Cotopaxi Volcano National Park - Trip Rating: Moderate.-
Moderate Drive through páramo landscape to highest point. Enjoy stunning view of 8 different volcanoes.
The bike adventure on the world’s highest active volcano begins. Bike on dirt roads through volcanic ash and páramo landscape to Inca ruin at 3.700 m Packed lunch while keeping an eye towards the sky - you might see a condor! In the afternoon bike on dirt roads and single track down from Lake Limpiopungo through pine forest. Altitudes: 4500-3200 m. (15000-10600 ft.)
Mountain Biking in Ecuador:
From Quito, cyclists have access to a large diversity of rides ranging from snow-capped Andean volcanoes, exhilarating páramo, cloud forest or jungle on hundreds of miles of mostly traffic-free unpaved roads and trails.
The massive scale of the Ecuador's Andes turns cycling uphill into a torture, so our tours are essentially downhill.
Quito-Nono-Tandayapa – Trip Rating: Easy
Drive northwest until we reach the highest point on this trip (3.000 mts). At this point, we switch to our mountain bikes and start the descend. We'll pass the quaint village of Nono. Watch the vegetation change from páramo to cloud forest to low mountain forest as you whiz down the mountain until reaching the small bearding paradise of Tandayapa.
Keep one eye on the road and the other toward the sky: there's a good chance to see parrots, hummingbirds, toucans and caciques. Picnic lunch. Afterwards we will let you end the biking tour through desert like areas until we reach the Equatorial Line Monument. Drive back to Quito. Altitudes: 3000-1800m (10000-6000 ft)
Guagua – Pichincha Volcano – Lloa – Trip Rating: Challenging.-
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 and technical mountain side which is surely one of the premier downhill in the entire country. 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)
Quito – Papallacta - Amazon
Trip Rating: Moderate.-
This is an excellent way to see a cross section of Ecuador’s ecosystems in one day: the first part of the trip starts high up in the
páramo – the Ecuadorian equivalent of the arctic tundra – and ends in low mountain cloud forest at the edge of the Amazon basin. Once we reach our first destination, we throw our bikes on the jeep’s roof and drive back up the pass to the Papallacta hot springs for a soothing swim in the natural thermal pools. If the day is clear, views of Antisana Volcano will bedazzle. After lunch we drive over the Papallacta pass at 4200m and remount our iron horses for the two thousand meter (over 6000ft.) whiz downward to Tumbaco valley just outside of Quito. Altitudes: 4200-2500 m. (13900-8300 ft.)