Yeti Gathering Ecuador

Ride deserts, forests and volcanoes on the Yeti Gathering in Ecuador

Ecuador is a mountain biker’s paradise and you’ll find a feast for the senses at every turn of the pedal: from the immense grandeur of the Andes, to the depths of a tropical cloud forest, and the slopes of one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.

Add to this the indigenous cultures, amazing local food, cosy hacienda accommodations, and great company and you’ll find there’s never a dull moment on the Yeti Gathering in Ecuador!

  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Fitness level: 6/7
  • 9 nights / 10 days
  • £2,760 / $3,726 / €3,312
  • Max. group size: 22

Have a look through the image gallery to get a feel for the fabulous trails, people and landscapes of this amazing South American country, and see more in our photo diary

Trip highlights

As well as mountain biking in a huge range of different landscapes and eco-systems, here are some other special moments you can look forward to in Ecuador:

  • Exploring Quito, the world’s first UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Meeting local artisans at Otovalo market
  • Swapping bikes for horses + being a chagra for the day
  • Staying in working haciendas in the shadow of active volcanoes
  • Riding the legendary trails of Mama Rumi
  • Immersing yourself in the astounding diversity of Ecuador

Tour Dates 2023

  • 9 – 18 November (5 PLACES)

Is the Yeti Gathering Ecuador for you?

We want you to have the best experience in Ecuador, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike tour, with the right level of challenge, for you.

You’re a very experienced mountain biker, riding at least three times a week through the season and comfortable on: steep, fast singletrack descents; technical rock chutes; loose volcanic ash; muddy, jungle-style singletrack; and sandy trails.

In addition, much of the riding you’ll be doing will be above 12,000ft/ 4,000m, so be prepared to pace yourself.

Read more on our advanced skill level.

Yeti Gathering Ecuador Itinerary

The itinerary for our 10-day Yeti Gathering adventure Ecuador has been designed so that we gain altitude gradually, allowing your body to acclimatise to riding above 12,000ft before gaining further height, thus minimising the potential for altitude sickness.

+Arrival in Quito - refresh + prepare for your adventure
If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Ecuador then we recommend arriving a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip. With the high altitude of Quito any additional time to acclimatise will be helpful.
+Day 1 - Group meet-up in Quito + welcome briefing
On the first day of your mountain bike tour Ecuador your guide will meet you at your hotel in Quito. They will help you to assemble your Yetis, before taking you into the Old Town to explore the sights, sounds and smells of this historic city high up in the Andes.

We’ll explore the old colonial part of Quito, the first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site and you’ll feel like you have landed straight into a National Geographic magazine shoot. We will also endeavour to visit a selection of local craft markets and artisans to help you get more deeply embedded into this amazing culture.

Accommodation: Scenic hotel, Quito
Meals included: Welcome lunch

+Day 2 - Parque Metropolitano + Lumbici

You will start your mountain bike tour Ecuador with some great morning riding around Quito. It will see you weaving through winding and narrow singletrack that will give you a taste of what’s to come, warm you up nicely and continue your acclimatisation in preparation for riding high in the Andes.

We will then transfer across town, picking up a traditional Ecuadorian lunch on the way. This afternoon’s trail will raise the bar slightly from this morning, as your legs will be starting to feel like they belong to you and you will be dialled into your bike.

You will be dropped at a high point in the Lumbici area of the city where you will embark on some secret local trails built by your guide, that will weave through villages en-route to the valley floor. Dinner tonight will be in a guide’s favourite near your hotel in Quito.

Distance cycled: 18km (app. 3 hours)
Accommodation: Scenic hotel, Quito
Meals included: B, L

+Day 3 - Infiernillo (little hell!)
Today you will leave central Quito behind and head North to Infernillo, or “Little Hell”. Luckily it’s not as bad as it sounds, and once there we will set off on a fantastic singletrack descent into the large, dominating mouth of the Pululahua volcano.

After an hour or so of descending we traverse singletrack until Puluahua spits us out on to el Pondoña trail, then on to the moon trail. These ancient, deep, rutted trails, have been hewn into the earth’s surface after thousands of years’ worth of footsteps, and now they are a delight for us lucky mountain bikers.

In total today you will descend from 2,800m high in the Andes, through spectacular cloud forest down to around 1,500m at the foot of the trail. Once we bottom out we have a bit of climbing to do to reach our support crew. It’s not a long climb, but you will feel the effects of riding at altitude today!

On the way back to your accommodation we will visit the ‘Middle of the World’ monument, where we can put one foot in each hemisphere, a must-have picture from Ecuador. Once you’ve finished playing around the Equator we will transfer (app. two hours) to the Ibarra region, where you will rest your head in an old working hacienda for the next two nights.

