Andes to the Amazon

Biking, Hiking, Whitewater Rafting & Horseback Riding
ecuador adventure tours

This award winning itinerary boasts the finest adventure travel in Ecuador. Over 10-days, we traverse from the high and dry Altiplano to the lush rainforest of the Amazon Basin. We hike the mist-draped highlands of the jagged Andes, mountain bike through authentic Quechua villages, navigate rafts through bubbling breakers of world-class rivers, and ride horses on mountainous trails alongside friendly locals. This self-propelled multi-sport tour explores the great diversity of this South American jewel.

WOW FACTORS

  • Hiking the rim of the crater lake of Cuicocha before biking downhill through small indigenous villages
  • Whitewater rafting down the rushing waves of the Jatunyacu River
  • Mountain biking around the lakeshore of San Pablo
  • Horseback riding through the foothills of Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world

Trip Itinerary

DayDestinationActivityLodgingMeals
1QuitoArrivalHotel-
2Quito - San Pablo - OtavaloBikingHotelB,L,D
3Cuicocha - CayambeHiking & BikingHotelB,L,D
4Cayambe - PapallactaHiking & HotspringsHotelB,L
5Pappallacta - TenaBikingHotelB,L,D
6AmazonHikingHotelB,L,D
7Jatunyacu RiverWhitewater RaftingHotelB,L,D
8Puyo - BañosBiking & HikingHotelB,L
9Baños - Cotopaxi National Park - QuitoHorseback RidingHotelB,L
10QuitoDeparture-B

Day 1: Arrival into Quito

A BikeHike Adventures representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to a comfortable hotel in the city. The remainder of the evening is at leisure to explore Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 2: Quito - San Pablo - Otavalo (Biking)

Please be ready in the lobby at 8am after eating breakfast. We start with a drive northbound to the beautiful lake of San Pablo before reaching the town of Otavalo, world famous for its handicraft market. We’ll spend 1-2 hours shopping for souvenirs. After lunch, our physical adventure begins. We get into our biking gear and set off on fat tire mountain bikes, pedaling on paved, cobblestone and dirt roads around the lakeshore of San Pablo through indigenous villages and past fertile corn fields. In the late afternoon we reach our cozy countryside inn for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Fuya Fuya - Cotacachi (Hiking & Biking)

After a wholesome and hearty breakfast we drive to a beautiful lake that is located inside the volcanic cauldron of Mojanda. We ascend today from 2,500m/8250ft up to 3,900m/14000ft where we start our hike to the summit of Fuya Fuya at 4,300m/14190ft. The views of the collapsed crater of Mojanda are stunning. The total distance of the hike, up and down, is 4km/2mi. Afterwards we return to our vehicle and drive to the nearby crater lake of Cotacachi for a typical lunch in a restaurant that is located on the rim of the volcano. After lunch we get on our mountain bikes and glide downhill through small indigenous villages for 11km/6mi, all the way to the town of Cotacachi, famous for leather handicrafts. We´ll visit the shops and then shuttle back to our hacienda in the countryside for a big dinner and a relaxing evening in front of the fireplace. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Cayambe - Papallacta (Hiking & Hotsprings)

After breakfast we drive southeast to Papallacta, ascending to an altitude of 4,300 meters/14,300 feet. From here we'll hike 3 hours through a pristine high mountain landscape, full of lakes and surrounded by volcanoes. With some luck we'll see deer, condors and potentially even spectacled bears! We'll overnight at the Papallacta Hot Springs, famous for their steamy pools. In the afternoon, we will enjoy the resort with leisure time to relax any sore muscles in the therapeutic hot springs. (B,L)

Day 5: Papallacta - Tena (Biking)

