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Peru

Sacred Singletrack

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

14 days

Prices from

£1,795 P.P.
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Peru is, without a doubt, one of the ultimate mountain biking destinations in the world. After years of exploring on our bikes in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we have put together what is surely the definitive singletrack mountain bike holiday in Peru!
The riding in Peru is unique and challenging. There will be traverses on narrow singletrack, descents on rocky trails and remote trails through spectacular wilderness areas. Some of the routes explore genuine incan-built trails connecting abandoned ruins in high mountains. While the altitude and terrain dictate that we focus on some of the most spectacular descents you can imagine, we have designed this trip with experienced mountain bikers from all genres in mind. Cross-country riders will relish the remote mountain singletrack and enduro riders will be stunned by the challenging technical descents.
Every day there’s another exciting challenge, whether it’s an optional climb to a 4330m pass or a 26km singletrack descent of a vertical kilometre, you’ll not be disappointed. The Andes serve up mile after mile of switchbacks, rocky paths, epic descents and equally ambitious cross country routes.
You’ll hone your riding technique on original Inca trails, dodge llamas and alpacas and enjoy the amazing nightlife of Cuzco almost as extreme as the trails themselves! During the trip, our Peruvian guides, mechanics, drivers and support staff will delight in instructing you in the finer art of Andean biking and make sure your bike is always in tip-top condition.
Not only are our guides expert riders, but they’ll be able to tell you all about the history and culture of the area, and also have an in-depth knowledge of all the best restaurants and nightlife spots to make your holiday a real blast. With miles of pristine and largely downhill trails just waiting to be explored, our trip zig-zags across the Inca Empire, ending with an optional visit to the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu.
During the rides we discover local markets and get truly off the beaten track to explore rarely visited Inca ruins on the most mind-blowingly brilliant trails. Every night we stay in a mix of delightful hotels and lodges which we use as a base for several days at a time, meaning you can unpack and relax in between days on your bike. So hot showers and delicious food every day and a few cheeky chilled cusquenas after the rides too!
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding the spectacular trails of the Inca Avalanche race course
  • Time at the incredible Machu Picchu
  • Descending the Inca staircases of Chinchero
  • Long winding descents and remote mountain singletrack
  • Ancient llama-trails through Lares and Lamay
  • Bar-hopping in colourful Cusco

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Without doubt the best off road trails I have ever done – even blew the socks off Canada and that’s saying something!

Nick, Derbyshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Departure

Leaving home, your overnight flight will arrive into Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) situated in Lima (the capital of Peru), bright and early the following morning.

Day 2
Arrival in Cusco

If flying overnight via Lima there is time for a coffee and snack at the airport before taking a spectacular flight along the Andes to Cusco (CUZ). On arrival we take a short transfer (20 minutes approx.) to our hotel in Cusco (3 star) and start acclimatising to the rarefied air of this beautiful city (3326m). In the afternoon, we can take a short walking tour of the city and take some time to prepare our bikes ready for the riding ahead. In the evening we head out to the centre of Cusco, where we will take our evening meal at one of the many superb restaurants.

Day 3
Classic Cusco
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This is the classic Cusco ride – a mix of dirt road and technical singletrack and one used regularly for bike races in Cusco. We start with either an optional 1 – 1.5 hours tarmac uphill to get a feel for the altitude or else meet the group at the top for our first ride from Yuncaypata back to Cusco. This is the perfect start to our time in Peru and offers spectacular views over Cusco, great ruins en route and a bit of original Inca trail too. There’s also an option to try out the local motocross course (very silly on a bike) plus a few big air jumps which can be easily avoided! Lunch is taken ‘box lunch’ style during the riding, with the ride back through town almost as exciting as the singletrack! As with the previous evening, we’ll be taken on a wander to our chosen restaurant for another tasty meal.

