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Cloudforest, Coast & Craters Self-Guided Tour

7 days

Dual-Sport or Paved

60% paved / 40% unpaved (standard route)
Optional 70-100% paved routes available

Availabiity

All Year Long 
No Blackout Dates
Fully Customizable

Accommodations

Unique non-touristy
Hotels and Lodges

Tour Overview

This dual sport tour is a combination of our most popular tours and will take you on some of the best roads(paved and unpaved) and to the best sights in Ecuador.   You will pass through several climatic zones, including the cloudforests, coastal savannah, beach, desert, and the cloud forests and rainforests on the eastern and western slopes.  You will ride through some of the most bio-diverse parts of the world, seeing rural parts of Ecuador that few visitors get to see.  Experience warm sandy beaches and volcanic spring baths.  Plus a variety of foods and cuisines along the way!

At a glance

Distance:  1,237 kilometers / 769 miles  75% paved road / 25% unpaved road (standard) 100% paved option available and 60% paved / 40% unpaved option available

Lowest Elevation: 0 meters | 0 feet

Highest Elevation: 4445 meters | 14,583 feet

Elevation Gain / Loss:  14,350 meters | 47,080 feet

Time Needed:  7 days / 6 nights (add a day before and after the tour for a total of 9 days)

Climates:  Cloudforest, Tropical Rainforest, Tropical Grasslands, Desert, Highlands Pampa, Dry Forest

Recommended Gear:  Raingear, camera, waterproof saddlebags, suntan lotion, insect repellent, sunglasses, summer and winter weight gloves.

Optional Routes for Each Day : Make the ride between 60 -100% paved - its up to you!

Fully Customizable: Add extra rest days, extend the ride - just ask!

As featured in

Backroads Magazine Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile

Highlights

Accommodations on this Tour

Accommodations on this tour

Our accommodations are selected for their exceptional quality, location, and unique character. Below are the accommodations featured on this tour.

Video - How We Select Accommodations

About Our Self-Guided Tours

Itinerary

Day 1 - Mindo

Elevation Profile - Day 1

Image

Dirt Bike Deluxe Motorcycle Adventure Tour in Ecuador Cloudforest Mindo

Day 1
Quito - Intiñan - Mindo
Distance Covered: 64 miles / 103 km

Intinan museum on equator on motorcycle adventure tour in ecuadorYou'll begin this 7-day /6-night “Cloudforest Coast & Craters” tour from our shop in Quito, Ecuador. 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 Altiplano Plateau (the second highest in the world) in the Andes at 9,350 feet.  We suggest that you arrive a day or two early to experience our magnificent capital city while getting acclimated to high elevation before beginning the tour.cloudforest on western slopes of andes in Ecuador dirt deluxe motorcycle adventure tour

During the first morning of the tour, you’ll be outfitted with the motorcycle of your choice and given a thorough orientation answering all questions concerning local customs, rules of the road, and what to do if something unexpected occurs. We will show you how to operate your pre-programmed GPS unit with daily routes and be given a "Road Book" with details and points of interest for each day. You will also get an "emergency kit" containing a pre-paid cell phone, first aid kit, tools, and other items to ensure your ride goes smoothly.  

 The first day’s ride purposefully includes a sampling of the different types of roads that you will ride.   You will have the opportunity to safely become accustomed to asphalt, dry gravel, cobblestone, and dirt farm roads. 

guagrapampa waterfall nono biological reserve mindo dirt bike adventure tourInti-ñan means “path of the Sun” in the Quechua language and the Inti-ñan Museum is situated directly on the Equator. The indigenous peoples have revered this magical site for thousands of years, and you will learn how ancient people came to understand that this was the center of the world - centuries before the advent of modern geography or GPS devices. During your first stop directly on the “red line,” you will experiment with gravity, and witness how water drains either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on which side of the Equator you are standing. You will also have the opportunity to see how the indigenous populations of Ecuador in various regions live by visiting models of their homes. These exhibits will enable you to understand better the cultures and ways of life that you will experience as you pass through various regions of Ecuador.

