Biking Northern Ecuador $1600

Departure Date

Every Saturday


8 days 7 nights



Maximum Seats


Join this epic adventure on two wheels from the sweeping heights of the Andes into the lush and mysterious cloud forest. Zoom past dense layers of green accompanied by hummingbirds and toucans; be dazzled by the colors of local orchids and flitting butterflies; visit the famed Otavalo market and step out of your world into that of the local indigenous culture; and have your mouth water before biting into the rich flavors of fresh local cuisine. Let the magic of the north of Ecuador enthrall you and take you on an otherworldly journey. Accommodation is provided at charming eco-lodges and colonial Haciendas.
  • Bike into the Cloud forest

  • Birdwatching in Mindo

  • Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary

  • Bite into the local cuisine

  • Wine tasting

  • Bike to Otavalo indigenous Market

  • Salinas village with the Afro-Ecuadorian Indigenous culture

  • Polylepis forest

  • El Angel Reserve with its unique endemic vegetation

  • Learn about the Culture of the Andes

  • Spend time with the local indigenous people

  • Stay at unique places in every location

  • Be led by top Activexpedition experienced guides with every step you take

  • Support sustainable travel that preserves culture and nature

  • Biking

  • Hiking

  • Swimming

  • Culture

  • Wildlife

  • Wellness

Easy To Moderated
Skill Level 5 – Intermediate
Fitness Level 6

Day 2.- Into The Cloud Forest We Go

Day 3.- Waterfalls, Butterflies And Chocolate

Day 4.- Biking to Otavalo Market

Day 5.- Valley Ride And Faces Of Culture

Day 7.- Bike Ride From Polylepis To El Chota

  • Year around

  • 12 years old

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day

There are no activities planned for your first day for you to be able to explore the beautiful city of Quito on your own terms, but if you feel like having a guided day tour at extra cost, do not hesitate in contacting us. We are always more than happy to send you with one of our expert guides to learn more about the city or the surrounded areas Please keep in mind that there is a meeting at 18:00 in the hotel’s lobby the first day to meet your guide and the rest of the group as well as learn about what’s in store for the days of your expedition! Overnight: Standard: Dann Carlton or similar. High End: Casa Gangotena or similar. Meals included: none.
Day 2

Into the Cloud Forest we Go

Starting from the foothills of the gentle giant nestled in the city of Quito, Pichincha, our adventure kicks off gently ascending and descending along a local secondary road. Distinct from the hustle and bustle of the nearby capital, our ride brings us through the serenity of patched pastures and farms dotted by the white and black spots of cows as the local cowboys tend to their herds. Two hours into our journey the environment begins to shift as we enter the misty depths of the cloud forest. The cool air of the Andean hills kisses the hot current from the Pacific creating a hugely bio-diverse area home to more than 500 bird species, plants, and other animals. The ride will take about four hours total ending with a nutritious and fresh lunch of local offerings riverside before heading to the lodge. Overnight: Standard: Hacienda Séptimo Paraíso or similar. High End: Terrazas de Dana or similar. Meals included: Lunch.
Day 3

Waterfalls, butterflies and chocolate

After day breaks and we fuel ourselves with a complete and filling breakfast we start biking from the lodge to the Mindo-Nambillo reserve on a dirt road gradually upwards towards the entrance to the park. Upon arrival we will hike a short hop and skip away to a softly cascading falls where we can refresh before continuing on. An hour of descent takes us to one of the many butterfly farms in the city of Mindo. After a scrumptious meal we will learn about these multicolored and fair-weathered friends as they dance around us putting on a real show. We end our day on a sweet note with a visit to the local Quetzal chocolate factory. Named after one of the local birds, this family owned operation supports local farmers and is known for making one of the best brownies around. This is a prime opportunity to buy some chocolate bars to take home with you as well as some cocoa butter known for its healing properties. If you so choose you can also try one of the local brews made on site before winding down for the evening at the lodge. Overnight: Standard: Hacienda Séptimo Paraíso or similar. High End: Terrazas de Dana or similar. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.
Day 4