Day 4
Cusco, Sacred Valley to Pisac
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Back up the hill for our first descent. This takes us back to Cusco via the amazing Devil’s balcony – Here the river has cut a natural tunnel under an Inca Canal. This classic ride has technical sections, Inca cultural and an exciting Eucalyptus forest finish. Our second descent of the day takes into the Sacred Valley of the Incas via two superb short sections of singletrack. This is singletrack heaven, smooth donkeytrails and ancient Inca roads. There is even a river to cross mid-route on a rickety log (best to walk your bike, unless your balance is superb and you’ve nerves of steel!!). We stop for a picnic lunch before heading on for today’s goal, the town of Pisac. We look to arrive in time for its artisan market, perfect for picking up souvenirs or photographing a typical Andean market. We stay the night in a charming hotel in Pisac.

Day 5
Lamay and Pisac
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Rising early we can enjoy watching the artisan market setting up. We head down the Sacred Valley to Lamay and head up to the pass at 4,200m. It is then all downhill back to the valley floor on Trails, footpaths, steps and dirt road. After lunch, we can either repeat the experience or try a side trip on new trails. We return to our base in Pisac for the night. Time and, adrenaline levels permitting, there’s a couple more stretches of big, ancient ,staircases above Pisac if your brave enough to try.

Day 6
Huchuy Quosqo
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

The biggest, remotest ride of the trip. We drive as close to the pass as possible, but we still have to push our steeds up to 4,200m on dirt road. But it is easily worth it. A truly magnificent day of singletrack as we follow an ancient Inca trail to the rarely visited ruins of Huchuy Quosqo perched on a cliff above the Sacred Valley. This is wilderness biking at its best – we take a packed lunch and plenty of spare tubes as there are lots of cactus en route. There’s a bit of hiking too but it’s one of those trips that is truly memorable. The final 1000m descent to the floor of the Sacred Valley is either on a wide zig-zagging dirt road, or for those who haven’t had enough, a truly amazing singletrack interspersed with some scary angled sections. We meet our vehicle and head to our new base in Urubamba. Here we can relax in the lovely garden, perform some essential mechanics or wander in to town.

Day 7
Calca Valley
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

You think it can’t get much better than this but it does! Today’s ride with optional hour or so of high altitude uphill is another truly out-of-this-world singletrack down the incredibly beautiful Calca valley. Weather and road conditions permitting we try and get a warm run on the Ampares Valley down to towards the jungle. Again we follow an old Inca trail starting wide and grassy smooth with small jumps over water ditches before heading into a truly beautiful canyon far away from any road support. Here (if you can take your eyes off the trail) we find Inca burial tombs and a perfectly intact Inca staircase. If we have time we can do it all again but this time even faster.

The final descent into Calca is a mix of outrageous short cuts and fast dirt road before blasting into the plaza – the ideal place to practice your wheelies in front of an adoring crowd of Peruvian onlookers. We return to our base outside Urubamba (you can ride the 20kms of road if you haven’t had enough) for good food, showers and plenty of tall stories around the bar.

Day 8
Salt Pans and Singletrack
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Finally we get to do what many believe to be the single best ride in Peru if not the whole Andes. It’s a classic cross country /downhill ride starting at 3800m and ending the day 1000m lower on one of the sweetest singletracks imaginable. The views are spectacular : big white peaks, a lake famous for UFO’s, local villages and a mysterious circular ruin called Moray. And we mustn’t forget the Salt Pans of Maras -one of the most impressive sights around. Here the donkeys carrying the salt have kindly produced the most beautiful smooth and ridiculously fast downhill imaginable. We aim to finish the ride early back at the hacienda for a delicious barbeque and a bit of a rest in the beautiful gardens and probably a bit of bike / body maintenance too! We can even nip up and do the last bit again if anyone wants.