Departing the Inti-ñan Museum, you are now officially outside of the Quito metropolitan region, and have begun riding in the Northern Hemisphere. Your second stop is to view the beautiful Pululahua Crater Geo-Botanical Reserve, a crater formed by a volcanic eruption 2,500 years ago. From there, head onto the western slopes of the Andes that are full of dense, green forests and steep mountains. The roads have been recently paved and riding these sharp curves is sure to be exhilarating fun.
colibri_en_la_ecoruta_del_quinde

You can have lunch in the garden of a fantastic restaurant in the heart of the cloudforest.   You'll watch in amazement as hundreds of colorful birds surround us as you enjoy the local cuisine.

septimo_paraiso_cloudforest_reserveChanging the pace a little bit, you'll take a left turn off the main highway and venture onto an unpaved, unmarked road that leads even deeper into the cloudforest. Here, at the world-famous Bellavista Cloudforest Bird Lodge, you can take a break on their fantastic patio and watch hundreds of hummingbirds flitting around. These are all of a completely different species than the birds seen at lunch.  There is no other place on earth where you can see so many species of birds.  Note that the unpaved section is optional - you can continue along the newly paved highway all the way to Mindo if you are not comfortable riding on unpaved roads. We have programmed this option into the GPS and all of the following days we will provide you with a 100% paved option that you may select if you wish.
septimo_paraiso_heated_garden_pool

Continue through the lush cloudforest along clear streams with cascading waterfalls to the funky, eclectic town of Mindo. Mindo is situated in a warm microclimate cloudforest that’s known for its natural beauty and great restaurants. You can visit the Yumbos Chocolate factory for a tour that entertains while educating about the farming and processing of organic cocoa and how it is turned into chocolate and formed into bars. You will want to sample this chocolate, as Ecuador produces some of the best chocolate in the world.

After your visit, to Yumbo Chocolate, check into the carefully-selected accommodations for the night deep in the cloudforest setting at the charmingly luxurious Septimo Paraiso Resort, winner of the 2017 "Best Cloudforest Lodge" by Luxury Travel Guide.

Day 2 - Canoa

Day 3 - Quevedo

Day 4- Salinas de Guaranda

Day 5 - Baños de Agua Santa

Day 6- Chugchilan

Day 7 - Quito

Click for Timeline Overview

Travel day to Quito

Arrival in Quito

Travel day to Quito.  Fly to Quito Airport - code: UIO

Accommodations in Quito: Not included.  We will provide you with a list of recommended hotels in Quito near our shop in the heart of the fashionable La Carolina neighborhood so that you can relax and explore the nearby galleries, museums, and cafés.

Travel day to Quito

1 or 2 days prior to the tour start date

Pre-Tour Registration and Tour of Qutio

We recommend coming to our office a day or two prior to your tour start date to finalize paperwork so that you will have an easier departure on Day 1. We are open every day 10 am - 6 pm.  We recommend seeing the city at your own pace with our Self-Guided Scooter Tour of Quito.

Day 1

Quito - Mindo

Distance: 103 km | 64 miles
Included Meals: Dinner
Activities: Sitio Intiñan Equator Museum, Birdwatching at Bellavista, Chocolate Tour
Accommodations: Septimo Paraiso Cloudforest Lodge

Day 1

Day 2

Mindo - Canoa

Distance: 295 km |183 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Hike and swim in Laguna Azul, Wire Bridge Crossing, Shrimp farm
Accommodations: Canoa Beach Hotel

Day 3

Canoa -Quevedo

Distance:  183 km |114 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Activities:  Swimming, Fruit Farms, High Dives
Accommodations: Hotel Olimpico

Day 3

Day 4

Quevedo - Salinas

Distance: 138 km | 86 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Chocolate Factory, Cheese Maker, Wool Mill, Soccer Ball Maker, Ham Curing, Moonshine Distillery, Village and School Visits
Accommodations: El Refugio

Day 5

Salinas - Baños de Agua Santa

Distance:  157 km | 98 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Chimborazo Wildlifre Refuge, Indigenous village, Riobamba Market, Hot Springs
Accommodations: Posada del Arte

