Ecuador Cycling Photo Essay

Ecuador Cycling Photo Essay

Ecuador is a diverse country with so much to see and explore in it. The country is small and has a decent amount of population with different ethnicity. This country with natural wealth is exceptionally vast and includes two cities, Quito and Cuenca as World Heritage Sites and two natural World Heritage Sites named Galapagos Islands and Sangay National Park.

The country is also bordered by Peru, which is known as the land of Andes Mountain range. It also has the Amazon basin and Pacific Coast in its possession. So, quite evidently, it is a rich country full of biodiversity, snowy mountains, beaches, volcanoes, and waterfalls- all in all, a paradise for a nature lover.

The thought of cycling around Ecuador enthralled our team. The government of the country is serious about tourism in their country for decades, yet there is something so raw and authentic about it.

Cycling in such location can be a once in a lifetime, extraordinary experience because once tourism gets popular, it takes over the whole place. However, Ecuador has somehow managed to stop the extensive expanding of tourism all over the country.

Unpaved roads

We started our journey on our bicycle and rode on the unpaved tracks and trails. The roads here are more often unpaved and tough to ride a bicycle, yet we enjoyed the challenge of cycling on the uneven, tough roads.

Cascada de San Rafael

After cycling for a few hours, we reached Cascada de San Rafael. It is Ecuador’s highest waterfall. Upon arriving there, what we saw in front of our eyes is difficult to describe in words.

The gigantic waterfall was surrounded with greeneries and water pouring down constantly with loud thuds. The hard fall creates mists around, which gives a mysterious touch to the impressive sight of the waterfall.

Valleys and Passes

The roads are not only often unpaved, but also not flat for long. You will have to start climbing over quite frequently. When we were close to the Andes, we noticed a series of valleys and passes. We had to cycle for thousands of meters to climb over to reach a pass.

Transportation

The road was even and smooth till now. It is paved beautifully, and we had a dream run on our bicycles. In between, we met several people who were extremely kind to us and friendly to the core.

Transports are not available on the high Andes. It is not frequent, so people need to put their loads on the back of donkeys to take them to different places. We met one such group during our tour.

Greenery

We had now crossed a lot of curves and valleys. The curves were tough to pass; thus, the excitement of cycling doubled, and the valleys were beauty personified. Green is what we saw in front while crossing the paved road with a curved line of grey in the middle. That curved line was a paved track. The sight was majestic.

Layered Concrete Mountainside

If the greenery was soothing to our eyes, the cold grey vibe from the layered concrete mountainside in Quilotoa was enough to bring us back from the dreamy sight. It was fascinating and exciting to watch such a unique view.

The mad wind was not allowing us to pedal smoothly, though the road was as smooth and even as ice. It is when you might strongly feel altitude sickness because it took a toll on us and tire us to a great extent.

Quilotoa Crater and Cotopaxi Volcano

When you are on a bicycle touring in Ecuador,  you should never miss viewing two things.  One is the Quilotoa crater, and another is Cotopaxi volcano. A collapsed volcano created the crater 800 years ago where the color of the water in itself is an enigma.

From natural blue to shifting shades of yellow and green, is something we have never seen. The snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano is another sight to behold. Covered by clouds and the snow-capped peak with the anticipation of sudden eruption, it is absolutely mesmerizing.

Miscellaneous

We ended our journey at the Andes farm. We have never seen this much different shades of green together in the form of lands. Wherever we look at, we see a different green shade. We also have viewed the multiple waterfalls pouring down from the mountainside standing on the roadside.

Final Words

The cycling touring was memorable, and the photos we got to click are priceless. We have met people, met cute little kids who were so happy to see us. We passed several tin-shade houses. We also noticed kids working and learned it is common here for kids to help their parents monetarily from a very early age.

It was fascinating and understandable for us as well, as surviving in such remote regions in a middle-income country like Ecuador would be tough. This journey of ours was full of surprises, and we learned a lot as well.

 

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