Ecuador has a whopping 26,841 miles of roadway. Roads that wind through high peaks, sticky rainforests, and everything in between. The best way to ride them is on an Ecuador motorcycle tour.
Motorbike touring holidays in Ecuador are a way to experience the country far beyond the most popular sites and sounds. They allow you to see things you simply can’t see on a regular tour and to interact with the natural landscapes and people in an immersive, potentially life changing way.
Guided or self-guided, luxurious or adventurous, overnight or multi-day… there’s a plethora of ways to get around Ecuador on a motorcycle. Come along for the ride as we explore all of your options.
– Motorcycle Guided Tours vs. Self-Guided Tours
There are two main ways to organize your motorcycle tour in Ecuador: guided tours or self-guided tours.
Ecuador guided tours are exactly what they sound like. You’ll ride your own bike, but every other detail is taken care of for you. From the routes you’ll be taking to where you’ll be sleeping every night, everything is pre-planned and covered in one all-inclusive cost.
A self-guided tour, on the other hand, is an adventure largely led by you and you alone (they can also be booked in groups). But, not to worry, you’ll be provided a motorcycle rental, a GPS pre-programmed with the route for each day, a repair and emergency kit in case anything breaks down, and a pre-paid cellphone if you need to contact a guide for assistance. Your accommodations for each evening are booked in advance and there are no set dates, so you can show up and start whenever you please.
– Types of Guided Tours
In terms of guided tours, there are a few different categories you can choose from. These are: classic, adventure, and luxury. Let’s take a closer look at what each entails.
A classic motorcycle tour is everything we talked about in the description of a guided tour. That is, for an all-inclusive cost, you receive a motorcycle rental, a knowledgeable guide, all of your meals, and nightly accommodations. The routes on these tours mostly follow main roads, the riding pace is relaxed, and you’ll have the chance to interact with locals and maybe even make some short hikes.
On adventure motorbike tours, your all-inclusive cost covers all of the same items as a classic tour – what changes are the routes you’ll take. Instead of purely main roads, you’ll go far off the beaten path to places that few people can travel on their own. No worries if you’re not an expert on off-road terrain, you may be pushed out of your comfort zone, but you’ll be completely safe and taken care of.
Luxury motorcycle tours get you out on the road without sacrificing your comfort. You’ll eat and stay at five-star restaurants and accommodations, on most days, and you’ll ride in style. Luxury motorbike touring also has smaller group sizes, so you get more of an immersive experience with locals, your guide, and the people sharing the trip with you.
– Where to Go on an Ecuador Motorcycle Tour
Ecuador is a country with a vast, impressive, and unique topography. The landscapes range from familiar colonial cityscapes to places that make you feel as if you’ve left planet earth. On a motorcycle, you can access all of these on tours that last anywhere from one to thirteen days.
There are tours that take you across the high Andean ranges, around soaring peaks, and to the base of volcanoes like Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. You can tour through the Amazon basin, exploring the rainforests that fill the landscapes of Banos, Puyo, and Riobamba. If you want sunshine, seafood, and stunning ocean views, head for a tour along the Pacific Coast.
Or, combine all of these in one of the longer tours and see everything there is to see in Ecuador.
– Prepare for Your Tour
Whether you choose motorcycle guided tours or self-guided tours, there are some things you can do to prepare prior to your journey. Taking these items into consideration will make your trip all the more safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.
• Arrive Early
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, sits at 9,350 feet above sea level. This is where many motorcycle tours take off from, so it’s a good idea to get yourself acclimated to the altitude before you head out.
For that reason, we highly suggest you arrive at least two days prior to your tour. This will also give you time to meet your guides, ask any questions you might have, learn the laws of driving in Ecuador, and receive a quick review on safety.
• Have the Right Gear
Most tours will provide you with the protection gear you’re going to need. But if you have your own Kevlar or leather, consider bringing it along. This adds a layer of safety to your journey and, with your own gear, you might feel more comfortable.
In terms of weatherproofing, you’ll need to consider where you’re touring. If you’re heading into the Andes, you’ll need to bring something for warmth (but you don’t need to go so far as to pack heated gear). If you’re touring in the Amazon, think about light layers that cover the skin to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes.
•Licensing and Insurance
Although some of the rules of the road are different in Ecuador, one thing that doesn’t change is that you’ll need a motorcycle license. It might be enough to carry your license from your home country, but it also doesn’t hurt to get an International Driving Permit. These aren’t too expensive, and it’ll be helpful if you’re ever asked for your license by authorities.
Even more importantly, though, you’ll want to ensure you’re insured. We can’t possibly go through all the details of Travel Insurance here, but we can tell you that, at a minimum, you’re going to want a Repatriation clause as well as a clause that covers riding motorcycles over 125cc. The latter is important to look into because the average policy will only cover you up to that number.
• Stay Safe
On guided tours, you’ll have a guide that takes care of all your needs (and the needs of your bike) the entire time you’re on your tour. On a self-guided tour, you’ll have a prepaid cellphone to contact motorcycle experts should anything out of the ordinary arise. With that said, though, there are a few things you should know before taking off on a self-guided tour.
For one, you should be able to make basic repairs on your own, such as changing an inner tube or repairing a flat. You’ll also need to know other basics, like how to get your battery going if it dies or how to look for a new route on GPS.
You should also be able to speak to locals, should you need to find a new route due to a road closure, for example. Though you don’t need to be fluent in Spanish, you should be comfortable enough to ask questions if need be. While you do have on-call experts, if these things make you nervous, a self-guided tour may not be for you.
– Engage Your Sense of Adventure with Kuoda
An Ecuador motorcycle tour is a unique and adventurous way to experience all that this country has to offer. You’ll get the opportunity to see places that most tourists don’t get to see, with a 360-degree view during the day and comfortable accommodations at night.
Add your luxury motorbike tour of Ecuador to your itinerary today!
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