Day 5

Day 6

Baños - Chugchilan

Distance: 183 km | 114 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Activities: Yanayacu Mills, Pujilli Market, Tribal Mask Maker, Tigua Art Gallery, Quilotoa Crater Lake
Accommodations: Mama Hilda's

Day 7

Chugchilan - Quito

Distance:  165 km | 103 miles
Included Meals: Breakfast 
Activities: Wood Furniture Maker, Capulin Cherry Winery, Avenue ofthe Volcanoes, Café de la Vaca

Day 7

Return to Quito

Return home

Many international flights leave around midnight from Quito.  If you are catching a flight the same evening as the last day of the tour, you may enjoy VIP access to our "After-Ride Lounge" - complete with a hot shower, jacuzzi, and open bar.

Photo Gallery

What to Expect

This self-guided adventure will start in our offices located in the Carolina neighborhood of Quito.  Prior to your departure, we will give you a detailed and thoughtful presentation on Ecuadorian rules of the road, customs and courtesies. We'll show you how to operate your pre-programmed GPS navigation unit and given a packet that includes your prepaid hotel vouchers, daily map sheets with points of interest, descriptions of local highlights, and "hidden gems" that aren't common knowledge.  You can use this information to tailor your days - including as much or as little as you like. The route will be reviewed with you in detail to provide you with additional useful information about timing, suggestions for lunch stops and where to get gas along the way.  

On the morning of your departure, you will be provided the offroad-capable motorcycle (or 4x4) of your choice which is fitted with waterproof luggage system, a first aid kit, a tankbag if you want one, spare innertubes (or tire repair kit) and a set of tools. In addition, you will have a prepaid cell phone to call us for support at any time during your trip.  We will carefully review the bike using our multi-point checklist to be sure that everything is in perfect working order before your departure and that you know what to do in case of an emergency or breakdown.

The route you will follow over the next seven days is based on several years' of experience and riding these routes many times on our guided version of the tour.  The route is not highly technical and is a dual sport tour, meaning there is a mix of paved backroads and dirt natural, unimproved dirt roads without gravel.  There are several stops available which are marked on the GPS unit and the daily route sheets.  You should be aware that there are two long riding days and that you will be traveling in areas where access to medical care may be several hours away.

Each day, the GPS will provide different route options to you.  You can also choose to ride this tour with 100% paved routes.  Each day, there are route choices you select to provide more or less dirt riding.  These options will be reviewed with you in detail before your departure, and you are free to choose the routes that interest you.

You will have many opportunities for amazing photos and stops in remote villages where visitors are very rare. Locals are friendly and the areas visited are very safe with very low crime rates. 

During your ride, Ecuador Freedom staff will monitor your daily progress using an onboard GPS satellite tracking system and can assist you by telephone if you need to change your route, need roadside assistance or help in any way.

Upon returning, you will have access to our honor bar, jacuzzi, hot shower and staff that can assist you with your next destination.

Weather and Temperatures

Weather and temperature ranges in Ecuador are generally the same year round. In the highlands, you can expect the chance of passing showers but rarely a full day of rain.  Chances for a full day of rain are more likely on the western slopes of the Andes in March, April and early May.  This ride will be in elevations of sea level (where temperatures can be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit) to 14,500 (where temperatures can be in the 30's Fahrenheit). Dressing in layers is recommended.  Please see this article for more information about the weather in Ecuador. 

Accommodations
Throughout the tour, you will stay in carefully selected, ideally-located, non-touristy, comfortable accommodations. See this page for details, photos, and links to the accommodations provided.  Ecuador Freedom has the right to substitute accommodations of equal quality due to availability and will notify you of these changes.

Packing List and Preparation
Ecuador Freedom will provide you with detailed information to prepare for the ride, including a packing list.  You should know how to make general motorcycle repairs and maintenance and to be able to change an innertube (click for a video tutorial).  Before you travel, we recommend that you familiarize yourself in advance with these recommended guidebooks and maps.

