Cayambe Mountainbike Tour | Worth the trip? | Highlights, Pros & Cons
Cayambe, located in the Ecuadorian Andes, is the third tallest mountain in Ecuador, and its peak is the farthest from the Earth’s axis. It is also the highest point crossed by the equator, and the only point that the equator crosses that usually is snow-covered. While this mountain is a favorite spot for climbers and mountaineers, it is also a great place to enjoy on a mountain bike tour.
What to Expect on a Cayambe Mountain Bike Tour
While your mountain bike tour will not reach the peak of the mountain, you will reach an altitude of 5,000 meters, so you must acclimatize yourself to riding at this altitude. Most riders start from Plaza Foch, Ecuador, to make the two hours-15-minute journey to Cayambe – Coca Ecological Reserve’s parking.
This is followed by a 45-minute hike to reach the reserve. An hour ride takes you to the Cayambe glacier, which is the largest glacier in Ecuador. At this point, you have reached an altitude of 5,000 meters. Approximately two hours later, you are ready to start the downhill journey. Then, you will load up and return to Plaza Foch with many mountain bike tours making a stop in Quito.
Expect to be led on your journey by a bilingual guide who has ridden the mountain many times. Most tours include a mountain bike and helmet.
See Cayambe For Yourself
In this video taken from a drone, you can see the riding conditions at Cayambe. You can also see some of the beautiful remote scenery that you will be riding along. In the video, you can also see the well-maintained road that you will be riding along on your mountain bike tour.
Imagine yourself riding at high-altitude along this road on a mountain bike led by an experienced guide.
Highlights of a Cayambe Mountain Bike Tour
There are many highlights of a Cayambe mountain bike tour, including:
- Seeing the Hermoso Glacier
- Riding on a volcano
- Well-maintained path makes for great riding conditions
- Ride in the Cayambe – Coca Ecological Reserve which is home to over 395 species of birds, 70 species of reptiles, 116 species of amphibians, and 106 species of mammals
- See some of the 100 species of endemic plants along with others that you may have never seen before
- Part of the ride follows along the iconic Inca Trail
- Catch a glimpse of the San Rafael Waterfall, which is the largest waterfall in Ecuador
- Guides speak many different languages
- Outstanding lunch in a small town
- Opportunity to explore Plaza Foch, Ecuador
- Mountain bike and helmet furnished
- Eat a cultural meal
Negatives of a Cayambe Mountain Bike Tour
- Dress for the weather conditions as temperatures may never reach above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
- You may encounter inclement weather during your ride as conditions can change quickly
- You are riding their mountain bike as opposed to your favorite one
- On most tours, it is over seven hours after you leave Plaza Foche until you eat, so you may want to pack snacks along
- Long trip home through Quito, Ecuador
Summary of Ecuador’s Cayambe Mountain Bike Tour
If you love mountain biking past beautiful scenery on a well-maintained path, then climbing up and down Cayambe may be the perfect trip for you. Most rides leave Plaza Foche, which is a fascinating town to visit. They arrive at the Cayambe – Coca Ecological Reserve, where the ride takes place. You will see a variety of wildlife, birds, and fauna on this tour that takes place on the equator.
Temperatures seldom rise above 50 degrees, so be sure that you prepare for the weather, which can change rapidly during your ride. Along the way, you can see many different plants, animals, amphibians and reptiles.