Cycle classic Peru and visit South America's stunning ancient Inca sites

Travel to Peru and embark on a cycling adventure from the coast to the magical Sacred Valley. Kick things off on the streets of Lima, pedalling through fishermen’s and artists’ hangouts, clocking beautiful views of the Pacific coastline. Fly to Cusco and hit the single-track to explore a veritable treasure trove of Inca archaeological sites. Ride a mountain bike across the lush countryside of the Sacred Valley, a world of colourful Andean communities and phenomenal landscapes shaped by lost civilisations. Finish with a tour of mighty Machu Picchu, one of South America’s must-see drawcards.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Cusco, Peru
Destination
Peru
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling, Explorer
Code
GGXC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 14
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Peru's spectacular mountains and valleys are a dream to explore on two wheels. This itinerary combines easy routes with more strenuous paths, allowing a nice mix of sightseeing and adventure

  • Begin with a two-wheeled Urban Adventure through the streets of Lima, stopping in artist enclaves and scenic lookouts

  • Discover the breadth of Peru's diverse heritage, from the gorgeous Spanish colonial architecture of Lima to the mother of all Inca cities, Machu Picchu

  • Tour Cusco both on bicycle and on foot. Check out the San Pedro market, the 12 Angled Stone, Chocolate Museum, and Inca sites such as Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay

  • Spend three days exploring the Sacred Valley on a mountain bike, visiting the Huaypo lagoon and the iconic terraced Moray Agricultural Laboratory

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

  • While the cycling can be challenging at times, there's a hotel to retire to each night, giving you the chance to relax and unwind.

  • Note that full passport details are required at the time of booking the trip. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru’s coastal capital. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you’ll meet your fellow travellers and tour leader. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. After the meeting, stroll the streets of downtown Lima and check out some of its main attractions on a leader-led walking tour. Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore at your own pace. The unofficial food capital of South America, there’s no better place to sample Peru’s national dish, ceviche, than at one of Lima’s excellent restaurants. As there's little time spent in Lima, you may like to arrive a few days early to see the sights, including the chic suburb of Miraflores, Central Park, Lovers' Park and the National Museum.

Total riding distance: no included riding today

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Set off on a half-day adventure exploring Lima on two wheels. Uncover several of Lima's vibrant districts including fishermen's hangouts, artists' stomping grounds and hilltop lookouts with marvellous city views. There's time for lunch before taking a short 90-minute flight to Cusco. Take some time to acclimatise to the high altitude (3450 metres), then set out a short walk around the downtown area to get familiarised with Peru's cultural heart.

Total riding time: about 3.5 hours
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll check out some of Cusco's lesser-known archaelogical sites (well, lesser-known in comparison to its famous Inca citadel) on a half-day bike tour. Take a short 15-minute bus ride to your starting point, Tambomacay, then it's time to start pedalling. Ride along singletrack through the glorious Andean landscape, visiting Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. The terrain is nice and easy, and a snack is provided along the way. Later in the afternoon, head out on foot to discover some of Cusco's best sights, such as the facade of Coricancha temple, San Pedro Market, San Blas Square, the 12 Angled Stone the Regocijo Square. 


Total riding distance: about 10 kilometres / 6 miles over 4 hours
Maximum altitude: 3780 metres / 12,390 feet
Minimum altitude: 3380 metres / 11,120 feet
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embark on a three-day mountain-bike expedition through the Sacred Valley. Today's ride takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the valley. It's flat, not too strenuous and the perfect terrain to acclimatise as you get used to your bike. Firstly head off on a private bus to Huacarpay Lake, the starting point for the ride. As you pedal along, admire beautiful views of the Urubamba River, not to mention traces of Inca heritage. After breaking for lunch, drive to the Pisaq Inca site, then ride along smooth paved roads to enigmatic Pisaq, a village built at the base of an Inca fort on a mountain spur. Take a short tour to the village to help learn its secrets.

Total riding distance: about 38 kilometres  / 24 miles over 3 to 4 hours
Max. elevation: 3100 metres / 10,140 feet
Min. elevation: 3000 metres / 9802 feet
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Notes on the 3-day mountain-bike trip:

What's included:
Helmet, gloves and bike (2016 Specialized PITCH with disc brakes and front suspension)
Fresh water for bottle refills
A packed lunch (on Day 6)

Passengers to bring:
Suitable footwear, windproof/waterproof jacket, polypropoline (seasonal), sunscreen, sunglasses
Camera
Daypack for personal belongings
Hat or cap to protect from the sun, rain or cold
Non-disposable water canteen (fresh water for refills is provided)
Cash in soles and/or US$ (entry fees to archaeological sites, and meals (except lunch on Day 6), are not included)
Depart early for another day on the bike. Connecting two of the Sacred Valley's most iconic towns, this ride will take the whole morning (3 to 4 hours). Its difficulty level ranges between beginner and intermediate, with fun descents and only short climbs. It follows about 34 kilomtres of dirt road – the longest bike path in the Cusco area, travelling downstream and throughout the farming fields. Along the way, see Andean communities living their daily lives. Tonight's accommodation is a real highlight; spend the evening in bungalows set amid landscaped gardens with lovely views of the surrounding hills.

Total riding distance: about 38 kilometres / 24 miles over 3 to 4 hours
Max. elevation: 3000 metres / 9,802 feet
Min. elevation: 2900 metres / 9512 feet
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Be ready to leave at 8.30 am, as you board a private bus and drive 30 minutes to the Chinchero Plateu, the starting point of today's ride. The route is a bit more difficult than yesterday, and will take you through quaint townships and stunning Andean landscapes in the Sacred Valley. Stop to admire the ringed Inca ruins of Moray, the Huaypo Lagoon and the intriguing Moray Inca Agricultural Laboratory. A packed lunch is included. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, trade your bike for the train and travel to Aguas Calientes, where you'll spend the night. 


Total riding distance: about 30 kilometres / 19 miles over 4 hours
Max. elevation : 3600 metres / 11,808 feet
Min. elevation : 2900 metres / 9512 feet
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Leave the bike behind and take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (about 30 minutes). Spend time pondering the mystery of this incredible archaeological site on a guided tour – was it built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility or as an ancient astronomical observatory? Or something else? Your guided exploration will last 1.5–2 hours, after which you'll have free free time to wander around the temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, return to Cusco (by train and van) for a well deserved shower and perhaps a Pisco sour. 

Total riding distance: no included riding today

Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking climbs of Wayna Picchu.
Your adventure comes to an end in Cusco this morning after breakfast. There are no activities or rides planned for today. If you've got some free time in Cusco why not check out Cafe Daria? This cafe & pizzeria is Cusco’s first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Students are trained across all aspects of hospitality and the food is prepared by the students on site. It's a great way to interact with locals, while also giving those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Bicycle, Plane, Train, Public bus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

Essential trip information

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