What if you are told that you could be in completely different worlds in a matter of hours? In sceneries that could take you from a lake inside of the crater of a Volcano, to be quite deep in the Amazon basin, to explore the country’s most beautiful waterfalls, and be able to interact with all nature around you. Pretty astonishing right? Be prepared for this 5-day tour that will take you through different landscapes and keep your adrenaline at an all-time high. Making you experience all the diversity and beauty that Ecuador has to offer.
This route will start at the capital Quito at 2500 m.a.m.s.l. (8300 f.a.s.l.) to 3914 m.a.m.s.l. (12800 f.a.s.l.) at the top of the Quilotoa crater, and then descending to 450 m.a.m.s.l. (1470 f.a.s.l.) in the Amazon Basin. Hence the name for this motorcycle adventure.
In the morning you will be in a temperate climate, being able to smell the scent of eucalyptus, and in a matter of minutes, you will be in the alpine tundra, home of the iconic wild bird of our country, the condor. Later in the afternoon, you will feel the warmth and the humidity of the coast-side of Ecuador. Given the change in climates, the biodiversity observed on this tour can’t be found anywhere else. Its fauna and flora changes are an unforgettable experience. There is no better way to do this than in a reliable motorcycle. Activities are scheduled in every stop for you to take pictures, try different types of food in each environment, see the life of residents, and be involved as much as possible with the country.
On this day, we’ll start with a briefing in our offices in Quito, located in the heart of the capital. You will fill the last paperwork needed to be filled, then you will be able to try on your gear, test it, and finally, we'll go to your motorcycle rental. After a quick guide, briefing on roads and safety you’ll begin your tour.
The departure will be at 09:00 sharp after all the formalities are completed. It will take you approximately one hour of riding to get to know the roads better and be familiar with the traffic. We’ll ride towards the highest point on the tour, Lake Quilotoa first.
The route passes through different communities like Sigchos, Chucchilan, and Quilotoa, with outstanding sights of the Andes valleys, passing by really close to the Illinizas sisters. Reaching the top of the crater of Quilotoa, we'll make a stop to have lunch in the restaurants of the crater. Here you will be able to try on our best typical food from the Andes side of the country. Now, off to Baños de Agua Santa. This place is one of the top destinations for tourists around the world. The magical city located next to the active volcano, Tungurahua offers wonderful attractions during the day from the canopy, trekking, the great waterfall ‘El Manto de la Novia’ meaning ‘The brides mantle”, and our favorite, ‘El Pailón del Diablo’. Be ready to submerge yourself into deep adventure, feel the experience of being next to an active volcano, and even watch it spit out lava at night.
If you are still with energy, a complimentary drink will be served to turn on the party mode. Another main reason why Baños is such a touristy place is its nightlife. Bars and clubs open at 08:00 PM and close at 03:00 AM. You will feel the Latin presence in any club of your choosing, Baños offers all styles for partying at very low prices. Native drinks are offered complimentary once you enter de club.
Ecuadorean rivers are proud to be presented as the best venue for river rafting and kayaks worldwide, as they cover almost the whole skill spectrum there is. We will do this activity under the professional supervision of certified locals. They will take us down to the river and give us all the information we need to perform the activity as safely as possible.
From that point, we’ll take us around two hours down in a class 3 river enjoying one of the Amazonian pride. A different set of abilities will be tested here, a different world from bike riding that you most definitely will enjoy.
If water sports are not your thing, we can arrange a different activity for you upon request.
On our return, lunch will be served based on local cuisine, followed by a waterfall tour just outside of the city where we’ll visit El Pailon del Diablo. This is a magnificent 90-meter high waterfall about half an hour away from Baños. It’s a natural beauty that shows us the extreme power of nature.
Following the Pailón, we will get on a cable car that will take us 500 meters across the river, where we’ll be on top of the cascade, the perfect opportunity to take pictures and keep your favorite moments.
After the mantle, we will ride our bikes for 30 minutes where we will see La Casa del Arbol, the famous “Swing at the end of the world”. This swing is without a doubt the best place to watch the mighty Tungurahua volcano.
To finish off our day, we’ll go on a Chiva (party bus) to take a tour of the main city, get to know the main church and travel to “The Cross” where you can enjoy a native hot cinnamon drink and try all types of typical food while you watch the city lights shine at nightfall.
Rise and shine! In the morning, breakfast will be served, and we will begin our 3-hour bike ride. From Andean vegetation to the Amazonian jungle, you’ll see different flora and fauna and get the full experience of riding in deep vegetation. We’ll be accommodated at our hotel with single-room occupancy, and get a good rest for the activities to be done in the afternoon.