Distance cycled: 26km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Hacienda hotel, Imbabura
Meals included: B, L

+Day 4 - Chota 2500

We will spend the next two days riding in the valley of the Chota River in the Imbabura region of northern Ecuador.  The native people of the Chota valley are of African descent, having been brought to Ecuador as slaves for the sugar plantations during the Colonial period.

This region is dry, dusty and known for its thermal pools, which makes for some great riding conditions and post-ride treat. We’ll start off by riding the Chota 2500 from Ibarra to el Chota, descending from 2,600m to 1,600m through incredible Andean desert ecosystems filled with cacti (don’t forget spare tubes!).

As we arrive at the bottom of this, mostly downhill, 4 to 5 hours ride, smiling from ear-to-ear and covered in dust, we will venture across the road to our awaiting hot pool and a chance to soak away the day’s dirt.

We’ll have a relaxed evening and another delicious dinner accompanied by local beers and stories for the day’s rides.

Distance cycled: 19km (app. 5 hours)
Accommodation: Hacienda hotel, Imbabura
Meals included: B, L

+Day 5 - Chota 5000

Our second ride in the El Chota region starts with a one-and-a-half-hour climb, for which you’ll be rewarded with a three-hour descent; something characteristic of our mountain biking tour in Ecuador! As you reach the top of the main climb you will pass through a small Andean farming village and from there it’s downhill and big smiles all the way.

After a delicious Ecuadorian lunch we’ll drive to our accommodation for the next two nights at a working hacienda, in the shadow of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi. On the way to our hacienda we’ll stop at the world-famous Otovalo market, one of the most important indigenous markets in the Andes selling some of the most sought-after Ecuadorian artisan crafts.

Upon arrival at our accommodation we will be warmly greeted by the staff who will look after you for the following nights, and in no time you’ll be settled in front of the log fire with a warm canelazo.

Distance cycled: 14km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Working hacienda, Cotopaxi
Meals included: B, L

+Day 6 - Downhill Day and a taste of Chagra life

Today you’ll ride three awesome downhill trails on the slopes of Cotopaxi. The terrain is very steep and consists of volcanic ash, petrified lava, big boulders and sand. The trails descend from 4,600m to 3,900m, and you’ll feel the benefit of the previous days’ acclimatisation to make the most of this truly unique trail in Ecuador.

In the afternoon you will have an opportunity to rest the legs and experience the life of the Chagras, Andean cowboys, with a ride on horseback to the slopes of Ruminahui. You’ll also have time to read, take stock and enjoy the tranquility of your mountain retreat. We will once again meet up in the dining room to sample further home cooked cuisine and enjoy another glass of wine.

Distance cycled: 15km (app. 3 hours)
Accommodation: Working hacienda, Cotopaxi
Meals included: B, L

+Day 7 - Quilotoa lagoon ride

Today we depart early in the morning from your accommodation and drive (app. 3 hours) towards one of the most impressive natural locations in Ecuador, Quilotoa Lagoon. When we get to the Lagoon we will start our ride on the rim of the volcanic crater, navigating our way along the steep sided ridge, before descending towards the Palo Alto community.

The riding is on beautiful singletrack, that will see you weaving around the crop fields of the local communities, trails linking villages and natural river beds.

After an amazing ride we’ll jump back in the van to drive the rest of the way (app. 2 hours) to your accommodation for the evening, at a former working hacienda-turned-hotel, where a nice cold beer and warm shower will be waiting.

Distance cycled: 40km (app 5 – 6 hours)
Accommodation: Traditional hotel, Salcedo
Meals included: B, L

+Day 8 - Hieleros (the Ice Carriers' Trail)

After breakfast, we head 2 hours south to the slopes of Chimborazo Mountain, the highest peak in Ecuador and the highest peak on the earth when you measure it from the planet’s centre, making it the closest point to the sun.

From Chimborazo, we head down to Guaranda city through a trail used during the colonial time by the “Ice carriers of Chimborazo.” This was the tradition of taking ice from the glaciers of Chimborazo to the coast.

This beautiful trail starts at 4,300m, taking us through the Chimborazo volcano slopes, beautiful paperback tree forests, rock gardens, and great single tracks, ending our ride at 2,800m.

We’ll hop back in the van to drive the 40 minutes-or-so to our next accommodation, a small hotel outside Guaranda city. We’ll have dinner at the hotel and start prepping for our grand finale ride tomorrow: Mamarumi!

Distance cycled: 45km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel, Guaranda
Meals included: B, L

+Day 9 - Grand finale - Mama Rumi

Today we rise early and make the 1-hour drive to our final, show-stopping ride.

Mamarumi is one of the most beautiful downhill rides in Ecuador. It has become synonymous with MTB in Ecuador, and for good reason.

