Ciclovia El Chaquiñan - Ecuador
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Directions to Ciclovia El Chaquiñan
By far one of the best and - with good reason - most popular activities in the region of Cumbaya is to either stroll or cycle the Chaquinan railroad. Some tour operators in Quito can organise this excursion for you, complete with add-ons to visit the nearby Ilalo Volcano.
The track used to form a cross-country connection between the cities of San Lorenzo and Bucay, but was unfortunately ruined by an earthquake in the late 1970s. There is a silver lining, however, for now part of the old railway has been restored for tourists and travellers to explore. The section that people can now enjoy is the one that stretches from the town of Puembo to the Cumbaya valley.
The path passes through no less than five tunnels, plus the stunningly scenic Chiche Canyon, and traverses a healthy 20 kilometres. If you're lucky you'll spot some of the wildlife native to the area, but what's impossible to miss is the omnipresent beautiful scenery.
There are villages en route in which you can pause for refreshments and a chance to chat with the locals. The trail is well marked, meaning it's practically impossible to get lost, and the activity (either walking or cycling) is ideal for families. Access to the trail is free of charge, but if you want to cycle you will most likely need to rent some bikes - this can be done in Cumbaya, near to the start of the path.
If you are walking and make it all the way to the end but are not eager about making the return journey, you can hop on a Quito-bound bus back to Cumbaya, or just simply stay on until you reach Quito.
The trail is open every day from 6am - 6pm.
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