Biking to Otavalo Market

Northward bound we go through the mountains towards Otovalo; a bustling town home to a large indigenous population, noticeable by their traditional garb of wool hats, golden necklaces, intricately embroidered blouses and long black skirts. To charge up for the ride ahead we will stop to try a local delicacy of biscotti with cheese and caramel--a real sweet way to begin our adventure! Our ride takes us over the hills and through dirt-patched paths and roads used to connect the farms of local families, passing pastures of quinoa and other grains that are the way of life of the people in the region. Our final stop takes us to the colorful and captivating Otovalo Market. The largest indigenous market in Ecuador, let the aisles of locally crafted fabrics, sweaters, carvings, and jewelry inspire you to take a piece of Ecuador home with you in your heart and in your suitcase. Overnight: Standard: Hacienda Pinsaquí or similar. High End: Hda Zuleta or similar. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.
Day 5

Valley Ride and Faces of Culture

After breakfast we will drive to Urcuqui, a charming town aptly named after the words for hill and seat in Quechua due to its location nestled in between the hills. Here we will start our descent surrounded by a panorama of sugar cane, wheat, and corn fields that rustle in the wind and we glide past them. Let the warm breeze hug you as we enter into Salinas valley. Here resides a concentration of Afro-Ecuadorian people, one of fourteen indigenous peoples that exist within the country. Enjoy a traditional lunch as you are transported through time with the stories of the local people, customs, and history of this group. Overnight: Standard / High End: Polylepis Lodge or similar. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 6

El Angel Ecological Reserve

Today we find ourselves wandering in the El Angel Ecological Reserve through its rich moors, around freshwater lagoons, and over ridges covered in frailejones, a perennial plant in the areas notable by its spiraled trunk and thick white-green spiky leaves at the top. Our trail is marked during this three-hour hike by small flowers of pink, orange, and yellow as we make our way around the reserve. If luck in on our side we may spot a spectacled, or Andean bear or even the majestic condor--Ecuador’s National bird. As with many of the other national parks and ecological reserves that are the backbone of tourism within the country, El Angel strives to protect and propagate these species. The afternoon will be at leisure to recover our energies for the next day. Overnight: Standard / High End: Polylepis Lodge or similar. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 7

Bike ride from Polylepis to el Chota

All in One Place as the saying goes here in Ecuador and this day’s adventure surely proves it. Starting from the heights of the paramo ecosystem, a vast and lush forest of high-altitude tropical plants, we flit our way through some of the varying environments that make the country one-of-a-kind. From the nippy breeze of the forest in the highlands into the warmth of the dry valley below this ride is easily the most epic and challenging of the trip. Overnight: Standard: Dann Carlton or similar. High End: Casa Gangotena or similar. Meals included: Breakfast.
Day 8

Departure Day

Today ends our services but if you wish to stay longer, we can help you organize an extension trip to places you did not see during this week. Otherwise if you are ready to go back home after an amazing Acivexpedition we wish you safe travels. Meals included: Breakfast
  • Experienced & Certified English-Speaking Guide

  • Private Transport

  • Accommodation for seven nights

  • Meals as listed on the Itinerary

  • Water and snacks available whenever

  • Water bottle

  • Biking gear: (Trek X-caliber), certified helmets and gloves

  • All fees to reserves and museums

  • International or domestic flights

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

  • Upgraded biking gear (Trek Top-fuel 200usd supplement)

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Tips for guides and drivers

  • Airport transfers

  • Itinerary Disclaimer: Even though we have a detailed itinerary, changes can be made by your guides, due to weather or safety reasons. Please also note that none of the wildlife sightings mentioned on the itinerary are guaranteed.

  • Visas and Passports: Make sure you check your visa and passport validity and requirements per country. It is important your passport is valid for at least 6 months before your travel.

  • Accommodation: We strive to use small and charming places that are unique and provide stellar service.

  • Single Supplement Costs: Generally this fee is not incurred as we match you with another person of the same gender in a twin room, but if you prefer not to share and have your own room, then there will be an associated fee

  • Transportation: Driving time can take more than expected in Ecuador, as it is a small country with roads meandering through the Andes mountains. We assure your comfort during transit no matter the size of the group.

