ECUADOR – PERU (THE GREAT ESCAPE) GUIDED TOUR

South America is and has been one of the most valued destinations to travel to and have a great adventure, this is due to its landscapes, cultures, and above all how cheap it is to visit it.

Within this adventurous destination, there are 2 jewels impossible not to visit, we are talking about Ecuador and Peru. We started our trip with the motorcycles of Ecuador Bike Rental by Sleipner in the center of the planet, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, surrounded by mountains, active volcanoes, culture, and Andean landscapes that will captivate us from day one. This time the rental motorcycles that were chosen were KTM 790, SUZUKI DR650, and TRIUMPH TIGER 900 RALLY.

ECUADOR – PERU (THE GREAT ESCAPE) GUIDED TOUR

(South America is and has been one of the most valued destinations to travel)

Although Ecuador is a relatively small country, it has an immense variety of climates, landscapes, and cultures, as you can see on the first day of our adventure. In just 30 minutes we will arrive on our motorcycles at one of the highest points on asphalt, the Papallacta paramo at 4063 meters, which already means a drastic change in vegetation and climate, even getting snow depending on the time of year. From this point we have a constant descent until we reach the gateway to the Amazon, we quickly reach 400 meters and we can see the change of vegetation again, until now 3 different climates and landscapes in just 5 hours of travel. We are greeted by cheerful and playful capuchin monkeys, a clear sign of the jungle and its wild fauna. Ancient towns and their culture welcome us to get to know their lifestyle that has changed very little over the years, we enjoy the typical food of the place made before our eyes, Chicha, and Maito is traditional. We continue our trip to return little by little to the Andes but not before enjoying our second day in the jungle and cloud forest of the Baños area, waterfalls, rivers, rafting, and many other activities await us in this city.   We take tourist transportation to these places, the Chiva, which is nothing more than a small truck with wooden chairs and no windows to enjoy the scenery. Baños is located at 1800 meters, so its climate is mild during the day, perfect for water activities, and a little colder at night, which allows us to get to know the city on foot and enjoy a delicious dinner. The next day seems short in a distance of 332 km, but we must leave early to take advantage of the day since when crossing the Andes this will take us all day. A road with many curves awaits us today, the first section takes us to the first Catholic church in Ecuador, built where the first city of Quito was founded, the Balbanera continues to maintain its decoration and history since 1534. Andean landscapes, crops of corn, wheat, quinoa, etc, accompany us all day, at one point we find ourselves bordering mountains above the clouds, with views of landscapes between mountains, valleys, and canyons, what more could you ask for in a motorcycle adventure? We know the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, a temple dedicated to the sun god and the moon goddess, were very important for the Inca culture. Finally, we arrive in Cuenca, located at 2500 meters but in a valley, it welcomes us with a pleasant climate that remains that way throughout the year, old buildings, contrasted with its exposed brick architecture is a great visual attraction, its warm people and its delicious food are just an extra to this experience. The guinea pig is one of its characteristic dishes, impossible not to try it. Photo: Best Trip Ecuador Rest day to get to know this beautiful city, its beautifully decorated churches with great history, the history of the city and landscapes that we can discover from a tour bus that takes us through its narrow streets full of life and colors. A new day and new landscapes await us, so we get our motorcycles ready and hit the road, farms and more plantations say goodbye to Cuenca, only to give way to semi-desert mountains that take us to the coast, where cocoa and banana surrounding the road. This is how we reach the border with Peru, hereafter carrying out the COVID protocol and presenting the vaccination card, we proceed to leave Ecuador and enter Peru, once this procedure is done, we must temporarily import the motorcycles to Peru. All this procedure takes approximately 1 hour per motorcycle and rider, so we must go with time and patience. Ecuador Bike Rental’s guide, Pancho, is in charge of all the legal procedures for the rental motorcycles, it is a long process but he knows the procedure so it is fluid. Welcome to the land of eternal summer. One of the characteristics of Peru is its climate on the coast, lots of sun, heat, and the Pan-American highway awaits us. We arrive at Punta Sal, where we enjoy a day at the beach, warm waters and relaxation are the strong points of this day, we visit Mancora where we can stock up on sunscreen, purchase a SIM card for our phones and be able to be connected in addition to having a first view of the landscapes that await us the following days.

(South America is and has been one of the most valued destinations to travel)

The first difference that we can see is the roads of Peru since when crossing deserts their roads are straight and little traveled, this allows us to go faster and reach our destinations at a better time. We leave for Chiclayo, on the way we can learn a little about Peruvian culture, and its gastronomy and before arriving at the hotel we visit the first cultural destination, the mummy of the Lord of Sipan. A former ruler of the Mochica culture, a culture that predates the Incas. Back at the hotel, we enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool to cool off from the heat we received while crossing the desert on our motorcycles. We leave for our next destination, Trujillo, today is a short day but full of culture. We take the Pan-American highway again and continue south crossing deserts that are suddenly cut by rice crops, we take a detour and head towards a small town that is surrounded by a green valley created only from these crops. After leaving our things in the hotel we headed towards the next point, the Huaca del Sol y la Luna. Once again we find the majesty of the Moche culture and one of its largest buildings, built-in adobe, these 2 pyramids are being excavated and discovering their secrets, on the site the guide explains everything known about the culture, its rituals, their way of life and their importance, this together with the remains of this great well-preserved structure, an incredible place to visit. A great day awaits us with a total change in climate, vegetation, and culture. We headed towards the Peruvian Andes, but not before momentarily saying goodbye to the desert, the sea, and the heat. We take the detour to the well-known Pato Canyon, a spectacular road to take advantage of our adventure motorcycles, we can easily see the mountains to which we are heading, we return to the curvy roads that we like so much. The Pato Canyon welcomes us with its imposing stone walls that accompany us almost all the way, making us feel small as we ride along its paths along rivers, ravines, and tunnels built in the mountains. The Pato canyon is a hydroelectric dam that provides electronic light to a large part of the area, it is advisable to be prepared for all types of weather, we start at 40 degrees and will end at approximately 16 degrees, along the way we will have dirt roads and the possible stone falls, an incredible adventure with amazing landscapes.

