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Inca Royal Roads Guided Tour

10 Days

From $3,700
See all prices and dates below

97% Paved Road

 3% Dirt or Cobblestone Roads

Group Size

1 - 10 motorcycles
guaranteed departure

Accommodations

Premium and luxury
Fine dining

Tour Overview

The Inca reigned over South America before the arrival of the Spanish and were some of the best road builders in history. When their empire expanded from Peru into Ecuador in the early 1500s, they built impressive cities, fortresses, burial grounds, and temples connected by an extensive system of paved roads and suspension bridges known as the “Qhapaq Nan” or "Royal Roads." These roads were of such high quality that vast stretches of them are still intact to this day and were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. The Qhapaq Nan road system was a unique achievement of engineering skills as it passed through varied geographical terrains, including the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Andes, rainforests, fertile valleys, and stark deserts.

On this exhilarating tour you'll follow in the footsteps of the Inca and explore many of Ecuador's national parks and wildlife areas. You'll experience Ecuador's mega-diversity of terrains, climates, and cultures as we ride through the Amazon Jungle and various altitudes of the Andes mountains. You will have the opportunity to visit rich cultural areas such as the famous markets in Otavalo, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuenca and the traditional villages of Salinas de Guaranda and Alausi.

Above all, this tour includes some of the best motorcycle roads in South America. You'll tackle the twisties around active volcanoes, ride the altiplanos at 14,500 feet, carve through deep river canyons and go deep into the Amazon jungle.  

At a glance

  • Time: 10 Days / 9 nights (with one rest day)
  • Total Distance: approximately 1865 km / 1160 miles
  • Average distance per day : 207 km / 129 miles of twisty Andean roads
  • Altitude: from 1000 feet to 14,500 feet  (300 meters to 4.500 meters)
  • Paved Route: 97% asphalt road / 3% dirt or cobblestone roads
  • Quality Riding: The best roads in Ecuador- only the most scenic and safest routes are taken.
  • Premium Lodging: Unique luxury hacienda and boutique hotel accomodations for most nights
  • Single occupancy: Your own private hotel room)
  • Guides: Experienced, LOCAL RESIDENT multilingual tour guide (you will be shown an insider's view of the country).
  • Pricing: All 100% inclusive price including all meals, gasoline and entrance fees to parks and attractions.
  • Chase vehicle: For groups of 5+ riders.
  • Guaranteed Departure:  The tour runs no matter what - even if there is only one rider signed up!

As featured in

Backroads Magazine Logo

Route Map

Elevation Profile

Tour Highlights

ITINERARY

Click for Timeline Overview

Travel day to Quito

Arrival in Quto

Travel day to Quito

Fly to Quito's airport (code UIO) and transfer to one of the recommended hotels near our shop in tn the heart of the fashionable La Carolina neighborhood, and explore the nearby galleries, shopping, museums, and cafés.

Travel day to Quito

1 or 2 days prior to the tour start date

Pre-Tour Registration and Tour of Qutio

Arrive a day or two prior to departure to enjoy Quito and we'll provide you with tickets on the Hop-on / Hop - Off bus to enjoy a stress-free day in the capital.  For those who want a little more fun, we can provide you with a selfd-guided tour of Quito on one of our 150cc motorscooters.

Day 1

Quito - Otavalo

Distance: 94 miles / 151 km
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Inti-ñan Equator Museum, Mojanda Lake, Otavalo Market, Evening Music performance
Accommodations: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Day 1

Day 2

Otavalo - Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Distance:  306 km | 190 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Plaza de los Pochos, Paramo de Papallacta, Puerto Misahualli, Saddlemaker, Embroiderers
Accommodations: Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Day 3

Cotococha Amazon Lodge - Baños

Distance: 141 km / 88 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & DInner
Activities: Canoe Expedition, Tubing in the Napo River, Waterfall Swim, Ruta de las Cascadas, Paillon Del Diablo, Zip line, hot springs
Accommodations: Posada Del Arte Hotel

Day 3

Day 4

Baños - Alausi

Distance: 179 km / 111 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activities: Morning in Baños, Riobamba Market, Guamote Market, Palmira Desert
Accommodations: Hosteria La Quinta

Day 5

Alausi - Cuenca

Distance: 189 km / 117 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Train Ride, Nariz del Diablo, Condor Museum, Ingapirca Solar Temple Ruins, Walking Tour of Cuenca
Accommodations: Casa de Aguila Hotel

Day 5

Day 6

Rest Day in Cuenca

Distance: Motorcycle available to explore on your own
Meals: Breakfast
Activities: Many activities are available such as museums, hot springs, horseback riding, city tours, archeological sites, shopping and nightlife
Accommodations: Hotel Victoria