Day 9
Chinchero to Urubamba
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

The next ride could be described as just plain silly or again one of the truly classic rides of the Andes. We drive to Chinchero where, if there’s time, we can have a look round the local market before setting off on one of the toughest singletracks around. It’s an old Inca trail again but this time the Incas have excelled themselves. A series of seemingly non-ending steps lead us down onto a smooth trail. You have to stop and check out the view – any excuse to ease the forearms. The steep, loose-rock track is subject to landslides so we take the best track on the day. We end blasting through the small village of Urquillos and out to Huayllabamba. This is so good that, if anyone’s got the energy, we might just do it all again, well it would be rude not too really! If not, then in the afternoon we drive high above Urubamba for another fun downhill ride to the town. Known as the 7-12 route it’s as loco as we want to make it! Lots of options and there are new race tracks appearing annually. For those weary of the riding and wanting to rest their legs, we can organise something more gentle; a spot of recreational shopping or the bike route is actually a really nice hike should you wish to ditch the bike for the day.

Day 10
Machu Picchu
  • Meals: Breakfast

After an intense few days of riding our bodies are ready for a day off the bike. However there is more to Peru than awesome singletrack; so for those who chose the optional trip we are going to take you to this place called Machu Picchu – sure you’ve heard of it? It’s a really cool place steeped in history, the train journey there is a fun experience and although there’ll be a few tourists here, the view is truly amazing! Once here, we’ll include a fully guided tour, before whisking you back to the Inca village of Ollantaytambo – a suitably laid back place ideal for kicking back in between rides. Busy during the day with tourists the town empties out in the evening with a couple of great cafes and bars to explore.

Day 11
Pumamarca to Ollantaytambo
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Another drive to the high point of the trip – a truly spectacular pass at 4500m. Somewhat oxygen-depleted, we ride a mix of llama and alpaca trails in a total descent of 1700m. At times we blast down the road passing villages where life pretty much has stood still since Inca times. We aim to have lunch near the traditional village of Huilloc, where weaving the colourful ponchos of the Inca trail porters is the prime activity and we may even have time to pick up a bargain along the way. A short push up the hill brings us to Pumamarca where there are some seldom visited ruins if you fancy a bit of culture but only for a few minutes before taking advantage once again of the Inca’s ingenuity and enjoying a technical descent back to the valley floor along some of the most impressive terracing out there. We end back at the town of Ollantaytambo where a major battle between the Spanish and Incas was fought.

Day 12
Mega Avalanche Peru Style
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

And you really thought it couldn’t get better? Heard of the Mega Avalanche race won in the past by mountain bike legend Steve Peat? Well it would be a shame not to include this gem of a ride too. We’ll throw in a bit of tarmac uphill if you want but the emphasis will be on your final totally brilliant, singletrack heaven – 4200m to 2800m nearly all on the sweetest singletrack you can imagine. If that’s not enough, we offer the chance to do it a second time but this time without stopping (well maybe the odd breather) or for those whose adrenaline has maxed out, there’s a tricky ride back up the river all the way to Ollantaytambo where you can just chill in the plaza with a cold cusquena – blissful!! In the afternoon we’ll whisk you back to Cuzco for a great night out.

Cusco by night is probably more extreme than any singletrack we’ve done so far so prepare yourself for a whole lot of fun. Whether it’s fine dining, pubs galore, salsa dancing or the best of 80’s disco kitsch Cusco has it all and doesn’t close until it gets light.

Day 13
Crackin' Cusco
  • Meals: Breakfast

Basically guys and girls you are probably going to be crying out for a day off by now. Cuzco is a great place to chill out, read a book, buy some souvenirs, recover from the night before whilst slowly packing your bike OR what the hell, there is just one more singletrack we’d love to show you.

We’ll leave about 11 am if that’s ok. It’s a monster climb (but we‘re acclimatised now so no problems and of course we’ll have a vehicle just in case). If they ever invent a downhill mountain biking video game, this track will be used as the model – smooth singletrack with little jumps, local ladies crossing at random intervals, nonchalant stray dogs, trees, and all (well nearly all) downhill. Just the ticket before heading out for a final night on the town in Cuzco.

