The Northwestern part of Pichincha’s province in Ecuador, is well known by nature lovers due to its richness in terms of biodiversity. It is located within a larger area, which stretches onto the eastern part of Colombia, as well as a small corner of Northern Peru and also reaches the region of Darien in Panama. It is one of the 35 areas found worldwide that are considered to be neo-tropical and bio-geographical. This particular region is called Chocó, and the total extension of this area is of about 187.000 square kilometers. When speaking of the climate in the area, we can mention that there is a level of humidity, due to the influence and presence of winds that come from the Pacific Ocean charged with water.
These crash into the western Andes and all the water is released into the western face of the slopes creating a new ecosystem that we call the Cloudforest, considered as one of the hottest spots for biodiversity in the planet. It also provides the ideal growing conditions for coffee and chocolate. Ecuador Bike Rental by Sleipner has the perfect route for you to be delighted with the taste of these two sweets from the gods. We'll be visiting few coffee farms and hand made chocolate production spots on the way.
One of the highlights in the area is the Nambillo waterfall. A natural spot that is reached within an hour and a half of moderately riding level. It possesses such a wide variety of flora and fauna which makes the walk through the trail all the more pleasant. There is a natural oasis with a water fall of about 15 meters drop (50 feet) where visitors can freshen up before the journey back, or use it to engage in other activities such as rafting and canyoning.
On day two, the journey begins towards Otavalo, known as the “Intercultural capital of Ecuador”. Here it is possible to enjoy one of the most spectacular landscapes and travel off-road while admiring the countryside cruising on your motorcycle rentals. Imbabura, the province on which Otavalo is located, possesses a huge cultural as well as ethnic diversity, along with handcrafts skillfully created by the locals and a flourishing commercial sector. In this context we can mention that here we can find the largest handcraft market in South America. The province is also the center of important local history. We can also mention the aspect of cultural diversity, thanks to the presence of indigenous musical influences and traditions upheld by the locals and their friendly attitude towards visitors.
Before the day starts we’ll go through a final preparation stage in which the last paperwork will be filled, gear will be given and tested. The motorcycle rental of your choice will also be delivered at this point. Then, after a quick briefing on roads and routes, safety advise and quick guidance, we’ll be on your way. The departure time will be at 9:00 after all the paperwork is settled. After a ride of about 45 minutes we will arrive to the small town of Nono, which has quite an interesting history behind it, agricultural land filled with crops that will offer you colorful landscapes.
After leaving Nono we will pass through the eco-route called “Paseo del Kinde” (Path of the hummingbird), declared as the first bird-watching site in South American. We will have the chance to find ourrselves riding while being surrounded by over 400 different species of birds including 20 different species of hummingbirds. We'll be able to enjoy fauna from the tropical cloud forest. After this you will go back to the main road that takes you to Mindo (E28 Highway). Around noon, is be expected to check-in at the hotel to later have lunch at our Eco-Lodge where biodiversity is combined with the tranquility and comfort and which perfectly combines traditional décor with the surroundings.
Prior to departing towards your chocolate adventure, we will ride on our motorcycle rentals to a canopy that crosses over the Mindo River, its length is a bit over 1 km long.
Ecuadorian cocoa beans are known worldwide, many call this “the food of the gods” and Mindo is also well known for the production of fine chocolate made from prime Ecuadorian cocoa beans, which come from the surrounding area. Cocoa beans are known for having more than 300 health improving properties, since they contain vitamins and minerals as well as healthy doses of potassium and copper, which are mainly useful for cardiovascular health and as energy booster.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to attend what we call “The Chocolate Tour”, where you will witness the different stages for the preparation of Mindo’s fine chocolate, which you probably eat back in your countries and now you get the chance to see the process firsthand from the makers themselves, a unique experience included in out guided tour.
This is an experience that you will be able to share with your family and friends back home! The whole activity lasts for about two hours, filled with pure tasty fun!We will be back at the hotel by 19:00, just in time to take a nice, relaxing shower in the absolute comfort of top accommodations. Then directed to the beautiful restaurant for the last meal of the day.
