Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Arrival in Quito
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. In the evening, your tour leader will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing. There will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Accommodation: Hotel Mercure Quito
Biking to the tropical Cloud Forest of Mindo
Our adventure begins driving down to the western part of Pichincha Volcano, to the old road that connects the highlands with the cost. Starting at about 11000ft (3,300m), you will cycle mostly downhill to the amazing valley of Tandayapa, where the tropical forest is packed with birdlife, including toucans and hummingbirds, many varieties of butterflies and lots of orchids. You will experience an incredible change of temperature along the way. In the afternoon you will visit the chocolate factory of Mindo.
Accommodation: SeptimoParaiso hotel or equivalent Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
From the Equator to the San Clemente community in the Andes
In the morning, travel for approx. 3 hours to the middle of the world, the Equator. Mountain bike from the equator to the ancestral community of San Clemente, the birthplace of the last Inca emperor. This magical biking path will transport you back in the time, discovering little villages that have been untouched through the years, full of local indigenous people from the Andes who are happy to show you many types of handicrafts they produce over here. Amongst many others, you will past by small towns and villages like Olmedo, Zuleta, la Esperanza before arriving at San Clemente. Enjoy some time with the local people from the community, learning about their traditions and customs that are still alive today. You will see the icon animals from the Andes such as llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs.
Biking duration is between 4 & 5 hours, full of beautiful landscapes, roughly 56km (35 miles) flat and downhill mostly.
Accommodation: San Clemente Homestay Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
The skirts of the Imbabura Volcano
After a family breakfast, start the day riding along the slopes of Imbabura volcano. Take your bike up to the mountains with stunning views of the Andean valleys and lakes, like San Pablo Lake, considered one of the largest in the highlands of Ecuador.
Take the trail across the Imbabura and Cubilche volcanoes, to finally arrive to the town of Otavalo where you'll explore the largest market in South America, with its colorful, handmade articles.
Accommodation: Hacienda Pinsaqui or equivalent Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Biking through the beautiful Cotopaxi National Park
Your adventure begins today with a drive down the Pan-American Highway to Cotopaxi National Park past countless potato and corn fields - two of the Ecuadorean food staples. Today's ride starts from the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park (3,900 meters in altitude), and leads through through the “Altiplano” (High Andean Ecosystem). 600 years ago, this place was inhabited by Incas and they had a small village in that area, named Tambo. It was a resting place for their messengers, who needed to rest after a long stretch of running, always bringing important information from the southern part of the Empire.
The National Park surrounds Cotopaxi, which is the highest active volcano on earth. It is 5,897m high and is perfectly cone-shaped, topped with an icy white glacier. This reserve is approximately 33,000 hectares and spans from the Andes to the Amazon region, home to rivers with crystal-clear glacial waters, as well as the Limpiopungo Lagoon.
Andean wildlife in this area includes deer, rabbits, foxes, bulls, horses, and several bird species such as coot, teal, gull and caracara. With some luck, you might spot the majestic and endangered Andean condor. Biking duration: 4 to 5 hours, flat and uphill. Distance of 40km (25 miles).
Accommodation: Hacienda Leito or equivalent Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.
Discover the Llanganates National Park
After a healthy breakfast, bike from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the incredible scenery of the cloud forest. Our tour takes you through some Andean farms, where they cultivate tamarillo and passionfruit. While descending into the jungle, you have a very impresive view of the town of Baños, with Tungurahua Volcano in the background. The city is well-known for the spectacular location right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, active since 1999. You will have some time to explore the town and enjoy Ecuador's best night life.
Accommodation: La Floresta Hotel or equivalent Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Canyoning at the Sanctuary of Waterfalls
This morning, have a little change and try something new - exploring the famous sanctuary of waterfalls in Baños, from the inside of the canyons that feed the mayor canyon of Pastas!
Enjoy 2 hours of full adventure and adrenaline! Rappel down 5 waterfalls along the canyon of Rio Blanco. In the afternoon, take a private transfer back to the capital - Quito.
Accommodation: Hotel Mercure Quito Meals included: Breakfast
Departure from Quito
Today marks the end of your trip, and you will make your way to the airport for your return flight. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!
Meals included: Breakfast