If we’re talking “biking”, Azuayos are among the best, not only locally, but internationally. Some have earned a name for themselves in various categories like BMX or Mountain Biking. Faithful to their cycling tradition, Cuenca and its surroundings offer several ways to enjoy the weekend. Here are some of the best routes.
This route is one of the most interesting, traveling across old towns and landscapes dotted with rural homes. This great uphill and downhill circuit will surely test the weekend amateur’s mettle. You can start in the area of La Villa near Ricaurte, cross Zinin, and reach Cojitambo, to turn and continue towards Surampalti, El Cisne and return to La Villa. The distance is approximately 47 km, some 5 or 6 hours to complete.
Photo: Jorge Vinueza.
If you are visiting Ingapirca you can reach out for your bike and take the old road joining the archaeological site and the town of Honorato Vásquez. This small road lies on the route towards Cañar, where you’ll see a turn-off as the Pan-American Highway loops to the south. This beautiful trail offers peace and tranquility for moderate downhill biking, entertaining for everyone. It covers 16 km and takes about an hour to complete.
This loop mixes city and countryside, starting in Zhiquir, west of Cuenca, down to Cuenca’s historic center, crossing Calle Larga towards El Paraíso Park. From there continue onto Calle 24 de Mayo following the river up to Vía a Pacha; turn left and continue along the Old Panamerican Highway to La Italia. Then take a left on the road heading to Llacao, continuing to Tablón and return on the same road to Llacao forking off north onto the road to Zhiquir and finally reaching the Panamerican back to Cuenca. The route is approximately 51 km and takes about 6 hours to complete.