Is Cotopaxi open for climbing in 2017

With the eBike through Ecuador

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Quito

Welcome to Ecuador's lively capital, Quito! We are welcomed at the airport and driven to our cozy hotel with a gigantic view. After a joint dinner with the participants of this tour, we can relax wonderfully on our first night in Ecuador.

Overnight: Casa Ilayaku

Day 2: Quito by bike

We enjoy a delicious breakfast in the hotel before, after a brief introduction, we can get started on our modern bikes for the first time. We first take the bus to the Panecillo, the most beautiful viewpoint in the city, and from here we jet down to the historic city center. Via the Ciclovía - the city's developed cycle path - we get to the most beautiful places. We visit the Plaza de la Independencia, see the churches Iglesia de la Compañía and San Francisco and cycle into the green lung of Quito, the Park Metropolitano. How lucky it is that today is Sunday and that many main roads remain closed to cars! In the afternoon we can optionally take a tour along the Chaquiñan - an old railway line that has been converted into a bike path - and discover the area around Quito. There are also a few beautiful thermal springs very close to our hotel, which invite you to relax in the evening.

Overnight: Casa Ilayaku
eBike stage: approx. 45 km (approx. 3-4 h)

Day 3: Quito - Mindo

After breakfast we leave Quito to immerse ourselves in the great nature of Ecuador for the first time. With our minivan we drive out of the city to Yanacocha, the gateway to the subtropical nature reserve Mindo-Nambillo. Here we get on the eBikes and start along the Nono-Mindo-Weg into the bird paradise. Right at the beginning of the route, the path leads us up the mountain - no problem for our eBikes! Finally, we jet downhill into the Tandayapa area and can always explore the change in the different vegetation zones: from pampas to highlands, mountain regions and cloud forest areas, everything is represented today. Mountains, rivers and waterfalls shape our route, always accompanied by singing birds. At lunchtime we take a break at the Bellavista Lodge, where we can observe countless hummingbirds and other motley birds up close. We have lunch in a house that is glazed all around, high above the cloud forest, and then continue to drive mainly downhill along the "route of the hummingbirds" to the valley to Mindo, where we finally reach our lodge in the midst of idyllic nature.

Overnight: Sisakuna Lodge
eBike stage: approx. 70 km (approx. 4-5 h)

Day 4: Mindo

Today we go on a journey of discovery in the paradisiacal surroundings of Mindo. We cycle off to a hiking trail in the cloud forest region and continue on foot from here to get to the magnificent waterfalls. On the way we keep our eyes and ears open, because the region around Mindo is one of the three most important bird-watching areas in the world. On our route we pass an information center for orchid culture (orchideario) and climb a vantage point from which we can see the feathered inhabitants of the cloud forest even better. Before we return to our accommodation, a few sweet treats are waiting for us ... During a chocolate tour in the small, local factory "los yumbos" we learn how delicious chocolate bars are made from cocoa beans from the region. Back at our accommodation, we can spend the afternoon relaxed or go on one of the many excursions in the region (ziplining, canyoning, tubing, ... / optional).

Overnight: Sisakuna Lodge
eBike stage: approx. 20 km (approx. 1-2 hours)
Hike: approx. 3 km (approx. 1 hour)

Day 5: Mindo - Tulipe - Intag - Nangulvi

Today our mini bus takes us to Tulipe, where we immerse ourselves in the past of the indigenous Yumbo peoples. Here we learn more about their culture and the once holy place of worship, which was only opened to visitors a few years ago. From Tulipe the route with our bikes leads mostly downhill to the Intag region. We enjoy the airy descent past small villages through the mountain cloud forest. In Nangulvi, where numerous thermal springs and baths are fed by the subterranean thermals, we can end the day relaxing with a cool drink in the cozy, warm water.

Overnight: Hotel Nangulvi
eBike stage: approx. 60 km (approx. 3-4 hours)

Day 6: Intag - Cuicocha - Cotacachi

After breakfast we visit the municipality of Puela and learn how coffee is produced here.

We continue to the idyllic Cuicocha crater lagoon, where we go on a hike (about 2-3 hours) - always along the edge of the crater at an altitude of about 3,000 m. If the visibility is good, we can enjoy a fantastic view of the Otavalo Valley, from which the Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe volcanoes rise in the background. Indigenous shamans clean themselves every year in the approximately 200 m deep alkaline lake when they celebrate their Inti Raymi (sun festival at the summer solstice). In the middle of the lagoon, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Latin America, there are two forested islands on which many guinea pigs once lived, which is why the lake is also known as the "guinea pig lake". The islands are not accessible to visitors in order to protect the unique nature and the habitat of the sometimes little-explored fauna. Our picnic tastes even better in these impressive surroundings! From Cuicocha Lake we continue to the village of Cotacachi - the surrounding impressive mountain giants always in view.

Overnight: Hostal Yellow House Cotacachi
eBike stage: approx. 40 km (approx. 2-3 h)
Hike: approx. 8 km (approx. 2-3 h) (optional)

Day 7: Cotacachi - Otavalo - Cayambe

We start the day with a trip to Otavalo, on whose plaza there is a beautiful market where traditionally dressed Ecuadorians sell typical regional products. In the charming small town we have time to stroll through the narrow streets, along many small shops, cozy cafes and the lively plaza. Afterwards we get on our bikes, whiz off towards Cayambe and pass many idyllic little mountain villages, the lagoon San Pablo and the pretty village Zuleta on the way. On the way we enjoy a delicious picnic again in this wonderful nature!

