3-day Bike&Hike – Cotopaxi-Quilotoa-Chimborazo: The heart of the Andes

Quito, Ecuador

Experience Rating
    
Overview

Discover the Ecuadorean Andes in a breath-taking trip to Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, and Chimborazo, in a three-day mountain biking tour. Descend Cotopaxi on your first day, travel to the most beautiful lake in Ecuador on your second, and go to the closest point on earth to the sun on the third. On top of the natural beauty, you will also have the chance to mingle and share time with Andean Indigenous communities. Llamas, Vicunas, and possibly Condors will be our high altitude companions throughout this adventure. This tour has it all.

Use of bicycle
Private transportation
Use of protections (helmet, gloves)
Lunch (3)
Breakfast (2)
Dinners

Departure Point

N25-33, Quito 170517, Ecuador

Departure Time

7:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Itinerary
Cotopaxi National Park
At 07:00 AM we leave Quito and after driving south for 1,5 hours on the Pan-American highway we reach the park entrance of Cotopaxi National Park. We drive through pine forest and soon we arrive at the Visitors Center of the park. After visiting the Center, we continue the ascent in our 4-wheel drive vehicle until we reach the highest point of the tour, 4.500 meters/15.000 feet. The view from this point is stunning and on a clear day, we are able to see 8 volcanoes. We then put on helmets, gloves and protective pads and the bike adventure on the world’s highest active volcano can begin. The first 8 km will take us down 700 m. on dirt roads through volcanic ash and páramo landscape. At 3.800 m. you actually have to do some pedaling while we head down another 8 km between volcanic rocks and wild horses to our lunch spot by an Inca ruin at 3.700 m. With some luck, we might see a condor or a caracara. We put the bikes back on the jeep and head for the lake of Limpiopungo at 3.800 m. where we start the 16 km downhill biking on dirt roads and the bike adventure is over at this time. We then ascend by jeep in a northwest direction into the western Cordillera arriving at Quilotoa to spend the night. The night's retreat is a simple but clean inn located in Quilotoa run by an indigenous family.
Duration: 5 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Accommodation:
 Overnight in a simple Inn run by the Indigenous community of Quilotoa. Clean. Good bed. Sustainable lodging
Meals:
 Lunch  
Laguna Quilotoa
Today we start with an early hike down to the deep, jade-colored Quilotoa Crater Lake. The hike downhill to the lake takes about 30 minutes, and about twice as long to climb back up. But, you can hire a mule or donkey to carry you back to the top, where breakfast will be awaiting you to charge your batteries for the day's adventure! After breakfast, we descend on mountain bikes to Zumbahua. Many years ago, an earthquake destroyed this area. The land has transformed into a rugged formation resembling the terrain from another planet. Lunch is a picnic at a location where we have the opportunity to intermingle with the Quechua Indians or test your artistic skills with the locals painting landscapes of the area. After lunch, we enjoy a 30-minute drive until we reach 4,200 m (13.400 ft). We switch then to human power and the downhill bike ride begins down a long and winding road all the way back to Latacunga, located at 2400 m. (7,600 ft.). We then continue by jeep to URBINA where dinner at a quaint mountain refuge will be waiting for you
Duration: 6 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Accommodation:
 Overnight in a quaint mountain inn. On a clear night see the Milkyway shining above
Meals:
 Lunch  Breakfast  
Mount Chimborazo
We drive for just over an hour to Mount Chimborazo (6310m), the highest and most impressive of Ecuador's volcanoes. We park at the lower refuge (4800 m) and continue on foot to the Edgar Whymper Refuge. Located at 5000 meters this is the highest refuge in the world! From here, it's all downhill-first on foot and then by bike we descend all the way to Ambato (2800m). This is an amazing bike ride through the highlands, with vicuñas being the sole inhabitants of these wild stretches. On this tour, cyclists enjoy a breathtaking 70 km ride through varying landscapes in just one day. This trip is by far a customer favorite. Seldom does one have the chance to ride from the snow line of a volcano, through rural Andean patchwork fields, picnic with vicuñas and at the end of the ride arrive in a modern city. In Ambato, we load up the bikes and return to Quito by jeep.
Duration: 7 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Accommodation:
  Not Included
Meals:
 Breakfast  Lunch  
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 7 travelers

Cancellation policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.Learn more about cancellations.
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