After getting rested, lunch will be served with now the typical food from the Amazon side of Ecuador. Following our meal, we’ll depart on our way to the Amazon basin. Passing by Puyo, Rio Verde, and the Rio Negro, towns that are famous for the rivers that cross them.
As soon as we approach Tena, we’ll detour at Misahualli Port. This little town located at the end of the road and is famous for its white sands near the river where Cappuccino monkeys commonly interact with people. They are known for taking a thing or two out of your hands, be careful with that you are holding!
A cobblestone road, river crossing, and few wooden bridges will take us where our lodge is at. The cuisine served at lunch will give you a good taste of what means to live in the jungle. Here you will taste a mouthwatering dish called, Maito de Pescado. This is a fish, mostly tilapia, tied with a palm tree leaf, sprinkled with all types of condiments and spices for the best taste possible. Your rooms will be based on single occupancy (unless requested differently) and will be ready to welcome you.
In the afternoon, we program different walks for both inside the forest for exploration or lounging riverbanks and lakes, on longer, shorter, harder, or easier trails, depending on your interest and request. We will be led and accompanied by guides that enlighten us with their knowledge of life in the forest. These guides are mostly locals that have experienced "the everyday life" in the jungle and will teach us survival skills, cooking in the forest, hunting, and weapon making throughout the excursion.
Later on, we'll have time for relaxing in our hammocks on the private sandy beach and return to the ecolodge floating in buoys or kayak on the Pusuno river.
You’ll awake to birds singing right next to your lodge and the soothing sound of the river joining them, the most peaceful way to begin your day. Head over to the main lodge for a hearty breakfast of homemade bread, tropical fruits, yogurt, eggs, pancakes, cheese, homemade granola, juice, coffee, and tea complemented by a rainforest view. Our native naturalist guides can provide information about the plants, rivers, communities, and animals that inhabit the surrounding forest. This day is open for enjoying one or more of the lodge’s optional tours Nature lovers may want to start before breakfast with a daybreak birdwatching tour to select from:
Rayucocha Waterfall: combines a demanding hike on an old and very hidden trail in the upper part of the primary forest, with a beautiful canyon, jungle, and natural pools. This activity takes the greater part of the day, but it will be surely worth it. In the afternoon we will visit a Kichwa family and practice the use of the Cerbatana or blowgun.
Río Blanco Waterfall: the jungle is for everyone, so if you want to visit a waterfall in the middle of the jungle, but with a more quiet and interesting walk, this is the place you want to be in. During the afternoon we will visit a Kichwa family and practice the use of the Cerbatana and their traditions.
Ombuni waterfall: the first in an attractive series of waterfalls, a magical place with a rock platform through which the water has cut a natural channel and shaped along its sides a rock formation full of crustacean fossils. Located near to Misahualli, where you can enjoy the monkey's beach, an important source of the Amazon. Finally, we’ll visit the Quichua Community, producing an attractive natural and cultural landscape.
Visit the Indigenous Community where a group of Kichwa women will speak of their customs, cuisine, and everyday life. They have created the center in order to showcase their culture, and it is a unique opportunity to learn about Amazonian lifestyles along the Napo River. You will also have the opportunity to buy crafts, local products, and souvenirs. Believe it or not, you can buy the old weapons that these communities used to like the blowgun, and take it into your country.
In the evening we will return to the lodge. Time for relaxing and rest after a full day of adventures.
After another great breakfast - you will learn how to harvest cacao and then learn how to create some of the world’s highest quality chocolate in the world of our Kichwa Kitchen. (it is just too good!). The world of chocolate, from the bean to the bar, the experience of chocolate tasting from the very beginning! Following your successful chocolate recipe, it is time to pack and check out the Lodge.
We’ll depart towards Quito on our motorcycles taking a different route, here is when the cold comes back again. We’ll go through Tena, then Baeza where we’ll see the Sumaco volcano on our right-hand side, and finally we’ll be on our way to Papallacta and Quito.
Now we arrive in Papallacta, a small town located at an altitude of 3,300 m.a.s.l. will be the highest point of our ride, where we will be at a tundra ecosystem and you will be able to notice the change in climates the fastest. It is a pretty famous town because of its touristy natural hot springs, a top attraction of the area, which sits at the base of the Antisana Volcano.
We should be back in the capital by late afternoon, where either a cold beer or hot coffee will be the excuse to tell the stories of our trip.