  • Gear: At Activexpediton we always make sure our guests have top of the line gear from well-known and reputable international brands as we understand that the best gear gives extra confidence to our riders. For biking we use Trek X-caliber, Trek Top Fuel, and for protection we use Bontrager and Fox.

  • Level of Activity: This trip is considered as 3 out of 5, meaning you need to have a bit of experience; however, your guides will teach you every day how to ride on the varying terrain. The whole trip involves a mix of trails and roads, some on dirt, grass and gravel. Every ride is about 20 miles, and the elevation gain can be 1000 feet a day, if people want to do more elevation gain, our guides will be happy to do longer rides. There will always be transport support in the case that someone wants to take a break or just wants to avoid the uphill. Our drivers will be happy to show you the landscapes from the car.

  • Weather and Elevation: In Ecuador the weather can be very variable depending on which side of the Andes you are traveling to, so it is highly recommended to come ready for all kinds of weather. When they say “Ecuador, All in One Place” they mean it! The altitude determines the temperature and the higher you go the colder it gets. Don’t let the geographic location of the country fool you. Even at a mere 15,000 feet the temperatures can feel like those of a winter in the northern United States. The coastal lowlands in the western part of Ecuador are typically warm with temperatures in the region of 25 °C (77 °F). Coastal areas are affected by ocean currents and between January and April are hot and rainy. The weather in Quito is consistent with that of a subtropical highland climate. The average temperature during the day is 70 °F (21 °C), which generally falls to an average of 50 °F (10 °C) at night. The average temperature annually is 64 °F (17.8 °C). There are only really two seasons in the city: dry and wet. The dry season runs from June to September and the wet season is from October to May.

  • Sustainability: We do our best to not produce any trash; we believe that recycling is not enough, so we try to avoid using any plastic or materials that pollute our environment. Every day we work towards being a zero-waste tour operator and our staff is well trained to leave the least impact possible in our service areas. We also work with local indigenous communities in the different regions. By doing so we are able to teach our guests about the rich culture Ecuador, all the while helping the people preserve their traditions and lands. By working directly with local peoples, we are able to create a sustainable touristic income for the community.

  • Guides: All our guides have a professional background from the Tourism University, this means they have a degree in guiding, so their knowledge and skills when leading a group are top-notch. Each guide has many years of experience and they all have taken additional courses for other outdoor activities as well as have International First-Aid certifications. On top of all of this they are all extremely personable and strive to deliver travel experiences of a lifetime.

  • Heath Advisory: No vaccinations needed for this trip

We do recommend travelling light for this expedition.  A duffel bag of 50 litters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 litters for daily activities should be sufficient. In Ecuador, the weather can change drastically especially when you are moving from the Andes into the tropical forest.

  • Passport

  • Credit card

  • Two pairs of lightweight hiking pants

  • One pair of cold weather hiking pants

  • Two pairs of shorts

  • Three pairs of biking shorts

  • One bathing suit

  • Four non-cotton T-shirts

  • One cotton T-shirts

  • One water T-shirt

  • One winter warm jacket

  • One fleece

  • One rain jacket

  • One pair of rain pants

  • Two buffs

  • One pair of hiking shoes

  • One pair of snickers

  • One pair of water sandals

  • Optional – personal clips and shoes

  • One- or two-night outfits

  • One cap or hat

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

  • Mosquito repellent

  • Camera

  • Head lamp

  • Optional binoculars

NOTE: Laundry is available almost at every location and is quite cheap, this helps traveling light too.

Talk to our Activexpedition expert

We're here to chat about your next big idea.

  • 7 am - 4 pm Monday through Thursday.
  • 7 am to 1 pm Fridays (US central) toll free or by skype.
Otherwise, email us anytime. On average we provide quotes within 6 hours during business hours and the next day during off business hours. Privately guided trips allow you to be in control of all the details of your trip - departure times, accommodations, extra nights, extra activities, extra experiences - what you want and how you want it. If you want to go private or customize this expedition, contact us.
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US & CANADA: +1 (520) 303-2967 EC: +593 (09) 5955-5556