Foch 714 y Juan Leon Mera, Quito, Ecuador
We drive you to Ecuador's most amazing National Parks, country side areas and volcanoes and you will bike each day 4-5 hours discovering Ecuador's striking diversity. You'll see cloudforest, active volcanoes, rain forest, Indian comunities, Waterfalls.
Although only a two hour drive from Quito, Cotopaxi National Park is the epitome of untamed Andean wilderness : Expansive stretches of paramo -the Ecuadorian equivalent to the arctic tundra - reach out in every direction including towards the sky where the ochre yellow grasses contrast brilliantly with the high-altitude blue. Across these tundra-like plains run herds of wild horses and on occasion, the Andean condor with its nine-foot wing span can be seen circling above. At your feet are dainty clusters of yellow, lavender and rose colored flowers. Cotopaxi Volcano, with its perfect snow-cone sits alone stoically, the silent master of this majestic landscape.
Your biking adventure begins as we drive south to the Park along the Pan-American highway. Within two hours we reach the head trail (4600 m) at the base of Cotopaxi Volcano. After donning our biking gear and catching our breath in the brisk high-altitude air we begin our downward decent. Get ready for high-speed adventure and hang-on tight as the dirt road will take you on a wild ride. The road will whisk you past silvery smooth Limpiopungo Lake and eventually through pine-forested lands until you reach the parks guard station, where you can see a corralled llama herd. Our 4-wheel-drive vehicles will drive you to Inca ruins (tolas) where a box lunch will be served. After a snack we return to Quito by jeep, bikes loaded on top.
You can choose from our 2 day trips like Cotopaxi-Quilotoa
or Papallacta San Rafael.
Either of them cost US$ 100,00 per person for the two days.
Drive south to Cotopaxi National Park along the Pan-American Highway.
Cotopaxi (19,000 feet ) is one of the most beautiful and active volcanoes in
Ecuador and the whole of South America. We will have several hours to
explore this outstanding area of natural beauty by bike. By jeep we drive up
to the parking lot (14,500 feet). From here a spectacular down hill bike
ride to the Pan-American Highway where the cycling trip ends. Subsequent
ascent by jeep northwest into the western Cordillera towards Quilotoa.
Tonight's retreat is an Indian Hut and our jovial hosts will leave a lasting
impression upon us with a "typico fiesta," in our honour. (L,D)
Next day, we start with an early hike down to the deep jade
coloured lake of the Quilotoa Crater.
The hike down to the Laguna takes about 30 minutes and about twice that
time to climb back up.
But, you can hire a mule or donkey for about US$2-3 to carry you back up to
the top, where your breakfast will be awaiting you to load your bateries for
this day's adventure!
We descend now on mountain bikes to Sumbahua. Many years ago this area was
destroyed by an earthquake and the land has now taken on a new rugged
formation resembling a scene one would associate with another planet. Lunch
is a picnic where sometimes we can intermingle with the Quechua Indians or
test your artistic skills with the locals painting landscapes of the area.
After lunch, drive 30 minutes on jeep until we reach our highest point 4,200
m. (13.400 ft.) We switch then to human power and the down hill bike ride
begins down a long and winding road all the way back to Latacunga located at
2400 m. where the cycle trip ends.
Return by jeep to Quito. (B,L)
PAPALLACTA SAN RAFAEL WATER FALLS
This is an excellent way to see a cross section of Ecuadors ecosystems in
two days. As we travel, we are dwarfed by the striking Andes that surround
us. If we are lucky and have a clear day, we can see all the snow capped
volcanoes of the Eastern Cordillera (Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Antisana,
Chimborazo). You will pedal through paramo the Ecuadorian equivalent of
the arctic tundra and down through low montane cloud forest, traversing
steep Andean slopes as you descend down into the Amazon basin
The terrain today is a combination of dirt and paved roads of scenic rolling
We ascend by jeep to the high pass "Paso de la Virgen" at 4200 metres. From
here the decent begins by mountain bike...all the way to the small town of
Baeza, where we have our lunch.
The afternoon biketrip takes us through tropical rainforest to San Rafael
Falls, the highest waterfall in Ecuador where we spend the night in a
locally run "campamento". A fortifying dinner will be served while you let
yourself be trapped by the sounds of the tropical rainforest. (L,D)
The following day: We awaken in the wilderness and beging with an early trek
to the famous Waterfalls. When we return, we'll let ourselves indulge on a
home made breakfast.
This morning we depart by mountain bike for a 3 hour ride. Once we reach our
first destination, we throw our bikes on our jeeps roof and drive back up
to the Papallacta hot springs for a soothing swim in the natural thermal
pools. Midday we refortify with a typical Ecuadorian lunch.
After lunch we drive over the Papallacta pass at 4200 m and remount our iron
horses for the two thousand meter whiz downward to Tumbaco valley. From here
we drive back to Quito in the jeep. If the day is clear, views of Antisana
Volcano will bedazzle Return by jeep to Quito around 5 p.m. (B,L)
All ages, singles or couples.
Camping, box, lunches
No pets allowed
Daily trips: US$ 45,00 per person
2 day trips: US$ 100,00 per person
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