| | |

Biking Through Ecuador Day 8: Misahualli to Baeza

Follow me as a travel through Ecuador on a 10-day biking trip through the mountains and valleys of this beautiful country

Blue butterfly on leaf in Ecuador

There’s a good chance that affiliate links are scattered throughout this post. If you click on one I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you and I’ll definitely be using it to buy bike gear.

This post was written on my previous blog while working on a fleet of National Geographic Ships and before I started Two Wheeled Wanderer, so it’s a bit different than my ‘typical’ posts.

After a good night’s sleep in Misahualli, we woke up to a cloudy, but rain-free day. We had breakfast in the hotel restaurant and then C and I took a walk down to a muddy river to have a look at the beach.

There were a few long boats waiting for the tourists to arrive to take them downriver and into the Amazon rainforest. A man tried to sell us one of his numerous trips, but we told him we were leaving for Baeza in a few minutes.

Starting off on our bikes right outside our hotel, we retraced the 12 kilometers of paved road we rode yesterday to the small town of Puerto Napo with a brief stop at a butterfly center to see the different stages of a butterfly’s life. There was also a large netted area where we could watch live specimens fluttering about. It was interesting, but I was more impressed with the center in Malaysia.

Large black moth on a green leaf at butterfly center in Ecuador
Large moth on stem of banana tree with pink banana fruit in Ecuador
Large brown month in Ecuador with big eye spot on wing

Butterflies weren’t the only thing we saw.

Close up of grasshopper on green leaf
Close up on black walking stick insect on leaf in Ecuador

In Puerto Napo, Arie was waiting for us with a pair of delicious, freshly made danishes filled with a sweet fruit marmalade. From there it was a steady climb with a few downhill reprieves to the town of Tena. We didn’t go through the town, but took a road skirting the edge.

I can’t say this bike route was the prettiest or most scenic ride we’ve done so far. It was mainly on a highway with big trucks passing on our left and garbage littering the gutters to our right.

One good thing, though, was that it was relatively flat with only a few gradual ups and downs – something we hadn’t yet experienced in Ecuador. Most of the topography is either steep up or steep down.

After Tena, the rain came. And it didn’t let up. C and I suffered through the deluge for several more kilometers before we pulled over and told Arie that we were ready to ride in the car for a while.

We slowly began to gain elevation until we left the low tropical rainforest behind and entered into a misty, and I thought more beautiful, cloud forest.

After 25 kilometers of switchbacks, we reached the apex where Arie pulled out lunch and we enjoyed a view of the clouded hills and ridges above the tree line.

Clouds over mountains and ridges in cloud forest of Ecuador

Despite being chilled and soaking wet, we donned more layers (there was a noticeable temperature change from when we started) and got back on our bikes for a 25ish-kilometer ride to Baeza, where we spent the night.

The first part was all downhill, but then the road leveled out and continued on in an up-and-down fashion. It was still raining slightly, and I was pretty cold, so I didn’t bother with pictures. The landscape was beautiful, though! Very green and idyllic with cows in the pastures and steep green mountains stretching down to the river.

After a very muddy and slightly damp ride, combined with several sweaty uphills, we were ready to get off our bikes and take a shower. Shower we did, but not with hot water. 

Baeza is a tiny little town with not much going on, but it’s situated smack dab in the middle of three Ecological Reserves – Cayambe-Coca, Sumaco Napo-Galeras, and Antisana – making it a convenient base for hiking and bird-watching.

Although we arrived at our hotel early – around 3pm – C and I didn’t really have any desire to explore the area any further. We quickly showered, then headed downstairs to the restaurant for a hot cup of tea and some reading/writing time.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow we’ll be back in Quito! We still have half a day on our bikes and the rumor is we’ll visit some hot springs before getting back into the city. Then it’s part II of our Ecuadorian adventure – the Galapagos!

>> Read next: Biking Through Ecuador Day 9

Was this post helpful?

buy me a coffee!

Similar Posts

I love hearing from you and appreciate your comments! However, if you leave a rude, unconstructive, or spammy comment, it will be deleted. It’s cool to be kind. Have an awesome day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *