Get ready for an exciting adventure, in a country of many natural wonders and countless treasures. Ecuador is a country with impressive contrasts where high summits merge towards the deep blue Pacific Ocean.
Ecuador has many climate zones, from tropical along coast to cooler and dryer inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands. Ecuador is unusual in the sense that one can choose any climate one wishes by where in the country one travels to, which makes it, even more, fun onboard a motorcycle. Lying on the equator means there is no summer or winter; however, there are typically wetter and drier seasons. The 'wetter' season is usually between December - June, while the drier season runs from July - November.
On this tour, you will be part of a beautiful merging between the Pacific Coast, the Andes Region, and the Amazonas Basin, and you can enjoy this merging. Following the water routes, you will transfer from the highlands from the Andes to the whole Coast line, baptized as Spondylus due to the colorful shell that leaves all along the pacific Ecuadorean Coast. Enjoy this tour fully thanks to our motorcycles and your riding experience. Using the best hotels and eco-lodges to make this one wonderful life experience.
We strongly recommend you to arrive at least 2 days earlier so you have some spare time to get used to the altitude if need be and also to visit around San Francisco de Quito. It has won 4 Tourism prizes so far and is a city filled with history. From way back when the colonials arrived and founded the city. Bringing their European culture and mixing it with the local natives.
Quito has continued to slowly grow and has evolved from a tranquil provincial capital to a modern metropolis.
Perhaps because it spent so many centuries as a quiet provincial town, Quito's old colonial center is particularly well-preserved. It was one of UNESCO'S first World Heritage sites in 1978. Colonial churches stand side-by-side with elegant Republican homes on airy squares. Ecuador has invested a great deal recently to become a worldwide touristic attraction and the results are impressive. Restaurants and hotels are flourishing in the historic city center. Much worth so to be visited.
We’ll have a briefing in our offices in Quito, where the last paperwork will be filled, gear will be given and tested and the bike of your choice will be delivered. Then, after a quick brief on roads, safety, and quick guide, we’ll depart on our way. The departure will be by 9 after all the formalities.
On our first day, as soon as we leave Quito, we’ll start riding towards Guayaquil, el Astillero. This is going to be a long day riding but with rewards in every city, we’ll visit. As we ride south in the middle of the volcano avenue, we’ll have the sight of these big colossuses. Starting with Cotopaxi as soon as we leave Quito and the Illinizas sisters (Illiniza North and South).
Riding down towards Guayaquil, the changes in biodiversity will be felt in every kilometer. From our last stop at a city in the highlands, Guaranda where we’ll have lunch, towards the beginning of our Spondylus route. On our way to Guaranda, it’ll be hard to miss the furthest point on earth out in space. Chimborazo with its 6310 mt (20702 ft) above sea level, is also the highest point on earth if measured from the center of the planet. Said this, we’ll go from 4000 meters (13000 ft) above sea level to sea level in less than 4 hours of riding which also means that we’ll leave the Andes region. The changes in contour, colors, people, and fauna, in general, can be appreciated. We’ll make several stops for you to tell this story with memories in your cameras. This will give us enough time to pass over the Guayas river accompanied by a beautiful sunset bathing Guayaquil city, the biggest city in Ecuador. Also, the primary port in the country has a major financial movement, and most of the wealth of the whole country seats in the city.
We’ll wake up with a good breakfast buffet style, recharging our batteries for the fabulous day that awaits us. We’ll depart from Guayaquil towards the north, just beside the Pacific Coast. Our first stop will be a few hours later where we’ll visit Salinas. Well known to be the furthest out point of South America in the Pacific Ocean. La “Chocolatera" (the chocolate maker) is the point where strong currents merge raising the sand from the bottom and giving the water that chocolate color.
This, merged with the water hitting its cliff and being hit by the sunlight, bathes the area with rainbows and color filling snapshots. The city is also known to be a major gastronomical point as it has a big influence from Peru as well, mixing flavors in perfect balance.
In “La Chocolatera” there is a small colony of seals that are believed they migrate from the north of Peru. Continuing with today’s riding, we’ll have lunch later on close to the shore. The variety of seafood here makes us feel that no matter what we get for food, we’ll be stuffed and grateful. Most of the serving sizes in the area are quite generous, which will be enough for the hunger that characterizes us as motorcycle riders.
Our next stop will be Montañita, known as the party town. Located in Santa Elena, The city promotes the ideas of tolerance, acceptance, and maybe even a bit of rebellion, the perfect environment for a motorcycle rider. Peace signs adorn cars and t-shirts, as does the image of the famed Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. It could be said that Montanita, Ecuador, is a partying town with a surfing problem. Its streets and shores are dotted with bars, clubs, and cabanas serving up the local brews. A centrally-located cliff serves as a great barrier to separate the buzz of downtown nightlife from the more tranquil side of the village.
Our hotel is allocated in the middle of the town which is small enough to go within walking distance to everywhere. Surf lessons are included with your motorcycle tour in the afternoon. The waves on this part are gentle enough to learn and depending on where you decide to surf, you can opt for a more challenging activity. Once we had a good story to tell, we can head to our single occupancy room to refresh ourselves, followed by dinner and then a party.
Seafood as the main dish changes along the route, so it worth treating yourself to this gastronomic experience. Keep this in mind so you won’t miss any of it.
