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)

  • 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

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 17 October 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm on Day 1. You will find more information about this at the hotel reception. Straight after the meeting enjoy a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. If you arrive early, a walk around Miraflores is recommended. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively, go to Parque del Amor (Love Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other options are a tour to Pachacamac (approximately 30 kilometres from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum.

No included riding today
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Set off on a bike tour of Lima this morning (approximately 3.5 hours). This covers various districts of the city, from fisherman's hangouts to the stomping ground of Lima's artists. Take in beautiful Pacific Ocean views from the coastline and marvellous city views from hilltops.

Afterwards, fly to Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours). To help you acclimatise to the high altitude (3,450 m) we only take a short walk to help familiarise yourself with the downtown are of Cusco .
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Check out the Cusco archaeological sites on a half-day bike tour (approximately 4 hours). Start with a private bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to Tambomachay, the starting point for the ride. Start pedalling along singletrack, riding from site to site through the glorious Andean landscape. Inca sites visited include Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. A snack will be provided along the way. The terrain is fine for all levels of ability.

Later in the afternoon head out to visit the facade of Coricancha temple, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, the Regocijo Square. You'll also check out the San Pedro market and San Blas square.


Ride distance: approx. 10km / 6 miles
Maximum altitude: 3,780m / 12,390 ft
Minimum altitude: 3,3800m / 11,120 ft
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embark on a three-day mountain-bike adventure through the Sacred Valley. Today's ride (3–4 hours) takes you on the most scenic ride along the valley.. It's flat and not too strenuous, it's the perfect way to acclimatise and to 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 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.

Ride distance: approx. 38 km / 24 miles
Max. elevation: 3,100 / 10,140ft
Min. elevation: 3, 000/ 9,802ft
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 the hotel on your bike today. Connecting two of the Sacred Valley's most iconic towns, this ride will take the whole morning (3–4 hours). Its difficulty level is beginner–intermediate, with fun descents and only short climbs. It follows about 34 km 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 – bungalows set amid landscaped gardens with lovely views of the surrounding hills – is a real highlight.

Ride distance: approx. 38 kms / 24 miles
Max. elevation: 3,000 / 9,802ft
Min. elevation: 2,900/ 9,512ft
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a private bus at around 8:30 am to the Chinchero Plateu (approximately 30 minutes), the starting point for your ride. Today's route is of intermediate difficulty (approximately 4 hours). Set off firstly for Moray, stopping to spend some time there. Then pedal back down to the Sacred Valley, through to Ollantaytambo. The route follow the quaint townships of ancient communities and stunning Andean landscapes. This is one of the must-ride routes for mountain bike enthusiasts visiting Cusco. Today's highlights include the Huaypo Lagoon and the intriguing Moray Inca Agricultural Laboratory. A packed lunch is included today.

From Ollantaytambo you will take a train to Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night

Ride distance: approx. 30 km / 19 miles
Max. elevation : 3,600 / 11,808 ft
Min. elevation : 2,900/ 9,512 ft
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Leave the bike behind and take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). This is your chance to decide for yourself whether Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility or is an ancient astronomical observatory. Enjoy a guided visit of the incredible site (1.5–2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards to wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, return to Cusco for a well deserved shower and perhaps a Pisco sour. Take a train back to Ollantaytambo (approximately 90 minutes) followed by a van back to Cusco (also approximately 90 minutes).

Note: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking climbs of Wayna Picchu.

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
Your adventure comes to an end in Cusco this morning. If you've got some free time in Cusco why not check out Café Daria? This café & 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.


No included riding today
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

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)
On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st. The main points impacting our visits are:
1. There is now a time limit to visit the citadel. Morning visitors must exit the site by 12pm and afternoon visitors by 4.30pm
2. Visitors must complete a designated circuit, in one direction only. Exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted and, upon completion, visitor must exit the site. There is no allowance for personal exploration of the site any longer.
Overall we support these changes as they help preserve this invaluable archaeological site. While this somehow restricts the amount of time we are now allowed to spend in Machu Picchu, we’ll do all possible to maximise your time there and make sure you have the best possible experience.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Cycle Peru (Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley) trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Cycle Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley, September 2018

Benjamin Stanley

Cycle Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley, September 2018

Benjamin Stanley