After having breakfast and check that your batteries are fully loaded, we will start riding to the town of Nanegalito, for about 45 minutes, and start our biggest adventure of the day in terms of the riding difficulty, 3 hours on a dirt road, Motorcycle rentals and motorcycle adventure tours in Ecuador will take you to unbelievable landscapes back in the Andean region, we will pass to the Imbabura province, well known internationally for the lakes and the textile indigenous market that we will find in the area.
By the time we will start felling hungry, we will be getting to the region of one of the most beautiful crater- lakes, that you will find in Ecuador. The Cuicocha Lake, gorgeous geological formation in the region, where we will have the possibility of having lunch inside of the national park with a magnificent view of this natural landscape. After eating we will take a boat ride inside of this still active volcano, where we will get to learn a lot about local traditions and the formation of this crater- lake, finally, before leaving the area of the park we will pass by the interpretation center, where we will get to know a little better more interesting details about Ecological Reserve.
A pretty early breakfast will be served so we can have the chance to ride the “Train of Liberty” in an unbelievable trip that crosses the most breathtaking landscapes of the Imbabura province, as part of our motorcycle guided tour. Our guide will tell you all about the 85 years of history of Ecuador’s railroad. You will have the chance to experience and travel through one the most famous and historical paths built in the north of the country: the Route of Liberty. The reason for the name is that this region of the country was one of the areas where slaves who were brought from Africa were found. They came to Ecuador back in the 17th century and were brought by the Jesuits. The Ecuadorian government named it thus to honor all of them.
During this journey make sure you take pictures of every single frame, in the path of the train there are tunnels as well as bridges that seem to be suspended in the air, one of which is 80 meters long and crosses the Ambi River. The Train of Liberty offers its visitors a different way of visiting wonders of this spectacular touristic site, immersing its passengers both in a part of the country’s history and also in the culture of indigenous and African-descendant groups that made of Ecuador their homeland.
During the trip on the train, a local guide will take you through the history, the music, the crafts and the culture hidden behind all the incredible and mysterious landscapes of the Andes.
Afterwards we will have lunch in a restaurant that serves variety of excellent traditional food of the region. Among the options we find the most famous: chicha which is a beverage made from maize, Hornado and Fritada, both which are typical dishes with pork meat and Cuy or roasted guinea pig, which is one the country’s delicacies. This is one of the way in which tourists support local groups who make a living from tourism. This day’s journey ends with the train taking us back to the main station. Dinner will be served at the hotel while enjoying the fantastic view of the San Pablo Lake with your chocolate or specialty coffee cup.
After breakfast on the last day we will ride out on our steel horses and take back road that will take us to Peguche. A region with a very important percentage of indigenous people, traditional to its core, with rich cultural rituals, and the magnificent culture of these people, are the highlights of the region. In order to learn better about all these aspects, we will take you to the famous Peguche waterfall, a ceremonial waterfall where shamans practice cleansing rituals. If you don’t know what a shaman is, don’t worry, come with us and learn all about it!
The great advantage of a country like Ecuador and its location right on the equatorial line, is that we can start our activities early in the morning, with the sun already shinning bright and warm.
Looking forward to an adrenaline rush? There is no better place in the world for motorcycling than Ecuador. We will have lots of adrenaline flowing, when will make our way to the “Yahuarcocha endurance track”.
It was first built as a tourist road but with the long-term idea for it to become a racing circuit (you might think of Mount Panorama). It was built around a volcanic lake, around the 1960s; the name of the track comes from a local indigenous language called Kichwa, spoken by the largest indigenous nationality of Ecuador, and it means “blood lake”. According to our indigenous ancestry, this place existed back in the days when the Incas, the largest South American civilization around the 15th century, and a local indigenous resistance, fought each other for the right to these lands. Legend says the bodies of the ones dying were thrown into the lake, turning the water red lake for a while, thus it was named Yahuarcocha given after this famous battle.
Lunch will be served and it will be based on local cuisine, a unique experience different from anything you could try elsewhere in Ecuador.
After you had enjoyed the beauties of the Northern part of Ecuador, its culture and food, we’ll head back to Quito’s headquarters to finalize our tour. This doesn’t mean the end of the fun, as we will have 120 km of pure twisties to ride with good asphalt.