Day 7

Cuenca - Macas

Distance: 247 km / 154 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Guitar Makers, Silversmith, Macas
Accommodations: Mansion de la Amazonia Resort

Day 7

Day 8

Macas - Salinas de Guaranda

Distance: 256 km | 159 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities: Sangay National Park, Lagunas Atillo, Wool Mill, Soccer Ball Maker, Cheese Maker, Chocolate Maker
Accommodations: El Refugio

Day 9

Salinas - Chugchilan

Distance:  238 km | 148 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Activities:  Kunuyacu Hot Springs, Ambato, Pujilli Market, Tribal Mask Maker, Tigua Art Gallery, Quilota Crater Lake
Accommodations: Mama Hilda

Day 9

Day 10

Chugchilan - Quito

Distance:  160 km | 100 miles
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Activities: Furniture Maker, Capulin Cherry Winery

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 "Freedom Riders' Lounge" - complete with a hot shower, jacuzzi, and open bar.

Return to Quito

Day 1 - Otavalo

Elevation Profile - Day 1

cobbled road to mojanda lake 1600

 

Day 1
Quito- Inti'ñan - San José de Minas - Laguna de Mojanda - Otavalo
Distance Covered: 94 miles / 151 km 

Intinan museum on equator on motorcycle adventure tour in ecuadorYou’ll begin your 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 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in all of Latin America. We suggest you arrive a day or two early to experience this amazing town and to get used to the altitude before your ride.  We will provide you with tickets to ride the double-decker hop-on / hop-off bus to see the sights. Quito was the second capital of the Inca Empire after Cusco, Peru.Near Perucho Ecuador Motorcycle Adventure Tour

On the morning of the tour departure, you’ll be outfitted with the 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.

The first day's ride is intended to give you a sampling of the different types of roads we will be riding. We will have a chance to ride on asphalt and just a few miles of ancient Incan cobblestone roads. The uneven roads are not to challenge you or to push you beyond your limits - it's so we may determine your riding level and so that you become accustomed to your motorcycle quickly.  

canyon carving on route out of quito motorcycleOur first stop will be in the middle of the world. The Inti-ñan museum is situated right on the Equator. Inti-ñan means "path of the sun" in Quechua, a native language of Ecuador. We will take a tour of this magical site, a place that the indigenous peoples have revered for thousands of years. We will learn how the ancient people came to understand that this was the center of the world, centuries before "modern" geography or GPS devices. We will play with gravity here and perform some experiments to learn about the Coriolis effect caused by the Earth's rotation. We will also get to know how the indigenous populations of Ecuador live and visit some typical homes. This tour will give excellent background information on Ecuador so that you will better understand the cultures as we pass through various regions of Ecuador over the next ten days.Laguna Mojanda

After the visit to the Inti-ñan museum, we will be riding in the Northern Hemisphere. We will first pass through a desert canyon that will bring us into a deep gorge. We will then ride out of the canyon into a lush green patchwork of fields of vegetables, roses, and dairy cattle. We'll stop in the charming little town of San José de Minas with its beautiful stone church and well-manicured central park.  This abrupt change will be your first taste of the remarkable diversity of terrains and climates that you will experience on this ride.

otavalo market spices ecuador motorcycle adventure tourFrom San José de Minas we will climb in altitude on back roads giving us grand vistas of the serene farmlands and forests below. We will experience great aromas as we pass through eucalyptus and pine forests.

We will stop to add a layer of clothing as we ride up to a height of over 12,000 feet (3714 meters) to view the majestic Mojanda Lake surrounded by the Fuya-Fuya volcano which guards the lake. This will be the first time we will be in the high-altitude paramo climate.

From there, we will ride down through the colonial city of Otavalo, famous for its expansive indigenous market. hacienda pinsaqui

We will finish today's ride enjoying the local music and delicious local fare at the 300-year-old Hacienda Pinsaqui - one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador and famous as the site of the Pinsaqui Treaty which brought lasting peace with neighboring Colombia.

Day 2 - Puerto Misahualli
Day 3 - Baños
Day 4 - Alausi
Day 5 - Cuenca
Day 6 - Rest Day in Cuenca
Day 7 - Macas
Day 8 - Salinas de Guaranda
Day 9 - Chugchilan
Day 10 - Quito

Photo Gallery

What to Expect

This guided motorcycle adventure tour will start in our offices located in the fashionable Carolina neighborhood of Quito.  Prior to our departure, we will give you a detailed and thoughtful presentation on Ecuadorian rules of the road, customs and group riding protocol. We'll review the route in detail with you.

