If you’re reading this, chances are you are not the type of person to spend their vacation time relaxing on a pristine beach while sipping mojitos and working hard on your tan. No, like me, you are an adventurer and thrill-seeker, dreaming of traversing the unknown country on two wheels, rain or shine. You don’t get scared away by adverse weather, rugged terrain or tough conditions. You embrace it!

One thing I love about traveling and exploring on a motorcycle, dirt bike, or ATV is the close contact with the elements. You can feel the wind on your face, smell the air as you are riding through a forest, desert or high mountains. There’s no better way to intimately get to know a new country than spending a few weeks riding through it. Not too long ago, I had the chance to do just that when I decided to spend my vacation in Ecuador.

Ecuador is an adventurer’s paradise. Its unique geography allows you to experience several climatic zones in a short period of time. You have easy access to cloud forests, beaches, deserts and high mountains — what more could you want? During my trip, I spent about two weeks dirt biking through each of these varied climate zones. It’s an amazing country with even more amazing people full of friendly smiles and willingness to help. Ecuadorians are more than happy to guide you if you lose your way while hiking to a waterfall deep inside the cloud forest or offer a lesson if you want to try your hand at making your own sugar cane juice at the local farmer’s house. If you’re an adventurer who’s itching to embark on a trip like this yourself, there are a few tips and considerations you need to go over to help make the journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.