It will take us from the highlands at 3,200m down to 900m on an incredible 18km roller-coaster ride. You’ll descend through three different types of forest: high mountain, cloud, and rainforests, before ending in the lush vegetation of banana plantations.

Liquor smugglers once used Mamarumi to escape from the authorities, now it is used by mountain bikers to escape from daily life and into paradise. Mamarumi is one of the most epic rides in South America.

You’ll have a couple of hours to rest or reminisce in the van back to our hotel, before we have our last dinner together to celebrate an unforgettable Yeti Gathering adventure in Ecuador.


Distance cycled: 18km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel, Guaranda
Meals included: B, L, D

+Day 10 - Departure

Sadly this is our last morning together but we’ll transfer you back to Quito airport (app. 5-hour drive), where we will say farewell to new friends and to Ecuador.

Meals included: Breakfast

Please note: The Yeti Gathering Ecuador is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Andes of Ecuador and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.

+Tour Price

Yeti Gathering Ecuador Price

£2,760 GBP / $3,726 USD / €3,312 EUR per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)

Price includes:

  • Services of fully-qualified, English speaking expert mountain bike guides for the duration of the trip
  • All breakfasts and lunches and dinner on the final night – you should budget $50USD per day for other meals and drinks
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • Entrance fees to historical/cultural sites and national parks
  • Back-up vehicles for the duration of the trip
  • Special Yeti Gathering Ecuador souvenir
  • All group safety equipment
  • Airport/ H+I recommended hotel pick-up on day 1 and drop-off on day 10 of tour (specified times apply)
  • Global Rescue emergency evacuation services

Price excludes

  • International/ domestic flights
  • All dinners except final night
  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Tips in restaurants and hotels
  • Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
  • Any other items not listed as included

+Skill + fitness levels required

Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect adventure for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.

Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.

Skill level: Advanced

  • You are very confident handling most types of riding and obstacles, including drops (up to 1 foot), rocks, logs, switchbacks, larger rock gardens and sustained technical singletrack
  • You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
  • You have excellent bike handling skills and can lift front and rear wheels, do small jumps, corner, climb and descend steep trails
  • You have considerable experience of riding on a wide variety of technical terrains including: rocky, rooty, muddy, loose, fast singletrack, exposed trails, bedrock for extended periods
  • You ride at least three times a week and rarely get off and walk sections
  • You can climb and descend comfortably on technical singletrack for as long as required

Fitness level: 5/7

  • You have a good level of bike fitness, exercising at least three times every week throughout the year, for an hour at a time
  • You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three or more consecutive days
  • You can tackle two or three fairly significant climbs a day, up to 600 metres each

Typical trails you’ll be riding

  • The trails on the Yeti Gathering Ecuador are natural ‘rustic’ ancient walking paths of varying trail surface, that will require you to choose your own riding line and decide if it is suitable to ride
  • Double track: undulating and sometimes steep jeep tracks made up of a hard-packed and loose dirt surface
  • Singletrack: you will encounter up to head-sized, fixed and loose rocks, as well as fixed bedrock style trails, deep channels, channels and volcanic ash sections
  • The surface may be dry and loose, or wet and muddy depending on weather conditions
  • Trails in the forest will have roots crossing them and may be narrow through the trees
  • You will be riding at some very high altitudes – it is the Andes! – but the itinerary has been designed to allow you to acclimatise. We also have some handy tips for riding at high altitudes

+Arrival + departure details

The Yeti Gathering in Ecuador will start and end in Quito.

We advise arriving in Quito a day or two before the tour start date, to adjust to local time and start acclimatising to the altitude. If you are arriving prior to the tour start date, your guide will meet you at your H+I recommended hotel in Quito Old Town on day 1 of your adventure.

We have created this handy guide to spending 24 hours in Quito before the start of your mountain bike tour Ecuador. On the last day of your adventure we will transfer you back to Quito airport for your flight home, and would ask you to book your return flight departing no earlier than 4pm on the last day.

+Travelling to Ecuador

Quito airport is well-served by major airlines from all over the world.

If you’re flying from the UK or Europe KLM have a direct flight from Amsterdam to Quito, which is very handy! For up-to-date timetables and booking visit:;;; You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport.

Here are some handy tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.


You do not need a visa to visit Ecuador for up to 90 days, you just need a passport that is valid for at least six months after your return from Ecuador.

+Preparing yourself + your bike for the trip

Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour in Ecuador, so that you have everything you need!

The Yeti Gathering Ecuador is for advanced mountain bikers with level 5/7 fitness. The ideal bike for your mountain bike tour Ecuador is a good quality full-suspension mountain bike with around 150mm of travel. To get the most out this adventure in Ecuador you should do plenty of training in advance of your tour, and we have put together this great training plan to help you on your way. It is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you ensure that it has been professionally serviced, including all suspension, before the trip.