After a fun night, we can chill at breakfast while we tell the stories of what happened a few hours ago. Our motorcycle rentals will be ready to take off to our next adventure, leading us to Puerto Lopez, where an Eco-Lodge that has been decorated by hand for the last 18 years and with exquisite taste will be waiting for us. As we light up a bit after our check-in, we can get ourselves ready to visit Playa de Los Frailes. Far away from the main roads, and thus not so visited, is a beautiful spot to chill and relax for the day. This beach, by being so close to the equator, enjoys the perfect weather all year long. Its also inside the Machalilla national park which makes it a protected area. All these factors make the beach a perfect spot for relaxation.
Surrounded by cliffs and white sands, its crystal waters are not known by many tourists. After this lovely afternoon, we can ride back to Puerto Lopez where our dinner will be waiting for us, and few drinks at the shacks on the beach. Tomorrow will be a resting day from the bikes.
We’ll have an amazon day ahead of us. After a filling breakfast, we’ll head towards Puerto Lopez main town to take a boat towards Isla de la Plata (Silver Island). Some say the island is called that way due to the number of treasures that we buried by pirates in the 1700’s. Others, that the island has that particular color due to the silverish tone the rock has due to the bird’s natural needs. Being 50 kilometers away from the coast, one thing is for sure, the island shares most of the fauna and flora that you could find in the Galapagos Islands. Its 1200 hectares are housing a huge variety of birds, including the blue boobies, hundreds of species of reptiles and mammals. The tour will also include lunch, a walk around different paths in the islands with a local guide, and snorkeling activities.
After 1 hour trip by boat, we’ll encounter an island surrounded by sea turtles and all sorts of corals and fish schools. They will be approaching the boat for us to see them. We’ll disembark on the island and next will be to have a walk towards the highest point, where several paths divert to south or west. Regardless of the way, many blue feet boobies are nesting near the walking paths. They are not afraid to show their colors nor their offspring to the visitors and is quite a colorful remark of the beauty in Ecuador.
While we walk, a local guide will explain the reason why it's called the silver island, its history, and the ecological conservation of this place and its fauna. After lunch, we’ll go on the boat towards the was a side of the island to be able to do snorkeling and delight ourselves with the immense variety of fish and corals around the island.
Continuing with our ride going north in the Spondylus, our next stop will be Montecristi. A town was known for two things: the crib of Eloy Alfaro, one of the most important revolution figures in our history, and also for the paja toquilla hats, also known internationally as the "Panama Hats”. These last ones can be found in a wide range of prices, from $25 to $15000 dollars. We want you to take one of these as a souvenir of the Spondylus tour.
This small city is also recognized nationally and internationally by its handicrafts, made of mimbre, piquigua, plastic, and wood. These pieces can reach prices over a few thousand dollars but are part of their community project to get funds for the town itself.
As we approach Manta, the second main maritime port in Ecuador, the view of the Pacific Coast becomes every time more impressive. The city’s most famous beach La playa del Murcielago (the bat’s beach) is a block away from our 4-star hotel. Here, you will be able to enjoy the afternoon, either by chilling at the swimming pool or having a walk around town.
As soon as we wake up, it’ll be our delight to have a buffet breakfast to fill our souls with energy again. One curious fact about every city, town, and village in the Spondylus route, is that seafood is not prepared the same way. Hence, as we go up north you will feel food differently. With our motorcycle, we’ll arrive today at the last city in our Spondylus circuit, Mompiche, located in the province of Esmeraldas. But first, we’ll pass by Pedernales. A city devastated by the 7.8 earthquakes that took place here in 2016. We’ll have lunch here and you will be able to get to know firsthand what happened here and how is possible to help this village.
Mompiche is one of the main beaches in Ecuador, where you get to find anything you might be looking for. Some go there to party, and some others to rest. we’ll visit the south side of Mompiche, characterized by black sand beaches. The infrastructure in this place is minimal, and for that reason, we’ll have to walk to reach this beach. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop from being a beautiful walk.
We’ll say goodbye today to the Ecuadorian coast, not before taking a picture with the motorcycle that has been your best company throughout this epic ride. Make sure the ocean is in the back and you on your motorcycle as a farewell to the Ecuadorian coast.
Already on track, we’ll start climbing the Andes region again and you will feel that heat won’t be on our side anymore, and the humidity will change to a tropical forest type. And to have a proper closing, we would like to show you a bit more of the geographical richness of the country by visiting Mindo. This comfy town will be our last stop on the tour. Its also considered the gateway between the Coast and the Andes. Having the effect of these two climates to enrich its fauna, is considered as the best spot for bird watching and hummingbirds gathering in South America. There are over 650 species of birds. The Mindo Valley is situated inside of the Nambillo protected area. Due to the number of rivers that cross it, Mindo is also the spot for activities, being the most popular the zip lines over rivers.
After we check-in, our first-class Eco-Lodge will have ready your single bed accommodation, and from there we’ll hit the town to visit one of the hand-crafted quality chocolate stores, where they will explain to us the process to get this sweet delight. The second option this afternoon is to visit the butterfly farm, a place with more than 200 species of butterflies open to the public.
Once we’re done, we head back to our hotel where a delightful dinner will be prepared by a French chef to call the day.
We finalize our tour entering in Quito from the North West, not before be able to see the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world). A mystical place where the magnetic field plays naughty and some physical experiments can be done.
A welcome package will be waiting for us at the offices, where experiences will be shared over a cold drink.