Join us in one of the most exhilarating bike rides in the world! The exhilaration comes not only from the off-road biking through ancient lava fields, but because you are biking next to the world’s highest active volcano. This is a volcano that has had minor activity in this last few months after 150 years of inactivity, but poses no risk as of now, as it has decreased its volcanic activity, allowing us to operate normally! Nevertheless, biking in the foothills of an active volcano always promises a thrill.
At 07:00 AM we leave Quito and drive until we reach the National Park. We visit the Limpiopungo valley and enjoy all that it has to offer, including wild horses, indigenous birds and plants and the beautiful Limpiopungo Lake. After visiting the valley we begin the exhilarating bike ride, that will run for about 30km. We will have lunch along the way and conclude the trip in the outskirts of the National Park.
Included: Lunch, 21-speed mountain bikes, all transportation, safety gear (helmet, hand gloves) and experienced bilingual guides.
Not included: Entrance fees (e.g. Cotopaxi, currently free of charge),other drinks, personal expenses and tips)
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Antisana (5705 m) is the fourth highest and one of the most beautiful snow capped volcanoes in Ecuador. It has huge extensions of paramo which has endemic plants and endangered animals, such as the Condor which is the national emblem of Ecuador.
The tour starts early with a departure from Quito at 7am, where we head east for 45 minutes by jeep, until we reach the town of Pintag. Once in the Protected area, we continue for approximately one hour along the plains of this outstanding volcano, up to an altitude of 4.000 meters towards La Mica Lake to enjoy beautiful surroundings and sights.
In La Mica we start biking back to Pintag for about 30 kilometers. The first 7 kilometers is mainly plain and the last 2 kilometers before reaching the highest point of the pass will be uphill.
When we reach the pass there will be an awesome downhill through different landscapes until we reach the Entrance, where the bike tour ends.
We’ll serve a hearty box lunch en route.
There will be some up hills but it will be mainly down hills or plain stretches and always accompanied by a 4-wheel-drive.
The bike ride is approximately 30 km.
Jeep ride back to Quito.
This is an excellent way to see a cross section of Ecuador’s ecosystems in just one day. As we travel, we are dwarfed by the striking Andes Mountains that surround us. If we are lucky and have a clear day, we can see all the snow capped volcanoes of the Eastern Cordillera (Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Antisana, Chimborazo). You will pedal across the paramo – the Ecuadorian equivalent of the arctic tundra – and down through stunning cloud forest, traversing steep Andean slopes as you descend down into the Amazon basin.
The terrain for this leg of the journey is a combination of dirt and paved roads of scenic rolling hills.
Drive to the high pass “Paso de la Virgen” at 4200 meters (13300 ft) . From here the descent begins by mountain bike all the way to Cuyuja, the Gateway to the Amazonian rainforest.
On the way, stop for a nutritious lunch. We will then drive you back to 3300 meters. Stop to have a swim in the best hot springs of Ecuador.
Papallacta has crystal clear water at ten different temperatures. If the day is clear, views of Antisana Volcano will dazzle you!
After a relaxing dip, we drive to the Ave Maria Pass (4200m). From here we bike back towards Quito along the Chiche river basin. This is a great ride. The last 18 kilometers will be on the famous railroad line going through three tunnels, one of which is 322 meters long. The spectacular ride takes us speeding through wide stretches of paramo, cloud forest and the canyon of the river with the Andean sun illuminating the way. Some days can be chilled by occasional fog, so don’t forget your mittens and fleece. In Tumbaco we pile the bikes on the jeep’s roof and head back to Quito.
Return by jeep to Quito
Altitudes: 4200-2500 m. (13900-8300 ft.)
This is an ideal 1-day trip, which starts on the slopes of Guagua Pichincha active volcano and descends towards the coast into the Cloud Forest of Mindo.
When the trip begins, passing a northern neighborhood of Quito, you’ll never dream what lies ahead!
We’ll drive for a while on the quaint old road from Quito towards the Pacific Ocean coast. Drive until the highest point of the trip (3200 meters of altitude) where we switch to human power. You’ll descend on bike 10 kilometers on a paved yet quiet road, surrounded by Andino flora until we reach the village of Nono, located at 2900 meters of altitude above sea level. From this point the ride continues on a quaint dirt road until Tandayapa (located at 1800 m) for 26 kilometers.
The exuberant cloud forest is full of bromeliads, palm trees and orchids. At your right there is a mountain stream which soothing sound will accompany you. And very often small waterfalls will bedazzle you Every once and then, you simply have to stop to take pictures of a flower, that you have never seen before!
We then drive towards Bellavista Cloud forest reserve where the picnic lunch will be served! Keep one eye on the road and the other peeled on the sky: there’s a good chance to see parrots, hummingbirds, toucans and caciques.
After a tasty lunch, we will continue the 20 Kilometers bike ride towards Mindo, world famous for its diversity.
Visit the Butterfly farm, relax or have a juice in town.
At the end of the afternoon we head then towards Quito. Or you can stay in Mindo on your own.
Skill Rating: Levels 2-3 Fitness Rating: Levels 1-2 Even the jeep ride to where we start this biking journey is spectacular. Donning our gear near the top of still-active Guagua Pichincha Volcano we descend a steep, with some technical parts of the mountain side. On a clear day we can see the sprawling metropolis of Quito, back-dropped by numerous snow-covered volcanoes. Look towards each of the other three compass points and you will be awed by great expanses of páramo, and, if lucky, a soaring condor. We trek to the edge of the crater to peer over the rim and into the heart of this active volcano after which we mount our bikes and race downward to Lloa on an abandoned dirt road. At Lloa we head west into the cloud forest where we enjoy a picnic boxed lunch. By late afternoon we return to Quito by jeep.Altitudes: 4800-2000 m (16000-6700ft)
WHAT TO BRING
Sport shoes and /or Hiking boots Wind and rainproof jacket Baseball cap Warm clothing in layers, which should be comfortable and for different types of weather, (it might get very cold up there). Sun cream high factor Sunglasses.
Skill Rating: Levels 1-2 Fitness Rating: Levels 1-2 Single tracks, dirt and paved roads will lead you on your bike through striking landscape in the area of volcanos Imbabura and Cotacachi. As we approach Otavalo, you will notice an area rich with culture. Indigenous people in local dress come from all over the country to sell their handmade wares. Once we have had time to fill our bags with goods we drive to Cuicocha Lake. Lunch. After a refortifying lunch we bike on dirt roads through quaint Indian villages back to Otavalo. Return on jeep to Quito.
WHAT TO BRING
$$$ for entrance fees Sport shoes or Hiking boots Wind and rainproof jacket Baseball cap Clothing –should be comfortable and for different types of weather, (it might get cold up there).