We will be riding at high altitudes on our mountain bike tour Ecuador, and if you have never experienced mountain biking at altitude before you may be interested in some useful advice on how to cope with the effects of altitude.

+Your mountain bike guides in Ecuador

Our local mountain bike guides in Ecuador are professional and experts at guiding bikers on their local trails.

They are qualified in first-aid, and have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild parts of Ecuador. Our mountain bike guides have years of experience in the saddle on the Ecuadorian trails and will enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna.

They’re also genuinely nice people and will go the extra mile to make sure that everyone has an unforgettable experience on our mountain bike tour Ecuador.

+Accommodation + Food

One of the things that set our adventures apart from other mountain bike tours in Ecuador is the quality of the accommodation we use. We understand that when you’ve had a big day in
 the saddle, you want a warm welcome, wash and a comfortable place to relax and unwind – because that’s exactly what we’re looking for too.

This is why we only work with accommodation providers across Ecuador whose standards of service match our own high expectations.

During your time in Ecuador you will be staying in a wide variety of accommodation from a large hotel in Quito to traditional hill cottages (haciendas).

+Health + Safety

  • No vaccinations are required for visiting Ecuador
  • Ecuador is generally a very safe country in which 
to travel. It is, however, wise to keep an eye on 
valuables as you travel through towns and cities
  • You cannot drink water from the rivers on our tours, 
nor the tap water. Bottled water is widely available
  • Our guides are fully-trained first-aiders

You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad. Your health and safety is on tour our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.

+Currency + Foreign Exchange

The official currency of Ecuador is US Dollars.

ATMs are accessible in the larger cities in Ecuador. Major credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa are accepted at large hotels, shops, and restaurants in larger cities and in some rural hotels. Keep in mind that the further from civilisation you go, the less likely you’ll be able to exchange or withdraw money from an ATM, so carry cash when you go into the wilderness.

American Express Travellers Cheques are widely accepted at most major banks and money kiosks.


It is not compulsory to tip your waiting staff or guides in Ecuador, however if you feel you have received good service and have enjoyed your trip you can tip at your discretion: 10% – 15% of the cost of your meal, or your holiday price (for one person), as appropriate.

+Holiday Insurance

You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.

Please note: Our mountain bike tour Ecuador is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Andes of Ecuador and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for Yeti Gathering Ecuador

  • Q. How many people will be in the group?

For this exclusive Yeti Gathering adventure in Ecuador we can take up to 22 Yeti riders.

  • What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?

The Yeti Gathering Ecuador caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 60-years-old, but age is simply a state of mind, as they say, and we welcome anyone over the age of 18! As long as you have a good level of physical fitness and good bike handling skills you will enjoy this mountain bike tour no matter what your age.

  • Q. What style of mountain biking vacation is it?

This mountain bike tour Ecuador is a guided mountain bike tour, ideal for advanced mountain bikers. Riding here, amongst the world’s highest active volcanoes, you’ll experience a few tough climbs (largely because of the altitude) and steep, fast descents, as well as some lovely flowing singletrack through a huge diversity of landscapes and eco-systems. Altitude is a factor in this trip and we have some tips for riding at high altitudes and managing the effects of altitude.

  • Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?

The distances we cover each day range from 15km to 50km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain height gradually over the course of the trip to ensure that your body becomes accustomed to the increased altitude. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.

  • Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?

No, you only need to carry a 20 litre day pack with you whilst riding. We have a support vehicle and driver who will transfer your luggage to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival.

  • Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?

Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Ecuador. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!

  • Q. Who will be guiding us?

Your mountain bike guides are local to this region of Ecuador and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Ecuador. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.

  • Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?

On the Yeti Gathering Ecuador you’ll spend five nights in traditional working haciendas (ranch) and you will also stay in 3- and 4-star local hotels and guest houses. At the haciendas you’ll have the chance to learn about the reforestation project going on in the area.

  • Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?

All breakfasts and lunches, and the final night dinner are included in the tour price. Other evening meals are at your own expense.

  • Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?

A Yeti bike with 150mm travel front and rear will be ideal for this mountain bike tour Ecuador.

  • Q. What will the weather be like in Ecuador?

The weather during our mountain bike tour Ecuador has many different climates and micro-climates, and in the regions we’ll be visiting on our mountain bike tour temperatures can range from 6C/42F to 25C/77F. It’s likely that you’ll experience bright sunshine, as well as some rain and damp, overcast days, so you should bring plenty of layers and a waterproof jacket with you for riding.

  • Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?

You must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a waterproof jacket. You should also bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour Ecuador.

  • Q. Can I bring a drone with me?

Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.

Meet your guides

José Jijon

José H+I Adventures mountain bike guide in Ecuador

Euan Wilson

Euan happy in Switzerland as part of a H+I Adventures favourite mountain bike moments in 2019.