $1835 (lowered suspension available on request)
  • On a Yamaha Ténéré XT660: $1910
  • On a KTM 690 Enduro R: $1990
  • On a Husqvarna 701 Enduro: $1990
  • On a BMW F700 GS: $1910
  • On a Triumph Tiger 800 X/C: $2070
  • On a BMW F800GS: $2070
  • On a Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L: $2110
  • Passenger Pillion Charge:  $1095 
  • Note: to share a room, purchase one full tour + passenger and then rent a bike separately.  We can calculate this for you just let us know.

Prices Include:

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental (as described on our Rentals page)
  • Saddlebags
  • Tank bag
  • Experienced, multilingual, local resident guide
  • Single occupancy in luxury hostel and 3 and 4 star hotel accomodations
  • Tour of Quito on doubledecker bus (arrive a day early!)
  • Meals
  • Tolls
  • Gasoline
  • Entry Fees to parks and attractions, tours, etc.
  • Souvenir t-shirt
  • Guaranteed departure policy - no minimum partipants on our scheduled tours - we do not cancel on you!
  • Support Truck for groups of 5+ riders
  • Pre-tour 25% discount on high quality riding gear from  
  • Prices do not include:

  • Refundable security deposit to cover damage to rental motorcycle
  • Ecuador IVA tax  (for Ecuadorian residents ONLY)
  • Tourists to Ecuador pay NO TAX!
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
  • Alcholic beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for your guide

How to Book Your Adventure:

Have a look at our tour calendar to see what dates work for you.  Then, just contact us and let us know which tour and which bike you are interested in.  Or, just click the button below and fill out the form.  It is very easy and will just take a minute or less.

We'll get back to you usually within a day (sometimes we are out guiding tours and may take 2 days to respond at most).  If you don't see a date that fits your schedule, just ask and we'll see what we can do.

 

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