4 Day Self-Guided Excursion
- Time Needed: 4 days / 3 nights
- Total Distance: 575.4 miles / 926 kilometers
- Total Offroad Distance: 380 miles / 612 Kilometers
- Accomodations: 3-5 star hotel and high quality hostel accomodations (single occupancy)
- Climactic Zones: Tropical Rainforest / Tropical Grasslands / Highlands Pampa / Cloudforest
- Provinces: Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tschallas, Cotopaxi, Bolivar, Los Rios
- Availability: All year except 15 February - 15 May due to possible landslides and road closures.
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. 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.
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)
Distance Covered: 134.5 miles (128 miles offroad) / 216 km (206 km offroad)
You’ll begin your four day “Offroad Ecuador Soef-Guided GPS 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. Quito was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970's for having the best preserved and least altered historic centre in all of Latin America.
On the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with the offroad motorcycle of your choice that is fitted with a GPS that has been pre-programmed with your daily routes, as well as a paper map with your route outline. You will be instructed on how to load the daily routes and how to find your way (should something happen to the GPS). You will also receive a thoughtful presentation that will answer all your questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, what to do in an emergency, etc.
You will ride out of Quito, avoiding any suburban sprawl and immediately begin riding on a dirt road that will take you first to a chilly highland pampa mountain pass and then through fertile farmlands, beginning our curvy descent into the lowlands of Santo Domingo Province. You will be passing by several spectacular waterfalls as you ride through small villages such as Chiriboga and other settlements in the cloudforest on the western slopes of Ecuador.
Once past the town of Alluriquin, you will be in warm, humid air - quite a change in climate from where you started just a little while ago in Quito. You can stop here for a swim in natural basins formed by waterfalls and get back on the bike refreshed and regenerated by the mountain waters.
Then your ride will continue through dense jungle and into the friendly town of San Francisco de las Pampas to have a great lunch of simple, but delicious, local cuisine and to chat with the townspeople.
Then, continue on (sometimes) challenging dirt roads, climbing in altitude and passing some picturesque farmlands before arriving in the town of Sigchos, a town settled in the 1500's by the colonial Spanish.
In Sigchos you will now officially be on the famous "Quilotoa Loop" and will continue past some astonishing scenery and farmlands before arriving at the beautful family-farm-turned luxury bed & breakfast, Hosteria San José de Sigchos. Here you find a private cozy room and a gourmet Ecuadorian dinner that will replenish you after a full day of riding. You will surely fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow...
Chugchilán-Quilotoa Crater Lake-Angamarca-El Corazon-Facundo Vela-Salinas
Distance Covered: 112.5 miles (92 miles offroad) / 181 km (148 km offroad)
After a hearty breakfast at the San José de Sigchos, head out on the road, passing through the charming mountain town of Chugchilan and after about another blissful hour's ride on stunning dirt roads, you will arrive at the awe-inspiring Quilotoa Crater Lake, which was formed after a meteorite collision long ago and still has a strange, unusual blue-green color due to the minerals left behind by the extraterrestrial rock.
Then ride to Zumbahua on a recently paved road that will give great views of a fertile valley. Zumbahua is a farming town and often has a farmers' market in the mornings so this would be a great place to stop and get some fresh fruits to snack on as you head towards the more remote regions of Ecuador.
After Zumbahua, you will once again be on unpaved dirt and gravel roads and through some of the most picturesque regions of Ecuador. It will rise through cloud forest, then into highlands pampa, where wild alpacas and llamas roam free.
Then, you'll pass through the quaint, charming little town of Angamarca and roll down into the town of El Corazon - where they brew and bottle their ownunique 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.
From El Corazon, you 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 may feel as though you have ridden into a time warp.
Taking the dirt road out of Facundo Vela, you will continue to ride and gain altitude on a series of switchback cobblestone trails. The air through this section of cloudforest is scented with wild orchids and tropical plants and will get cooler and cooler as you continue the climb.
You'll cross a high mountain pass at around 11,000 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 and you can have a dinner of fondue and raclette at a local restaurant. At the Hotel El Refugio you can warm yourself at the big fireplace and get a good night sleep in a room overlooking the village.
Distance Covered: 175.5 Miles (91 offroad miles) / 282 km (148 km offroad)
In the morning, head out of the "Swiss" village of Salinas and ride along curvy ribbons of road cutting through vibrant, green fields and into the valley city of Guaranda, also known as "Rome of the Andes." Guaranda is a market town first settled in 1571,with a friendly and welcoming Quechua population.
From there, follow a road lined with fabulous waterfalls and then, along groves of mandarines, oranges, cacao and other exotic crops until we reach the town of Caluma. From there, you will head through miles of lush vegetation and banana patches and cacao fields, arriving in the town of Vinces. Vinces is known as the "Little Paris" because it was inhabited by wealthy French cacao plantation owners who built great big wooden estates in the town. The grand promenades along the river are characteristic of French civic architecture.
From Vinces, your route continues north on a beautiful unpaved road through more cacao and banana plantations, along the calming shores of the Palenque River. You will probably see locals riding alongside in long, carved wooden boats.
Now, have some fun crossing small rivers without bridges and seeing some of the beautiful water fishing birds that populate this province of Los Rios.
You 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." Be sure to enjoy a bountiful Chinese dinner before settling into the luxurious Hotel Olimpico for the night.
Distance Covered: 153 miles (82 miles offroad) / 246 Km (132 km offroad)
From Quevedo you will climb back into the tropical rainforest region; first passing grand palm, banana and cacao plantations and then into coffee country. From the town of Velez, you will continue gaining in altitude and into another seldom visited part of Ecuador including the towns of Guasaganda and Pucayacu, with dairy and cattle farms. You are sure to have incredible views all along the way of this fantastic region.
Then, you will be crossing back into the town of Sigchos, which you passed through on "Day 1" and now will finish riding the scenic "Quilotoa Loop" - riding amazing roads of cobblestone with tremendous vistas in all directions.
You will pass through the famous market town of Saquisili (and maybe stop there if it is a market day) and then continue onto the Panamerican Highway, also known as the "Avenue of Volcanoes". Then you will be guided back to our shop to return the bike and equipment and share your stories!
Any departure date during the year - minimum only one rider - advanced reservations required.
- On a Honda XL200: $690
- On a Suzuki DR200: $690
- On a Suzuki DR650: $855
- On a Kawasaki KLR650: $895
- On a Husqvarna TE630: $895
- On a Triumph Tiger 800XC: $1175
- Passenger Pillion Charge: $300
- Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental (as described on our Rentals page)
- Garmin GPS with pre-programmed daily routes
- Single occupancy in luxury hostel and 3 and 4 star hotel accomodations
- Use of SPOT GPS Satellite Tracker with SOS feature and satellite tracking
- Waterproof Saddlebags
- Meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Prices do not include
- Ecuador IVA tax
- Hotel accomodations before and after the tour
- Meals (except those listed above)