To discover the Ecuadorian Andes we cycled parts of the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route (TEMBR). The Trans Ecuador MTB route crosses the country from…
Although not as known as an outdoor destination, Ecuador has lots to offer for many a traveler. The Amazon rainforest, volcanoes, beautiful coast line, the Galapagos islands and much more. Even though we spent ‘just’ four weeks of cycling in the Andes of Ecuador, we heard many good stories of other travelers we met about summiting volcanoes, work away on the Galapagos, outdoor activities around Banos, and surfing along the coast. We kept our itinerary to cycling the Ecuadorian Andes, and the Amazon rainforest but got a good grasp of what the country is about.
Ecuador is both renowned as notorious for multiple things. Above everything else Ecuador is renowned for the sheer beauty of its volcanoes. With Cotopaxi Volocano probably being the most famous and Chimborazo Volcano a close second. To get there by bicycle, you will have to overcome some hardships. Ecuador is notorious for its very steep climbs, ancient cobble stone roads, deep sandy dirt roads, and drizzly weather. As soon as the clouds move away, when you are on top of a cobble stoned steep climb, the view will make the hardships worthwhile. Especially when a volcano appears at the horizon, and there are quite a few. They are incredibly photogenic and is a sight you’ll never forget.
Ecuador can be an expensive destination. Accommodation like hotels and hospedajes are relatively expensive compared to the rest of South America. Twentyfive dollar for a double room is not an exception. However, food is cheap. A menu del dia (menu of the day) is usually around two to three dollars. Wild camping in the backcountry is easy. Just ask locals for a good spot, or pitch your tent out of sight some where remote.
The best time to visit the Ecuadorian Andes is from June until September. This is the dry season. But still be prepared for rainy days. Almost everyone cyclist we met experienced some pretty serious rain showers in Ecuador or days where you don’t see a thing because clouds are blocking the views.
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