Dates and Pricing


Cloudforest Coast & Craters Self-Guided Tour
Standard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
Single Occupancy
1 Pillion (or passenger) Sharing Room with Rider
Double Occupancy
Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Double Occupancy
Yamaha XT250
                      
$1,735n/a$1,360
BMW G310GS
$1,875$595$1,500
BMW G310GS (LOWERED)
$1,875$595$1,500
SWM Gran Milano 440
$1,700$595$1,265
Suzuki DR650
$2,025n/a$1,640
Suzuki DR650 (LOWERED)
$2,025n/a$1,640
SWM RS 650R
$2,025n/a$1,640
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT
$2,350$595$1,850
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT (LOW)
$2,350$595$1,850
Yamaha Ténéré XT660
$2,515$595$1,920
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
$2,530n/a$1,990
BMW F700 GS
$2,515$595$1,920
BMW F750 GS
$2,585$595$1,920
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
$2,600$595$2,060
BMW F800GS
$2,600$595$2,060
BMW F850GS
$2,670$595$2,130
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
$2,600$595$2,060
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
$2,670$595$2,130
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
$2,670$595$2,130
Jeep Wrangler
$2,810$595$2,270
Volkswagen Amarok 
$2,950$595$2,445
Ford Ranger Diesel
 
$2,950$595$2,445

All prices are in United States Dollars, the official currency of the Republic of Ecuador.

Tour Includes

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental 
  • GPS Navigation System with programmed routes for each day
  • Back-office tracking and monitoring
  • Road Book with daily maps and guide to points of interest
  • Detailed pre-ride briefing
  • Preparation lists, information and videos
  • Prepaid cell phone with 24 hour support
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Single occupancy hotel rooms
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
  • 25% discount on high quality riding gear from 
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • Souvenir decal
  • Luggage storage and locker usage
  • VIP access to the Freedom Riders' Lounge™ with hot shower, jacuzzi, and honor bar.

Not included

  • 100% Refundable security deposit to cover any damage to the rental motorcycle
  • Ecuador IVA tax (12%) - ONLY if you are Ecuadorian
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
Available all year with advanced reservations.

Booking and cancellation policy

To secure your booking, you need to pay 50% at the time of booking your rental or tour. Please contact us, and we will send you a payment request from our secure payments provider. Using our payments provider, you may pay with any major credit card.

Deposits are refundable minus 10% of the total rental or tour price only if canceled at least 90 days prior to departure or pick-up date. Cancellations are very costly to us as they impede our planning and ability to sell rentals and tours to other customers. Therefore, cancellations for any reason made less than 90 days before the pickup or departure date are not refundable nor may they be applied to a future rental or tour.

To protect yourself from this loss of your deposit, it is up to you to secure travel insurance that covers cancellations due to health problems, family tragedies or problems with flight departures, etc.  

To get a free quote for travel insurance that will reimburse you in the event you must cancel your trip (plus provide medical and repatriation coverage in case of an accident), go towww.allianztravelinsurance.com and enter agency code F203715 which will indicate to them that you are traveling with us.  

We highly recommend Ripcord Travel Insurance, a partner of ours.  They provide very extensive travel insurance plus outstanding repatriation and assistance in an emergency.  To purchase, go to this page.

The balance (second 50%) of your rental or tour is due when you pick up the bike in our office in Quito.   The second 50% can be paid in cash or with a credit card.  We accept Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

 

Available Extensions

Add additional rest days to your trip to relax and explore the area on your own.  Simple, flat fees include extra lodging, breakfast and vehicle rental fees.

Septimo Paraiso, Mindo

Septimo Paraiso Cloudforest Reserve Lodge

Add an extra rest day in Mindo. Flat Fee: $300

Canoa Beach Hotel

Canoa Beach Hotel

Add an extra rest day at the beach at the Canoa Beach Hotel Flat Fee: $250

Posada del Arte, Baños

Posade del Arte, Baños

Add an extra rest day to enjoy all that Baños has to offerr!

Flat fee: $250

Galapagos Cruise

Galapagos Cruise

We work with the the longest-running cruise operator in the Galapagos and offer our tour customers special reduced pricing on cruises in the Galapagos of 4, 5 and 8 day cruises.

Please let us know if you would like more info


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