This morning we bike from the high mountain to the cloud forest! We start from our hotel and follow the scenic Quijos and Cosanga River gorges to the town of Baeza. The change of temperature and scenery is dramatic! After lunch, we drive to the town of Misahualli where we embark on a 1.5 hour motorized canoe ride down the Napo River, deep into the Amazon where we will check into a basic jungle hotel run by the indigenous Quechua people. Once settled in, we have the option to do a one hour night hike. This is a great time to see some of the nocturnal animals that inhabit the jungle. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Amazon (Jungle Hiking)

We’ll rise early, have breakfast then gear up for our jungle adventure. A native Quechua guide will lead us on a 2.5 hour hike through primary and secondary rainforest, teaching us about the plants, insects, birds, animals, etc that we may encounter. We then get onto a long wooden raft built by the locals, for a float down the Napo River. We'll return to our jungle hotel for lunch and then head back out to visit an indigenous family to see how people live in this part of the country and learn about their customs and culture. Dinner and overnight at the same basic jungle hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Jatunyacu River - Puyo (Whitewater Rafting)

We switch gears today and set off for a day of whitewater adventure on the mighty Jatunyacu River, which means “big water” in Quechua. Donned in helmets and lifejackets, we cast off the riverbank and blast through big and bouncy standing waves. Being one of the main rivers that form the mighty Amazon River, this wide river has the perfect combination of exciting rapids, calm pools, and dense jungle. Depending on the water level, there will be some opportunities to jump out of the raft and refresh in the cool water. Late afternoon we drive to the jungle town of Puyo for the night. Puyo has the best balsa handicraft factory in the country. It’s a great opportunity to buy some souvenirs. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Puyo - Baños (Biking & Hiking)

Early this morning we board our vehicle for a picturesque drive to Baños. We’ll pass through the Pastaza River gorge to visit some of the region’s thundering waterfalls. After a hike to the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall (the Devil’s pot) we’ll have some lunch then change to our biking gear. The rest of the day is on two wheels, riding 20km/13 miles on scenic dirt, paved and cobblestone roads with rolling hills and views of the active volcano Tungurahua. We’ll bike to our hotel for the night, located just outside the city of Baños. (B,L)

Day 9: Baños - Cotopaxi National Park - Quito (Horseback Riding)

We drive 2.5 hours in the morning to a beautiful hacienda on the slopes of Cotopaxi, often considered the highest active volcano in the world! Here we'll saddle up on horses and spend a few hours cantering along dirt paths and open fields amongst a barren and bold volcanic landscape. If we have a clear day, over a dozen volcanoes will be visible, many of them active. In the afternoon we shuttle by vehicle 2 hours back to our hotel in Quito. (B,L)

Day 10: Quito - Departure

You’ll be transferred to the international airport for connecting flights home. (B)

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Trip Includes:

All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), 24-speed mountain bikes, internal transportation, airport transfers and English-speaking guides.

Trip Does Not Include:

Airport departure taxes, gratuities, meals not indicated and items of a personal nature.

Meals:

9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 5 Dinners

Accommodation:

Hotel: 9 Nights

“Best guide I've ever travelled with. Enthusiastic, energetic, interesting, on top of things, organized, and went far beyond what was expected.”
~ Ritu Agarwal - Ontario, Canada

"Our trip was outstanding - Jorgen was superb. Ecuador was so beautiful and rich with culture and beautiful people. (I liked) the variety of activities, the excellent tour guide and the minimal amount of time travelling from one destination to another”
~ Carolyn Tucker - Ontario, Canada

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About Ecuador:

Ecuador's multi sport vacations are embodied by untamed wilderness and natural beauty. One of the most ecologically diverse countries on earth, Ecuador has boundless wonders to offer the adventure traveler. Rich jungles echo with the cries of playful monkey's, tropical birds, and countless other exotic animals. The local people extend warm greetings with infectious smiles as snowy peaks of active volcanoes and the Andean backbone thrust proudly into thin air. For those in search of rugged adventure amidst unspoiled natural splendor, Ecuador is sure to exceed expectations in every regard.

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