On the morning of our departure, we will provide you with the adventure-ready motorcycle of your choice which is fitted with a waterproof luggage system including a tankbag if you want one.  If there are more than five riders on the tour, a support truck will be available to carry your luggage. If there are fewer than five riders on the trip, we may not provide a support truck, and you will need to take your gear in the saddlebags or luggage system supplied with your bike.

We developed this tour after years of research, exploration, and testing and your Guide knows the route thoroughly, having ridden it several times.  The Guide will make many stops throughout the day to introduce you to the locals, explain the local history and show you "hidden gems" that are not common knowledge.  All meals are included during riding days as well as all expenses such as gas, tolls, etc.  There is no need to pay for anything apart from personal spending (snacks, souvenirs, tips to hotel personnel, etc.)  on riding days.

The route is based on several years' of experience and of riding these routes.  The route consists of paved backroads that avoid traffic as much as possible.  

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

Upon returning, you will have access to our honor bar, jacuzzi, hot shower and staff that can assist you with getting to 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 between 1200 feet in the Amazon basin  (where temperatures can be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) to 14,500 feet (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.  Before you travel, we recommend that you familiarize yourself in advance with these recommended guidebooks and maps.

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

Dates and Pricing


Inca Royal Roads Guided Tour
MotorcycleStandard Pricing
1 Room 1 Rider
Single Occupancy
1 Pilllion Sharing Room with Rider
Double Occupancy
Discounted Price for 2nd Bike
Double Occupancy
Yamaha XT250
                      
$ 3,800n/a$ 3,400
BMW G310GS
$3,990$1,800$3,600
BMW G310GS (LOWERED)
$3,990$1,800$3,600
SWM Gran Milano 440
$ 3,700$1,800$ 3.350
Suzuki DR650
$ 4.200n/a$ 3,600
Suzuki DR650 (LOWERED)
$ 4.200n/a$ 3,600
SWM RS 650R
$ 4.200$1,800$ 3,600
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT
$ 4,600$1,800$ 4.100
Suzuki V-Strom DL650XT (LOW)
$ 4,600$1,800$ 4.100
Husqvarna 701 Enduro
$ 4,800n/a$ 4.300
BMW F700 GS
$ 4,700$1,800$ 4.200
BMW F750 GS
$ 4,800$1,800$ 4.300
Triumph Tiger 800XCx
$4,900$1,800$ 4,400
BMW F800GS
$4,900$1,800$ 4,400
BMW F850GS
$4,900$1,800$ 4,400
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
$4,990$1,800$ 5.000
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000
$4,990$1,800$ 5.100
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 DCT
$4,990$1,800$ 5.100

Tour Includes

  • Unlimited Mileage Motorcycle Rental 
  • Knowledgeable, Experienced, Local Resident Guide
  • Saddlebags or hard luggage system
  • Tank bag
  • Guaranteed departure policy (we go even if only one partipant signs up - we do not cancel tours on you!)
  • Support Vehicle (5+ riders)
  • Tour of Quito on doubledecker bus or self-guided scooter tour (arrive a day early or stay a day after )
  • Single occupancy in hacienda, boutique hotel accomodations (best botel in town) - see accommodations on this page.
  • All meals on riding days
  • Tolls
  • All Gasoline & Oil
  • Hike with native guide in Amazon jungle, entrance fees to Intinan Solar Museum, all entries to parks and museums listed
  • All other activities and tours listed in the itinerary
  • Pre-tour 25% discount on high quality riding gear from Klim
  • Souvenir T-Shirt
  • Souvenir Decal
  • VIP access to the Freedom After-Ride Lounge with hot shower, jacuzzi, and honor bar.


You do NOT have to pull your wallet out on any of our guided tours!

Not included

  • Alchoholic beverages
  • Refundable security deposit to cover any damage to the rental motorcycle
  • Ecuador IVA (sales) tax ONLY if you are Ecuadorian
  • NO TAX FOR TOURISTS TO ECUADOR!
  • Hotel accomodations before and after the tour in Quito
  • Lunch and dinner on rest day

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 (currently we use BlueSnap and PayPal)..Using our payments providers, you may pay with any major credit card or with your checking account.

Deposits are refundable minus 10% of the total rental or tour price only if cancelled 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 anyreason 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 case you must cancel your trip (plus provide medical and repatriation coverage in case of an accident), just go towww.allianztravelinsurance.com and enter agency code F203715 which will indicate to them that you are travelling 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, just 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.


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