Mountain Biking in Ecuador!?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mountain Biking in Ecuador!?

    A friend and I are planning a trip to Ecuador this May/June and we are bringing our bikes with us. We would prefer to do our riding on our own or with a local rider (not interested in a big group trip) and any tips of places to defnitely ride or stay woudl be appreciated. We will be there for 3 weeks traveling to all three regions (Mountains, Amazon, Coast). If anyone has been there that could offer their insights would be much appreciated.
    Thanks and happy riding!!

  2. #2
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    Have you travelled and biked in the third world before? If the answer is yes, then I'd google the topic and invest in a Lonely Planet guide. Plan it out and go for it. If the answer is no then you have no idea what's facing you and I advise against doing it without local support.
    I was in Ecuador 15 years ago and found it to be a beautiful, wild, poor, and high-crime country. Things may have changed but probably not. From what I have seen in Guayaquil Quito and the Galapagos Islands I'd think biking anywhere near traffic would be very risky. Moreover, if you get hurt, the last thing you want to do is see the inside of a local hospital. Unless you are wealthy or very well insured in the US you are at the mercy of a healthcare system that can easily end up killing you or doing permanent damage.
    Could be a great adventure just know what you are in for. And if you can make the time at all and have the bucks for the flight, go visit the Galapagos Islands. A unique place that won't stay that way unfortunately.

  3. #3
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    Ecuador has a ton of riding in the high Andes Mountains most above 10,000ft. Ecuador is just now starting to get on the bike radar. There is even a great mountain bike shop in Cuenca, but the bikes cost twice as much here. Many do a shuttle run from Cotopaxi volcano, but it's just a jeep road and rather boring.

    I would advise not riding in the major cities as the traffic is nutty, and people aren't accustomed to sharing the road with bikes.

    There are areas that have awesome technical singletracks all over the place and very remote.

    To address what borabora writes: (scare tactics)

    Crime, sure but no more than in other 3rd world places, just don't show any bling and act like a normal person and you'll be fine. The Ecuadorian people are kind and generally helpful to gringos.

    I call BS on his take of the hospitals and medical help. The health care system there is awesome, professional and CHEAP! Most of their doctors have been trained in the US or other 1st world countries. (this is one reason so many people from the US are retiring there, including myself)

    Here's a great video showing some of the terrain.

    Ecuador mountain bike tour - YouTube
    It wasn't me

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howeler View Post
    Ecuador has a ton of riding in the high Andes Mountains most above 10,000ft. Ecuador is just now starting to get on the bike radar. There is even a great mountain bike shop in Cuenca, but the bikes cost twice as much here. Many do a shuttle run from Cotopaxi volcano, but it's just a jeep road and rather boring.

    I would advise not riding in the major cities as the traffic is nutty, and people aren't accustomed to sharing the road with bikes.

    There are areas that have awesome technical singletracks all over the place and very remote.

    To address what borabora writes: (scare tactics)

    Crime, sure but no more than in other 3rd world places, just don't show any bling and act like a normal person and you'll be fine. The Ecuadorian people are kind and generally helpful to gringos.

    I call BS on his take of the hospitals and medical help. The health care system there is awesome, professional and CHEAP! Most of their doctors have been trained in the US or other 1st world countries. (this is one reason so many people from the US are retiring there, including myself)

    Here's a great video showing some of the terrain.

    Ecuador mountain bike tour - YouTube
    My reply was only intended as "scare tactics" if the OP has never travelled in the third world. I know people who simply can't fathom the idea of not being able to call 911 and have qualified help arrive within 10 minutes. If you know what you are dealing with then it's no issue. I think I made that clear.
    I have only been in one hospital in Ecuador and that was in Galapagos after a dive accident (a woman diver was bitten by a sea lion -- nasty). I have been all over the world and that was the second worst medical facility I have ever seen. Things might be different now and much better in the city. At the time we visited the hospital we decided to have the injured person airlifted out as soon as possible.
    To the OP I'd repeat what I said in the original reply. Go! But if you are not familiar with third world travel and conditions use local assistance.

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