Overnight: Hotel Jatun Huasi
eBike stage: approx. 60 km (approx. 3-4 hours)

Day 8: Cayambe - Cunuyacu

Today it goes high! To make it easier for us to acclimatise at an altitude of 4,700 meters, we first drive with our support vehicle to the Cayambe Refuge, which is about 1,000 meters below the volcanic summit in the overwhelming ecological reserve around the Cayambe volcano. Up there we can enjoy the fascinating view with a traditional “té de coca” and take a short hike, after which we fortify ourselves with a delicious picnic.

Then we swing on our eBikes to jet downhill towards the south at breathtaking speed. Our private mini-bus finally forks us again in Piemonte and brings us to today's accommodation, where we can optionally end the evening in the nearby thermal springs.

Overnight: Casa Ilayaku
eBike stage: approx. 20 km (approx. 1-2 hours)
Hike: approx. 2 km (approx. 2 hours)

Day 9: Cunuyacu - Cotopaxi

We orient ourselves in the direction of the Cotopaxi National Park and drive through the reserve of the Río Pita. On the way we visit the mighty Condor Machai waterfall and cycle along small Andean villages - always with the mighty Cotopaxi volcano (5,897 m) in our sights. In the afternoon we reach our lodge in the middle of the nature of the vast national park.

Overnight: Hacienda Los Mortiños
eBike stage: 20 km (approx. 1-2 hours)

Day 10: Cotopaxi

Today we want to dedicate entirely to the Cotopaxi National Park. The 5,897 m high Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador's second highest mountain, is located in this magnificent highland area, which has been protected since 1975 and is one of the country's most attractive nature reserves.
Wild horses, pumas, spectacled bears and condors are native to the 33,000 hectare national park. We ride our bikes partly off the beaten track through this breathtaking tundra backdrop, which is littered with grasses, rosettes, purple lupins and many other small colorful flowers, up to an altitude of 4,700 m. Here, at the foot of the Cotopaxi, we do Take a break at the José Ribas refuge and enjoy a delicious picnic.

Overnight: Hacienda Quinta Colorada
eBike stage: approx. 50 km (approx. 4 hours)

 

 

 

Day 11: From Cotopaxi over Andean plateaus to Sigchos

After breakfast we start a tour of the Andean plateaus, which leads us through a breathtaking backdrop at an altitude of between 3,000 and 4,000 m. Along the impressive scenery of mountains and small villages, people from the communities of Toacazo and Insilivi Sigchos laugh and wave at us when we drive past them. When we have reached Sigchos, today's destination is close! In our lodge we can end the evening comfortably in the SPA area.

Overnight: Hosteria San José de Sigchos
eBike stage: approx. 70 km (approx. 5 hours)

 

 

 

Day 12: Sigchos - Quilotoa lagoon - Chimborazo

Today we visit the turquoise green crater lagoon in Quilotoa, which is embedded in a densely overgrown volcanic basin at an altitude of 3,900 m. We look into the crater of the lagoon, which was left behind after a huge explosion in 1280, and we soak up the spectacular impressions of nature here. Afterwards we cycle towards the Chimborazo National Park.

Overnight: Hostería Abraspungo
eBike stage: approx. 50 km (approx. 2-3 h)

Day 13: Chimborazo - San Juan - Baños

In the morning we start through a spectacular landscape to the imposing snow-covered volcano Chimborazo. First we are chauffeured by our support vehicle to an altitude of 4,800 m to the Carell hut, where we can comfortably acclimatise with a coca tea. From there we climb the last 200 meters on foot to the second refuge (Whymper hut, 5,000 m). The view is just fantastic! In the midst of the bizarre, barren landscape, with a little luck, we will discover the rare vicuñas that climb along the mountain slopes. A unique place to enjoy the contents of our lunch boxes.
Then we swing into the saddle and prepare for a fast-paced and spectacular downhill ride that will take us down the highest mountain in Ecuador to the village of San Juan, which is 1,600 meters lower.

In the afternoon we reach the tranquil resort town of Baños, the gateway to the Amazon rainforest at the foot of the Tungurahua volcano (5,016 m). Here we go on a bike tour through the lava-shaped river valley. The sports and leisure activities in the great outdoors are great in Baños! The thermal springs are also famous here, which are naturally heated by the geothermal energy of the volcano, which is always active.

Overnight: Hostal Donde Ivan
eBike stage: approx. 45 km (approx. 2-3 h)
Hike: approx. 1 km (approx. 1.5 hours)

Day 14: Baños

In the morning we explore the famous “Ruta de las Cascadas” - the waterfall route - with our eBikes. On the tour we move steadily downhill from waterfall to waterfall. We can take a few short hikes between the falls, including the roaring Pailón de Diablo, the most powerful waterfall on the route, just a short walk from the small town of Río Verde.

If you want to do an extra lap with our guide in the afternoon, you can join a tour to the beginnings of the huge Amazon rainforest, which is only 60 km away from Baños. On a bike excursion in this unique habitat and natural area, we approach the Tungurahua volcano on an ascending side route. From the viewing platform "Los Ojos del Volcan" we enjoy the incomparable view of the town of Baños in the valley.

Overnight: Hostal Donde Ivan
eBike stage: approx. 40 km (optional + 30 km) (approx. 2 h) (+ 3 h)

Day 15: Departure or extension program

Our eBike group tour through Ecuador ends today - or the optional follow-up program begins. We would be happy to advise you on the options! A private transfer to the airport is organized.