Self Driving Tips

Enjoy the views, but avoid driving in the dark!

Driving in the Andes Mountains can be an amazing experience if you prepare well for it. You’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty, far reaching views & friendly people you will meet along the way. Below a few tips to make sure your trip is as pleasant as possible and with no surprises!

  • We recommend leaving Quito early in the morning so that you have the best chance of catching great views along the Avenue of the Volcanoes – especially the Cotopaxi and Illinizas peaks are often seen!
  • Avoid driving in the mountains after dark, it will be harder to find your way. Plan to arrive to your locations 5.30pm.
  • If for some reason you do end up driving in the dark – please don’t panic, just follow the directions and drive carefully. Phone the lodge in case you need assistance.
  • Remember you are driving in one of the safest areas in Ecuador – don’t be afraid to ask the locals for help and directions.
  • Before leaving the Pan-American Highway, make sure to fill up the tank to make sure you have enough for the full loop. In the villages there are no gas stations.
  • There are sharp hairpin turns on several roads – keep an eye on your speed & blow your horn when making turns so that approaching traffic will know you’re coming.
  • Cellphone coverage is sporadic on the mountain roads. In Isinlivi and Sigchos the Claro company has coverage, while in Chugchilan and Quilotoa the Movistar company has coverage.
  • Be aware that landmarks are constantly changing. We do our best to regularly update the instructions, but sometimes things change before we notice. If this is the case, or you feel the instructions are unclear, we would greatly appreciate it if you could let us know so we can inform future travelers.


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