(South America is and has been one of the most valued destinations to travel)

Arriving at the hotel at 2300 meters high we can marvel at the first view of the Huascaran snow-capped mountain, a good campfire, and very friendly people with whom to share our adventure, some travelers just like us with whom we will share a unique night next to an incredible landscape. We get ready to reach 4200 meters, this day we forget about the asphalt to take second-order roads and enjoy the motorcycles among landscapes taken from stories, among the clouds, and finally reach the Paron Lagoon, its emerald waters and surrounded by snowy peaks will leave us breathless, it may be that the height also has something to do with it since we will not have as much oxygen available, in any case, a very special place where we can enjoy a good coca tea, kayak, walks or boat rides by the lagoon. Upon returning to the hotel and after a good lunch, we headed to visit another archaeological site in the area, the Tumsukaiko archaeological site, and then rest with a local craft beer. On this day we realize why the rental motorcycles have not had any problems, Pancho, during the night does maintenance on them, checking brakes, oil, chains, and others, so we can enjoy them without having any inconvenience during the trip. Today we are heading towards the Huascaran National Park, and in the highest tunnel in the world at 4736 meters, this destination will definitely fill us with happiness, traveling along a road in very good condition between snowy mountains, streams, valleys and many curves is the ideal place for our motorcycle trip. From the highest point, we can contemplate the great Huascaran Valley. We follow the road to a small town full of culture, people very skilled with leather and clay, full of color and joy, we have lunch and continue our journey to our last destination in the Peruvian highlands, Huaraz, always with the snow-capped mountains accompanying us. We return to the coast, which means that we continue with very fun roads full of curves that will accompany us for several hours until we reach the Sechin archaeological site, 82 years after it was discovered, this marked great replanting of what was known until now, being able to be considered this the parent culture of the Andean civilization of Peru. We end the day with a great dip in the pool and then a great dinner with traditional food from Peru, seafood, and the famous Tacu Tacu. We speed up the day and head north towards a small town on the beach, so we can enjoy an afternoon at the beach. We leave for Piura, the last city to visit in Peru, where we will enjoy a day of tranquility, a swimming pool, and delicious food. Today we have a day of relaxation, beach, and last chance to buy souvenirs from Peru, we will cross through Catacaos, a place known for its silver jewelry, hats, and leather products. Today we say goodbye to Peru, we make our way back to Ecuador, and in a short time we will have a change of vegetation, we return to green mountains, a temperate climate, and a different culture. After customs procedures where once again Pancho takes care of the processing of the Ecuador Bike Rental motorcycles, we arrive at the first town in Ecuador, have a homemade lunch, and continue along winding roads to our next destination, Loja. We will be overwhelmed by the green vegetation that surrounds us, mountainous landscapes, and very friendly people who greet us with a smile. Loja is known for its culture, museums, artists, and spectacular landscapes, we will not have time to get to know it but we must continue the trip, our next destination we already know, the beautiful city of Cuenca, on the way we pass again through mountains reaching the almost 4000 meters, very variable climate and large valleys. Last visit to Cuenca to finish falling in love with this city and its people, an ideal place for retired people who move because of its climate, prices, and culture. We headed towards the Ecuadorian coast, where we quickly noticed the change from that of Peru, green mountains, winding roads, and a temperate climate welcome us, this will be our home for the next few days, perfect roads to travel on a motorcycle, smells of coffee, bananas and rice surround us all the time, our first destination is Puerto López, wherefrom the hotel we can see the great variety of flora and fauna of the place, a small appetizer for what is to come. The next day we leave the motorcycles and change transport, we take a boat to Isla de la Plata, known for being a small Galapagos, where after a short walk we will find the jewel of this island, the blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, fragrant and even the giant albatross. A snack and time to swim, a spectacular place to snorkel, colorful fish, sea turtles, and if we are lucky manta rays and even whales are the visitors of the place. After a day full of adventure, the beach awaits us, its warm waters and white sand is the perfect touch to end the day. We continue our way along the coast to the next paradise, Canoa beach, another place chosen by retirees for its tranquility, perfect weather, and sunsets that will leave us breathless. Everything comes to an end but not this trip, we say goodbye to the coast and head towards the cloud forest of Mindo, a place full of life, butterflies, birds, and more that awaits us. If you are a bird lover, this is your place, Mindo is proud to have more than 550 birds, including hummingbirds, toucans, Gallo de la Peña, and the Quetzal, they are some examples of what awaits us, in addition to various amphibians and small mammals, or simply enjoy the waterfalls, adventure sports, and the place, are the attractions of Mindo.   Finally, on the last day of this great adventure, we headed to Quito, but not before visiting the famous museum of the Middle of the World, a unique place in the world where the crossing of the equator offers us several fascinating things, balancing an egg on the head of a nail, the rotation of water according to the hemisphere and more. We arrive at the offices of Ecuador Bike Rental where they welcome us with a nice cold beer and we go to a dinner organized by them in one of the best restaurants in the city. This is how we finished this amazing trip on our motorcycles through 2 of the jewels of South America, Ecuador, and Peru, destinations that are very similar but at the same time completely different.