Day 14
Departure
  • Meals: Breakfast

Depending on your flight time but hopefully not too early we’ll pick you up and take you back to the airport for the one hour flight back to Lima. If there’s time you can store your baggage and head downtown for some of the best seafood in the world, a bit of culture and maybe a bit of shopping too – check-in to international is 3 hours before so make sure you‘re back in time!

Please Note – This itinerary is a guide to our Peru trip, with the actual events of each day varying depending on progress of the group. It is important to note that it may be subject to change in relation to trail, road and weather conditions etc.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The Incas may not have invented the wheel but they perfected the Singletrack! This trip is largely on dusty, rocky, technical, sometimes fast and mainly downhill singletracks. Expect fast flowing, narrow trails interspersed with technical sections that include boulder steps and even some original bits of Inca Trail. There are also optional sections of multiple steps. At times there are steep drop offs and some exposed singletrack. Walking the bike for sections is always an option. Our guides are there to show and teach you the delights of this amazing country and its awesome bike routes. There are also some sections over 4300m altitude but a support vehicle will be nearby and most of the uphill is done by vehicle. Riders should be comfortable on UK red and black grades.

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 - 5: Challenging/ Demanding

Aspects of both our grade 4 and 5 holidays

Distances of 25-55 miles / 40-90 kms per day

For experienced mountain bikers who enjoy difficult technical sections and physical challenges

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 4-5, will have aspects of both our grade 4 and 5 holidays. As well as keeping a good level of fitness you are also an experienced biker and enjoy riding more challenging trails. You usually ride most weekends and can cover between 30 and 50 miles over a full 8-9 hour day (with breaks). The routes you choose include challenging climbs perhaps with sharp switchbacks and sections of large and loose rocks. You are comfortable riding most trails including sections of technical or exposed singletrack with obstacles such as drop offs and rock gardens. Our grade 4-5 trips should suit you.

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Starting out from really high up above the clouds and descending for ages before relaxing in a natural hot spring. Magical!

Craig, Newcastle

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
28/08/2021
Return Date
10/09/2021
Duration
14 days
Price
£1,795.00
Start Date
07/05/2022
Return Date
20/05/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
£1,935.00
Start Date
27/08/2022
Return Date
09/09/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
£1,935.00

Whats Included Tick

A) All accommodation (twin occupancy).

B) All meals provided as the itinerary. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch).

C) An experienced bi-lingual mountain bike guide/mechanic with emergency repair kit and back up vehicle.

D) At least one leader qualified in First Aid procedures with an emergency first-aid kit and oxygen.

E) All bus transfers described in the itinerary.

F) Airport collections / drop offs on scheduled arrival and departure days.

G) Carbon offset equivalent to planting 2 trees per person per day

What's not Included Cross

A) Medical check up and inoculations.

B) Tips for guides, helpers etc.

C) Travel insurance

D) Bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

E) Entrance fees to historical sites etc not covered in the itinerary

F) All flights and all additional costs of travelling with a bike

G) Bike Hire (available if required)

H) Machu Picchu day Trip -(payable in advance)

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival and departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

To join the included transfer you’ll need to arrive into and depart from Cusco (CUZ). We can accommodate arrivals and departures throughout the day. Most flights from North America require a stop in Lima and are available with LATAM airlines, among others. Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your trip and check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your trip. Please note – If you make arrangements that fall outside of the above windows there may be charges for additional transfers.

Accommodation

During the trip we will use a variety of accommodation. In Cuzco we stay in 3 star hotels with private en suite. In Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo we use charming lodges close to the local shops and restaurants with plenty of space to relax after a day on the bike.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire.

These bikes are typically very good full suspension mountain bikes from major brands such as Specialized, Kona or Scott featuring disc brakes and good quality components.

If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Meet our team in Peru

Two wheels are by far the best way to access remote Peru, just ask our incredible local team...

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Reviews

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