Were the Inca moun­tain bik­ers? Judg­ing by the mas­sive net­work of trails and roads they built all over Peru (10,000 km by some esti­mates) at the peak of their empire, mod­ern-day archae­ol­o­gists could be mis­tak­en for think­ing they were.

On this Ride, we’ll explore South Amer­i­ca’s best sin­gle­track, get a taste of Inca his­to­ry in places like Cus­co and Ollan­tay­tam­bo, and rev­el in the majesty of the world’s 2nd-biggest moun­tain range. Your local guides are pas­sion­ate about show­ing you the beau­ty of their coun­try, and will give you a rich, ful­fill­ing expe­ri­ence that goes well beyond an amaz­ing moun­tain bike trip.

Check out these great arti­cles writ­ten by past Rid­ers on this trip:

This trip is for expe­ri­enced and tech­ni­cal­ly strong rid­ers only!  Be sure to review our Skill and Fit­ness Rat­ing Sys­tem for a bet­ter under­stand­ing of what to expect.
 

Is This Ride For You?

You can han­dle very rocky ter­rain and nar­row trails, and have excel­lent bike han­dling skills. You’re com­fort­able and con­fi­dent rid­ing all-moun­tain trails (steep climbs and long, tech­ni­cal descents). You don’t mind the odd long day if it gets you to a spec­tac­u­lar and remote place that few oth­er vis­i­tors will see. You’re not afraid to get out of your com­fort zone and expe­ri­ence a total­ly dif­fer­ent and fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture. You’re up for try­ing new things, like roast­ed guinea pig or vol­un­teer­ing at a remote Quechua com­mu­ni­ty. You have a sol­id, well-main­tained do-it-all trail bike (with rough­ly 130–160mm of trav­el, drop­per post and beefy tires. Rentals also available).

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive in Cus­co, Peru

Wel­come to Peru!

We offer an air­port pick-up on Day 1 at 11:00 a.m. from the air­port in Cus­co (Ale­jan­dro Velas­co Astete Inter­na­tion­al Air­port CUZ). After col­lect­ing your bag­gage, head out to the main pas­sen­ger pick-up area of the air­port, and look for your shut­tle dri­ver with a Sacred Rides sign in their hand. We’ll then trans­fer you to our hotel in Cusco.

After set­tling into your hotel in Cus­co, we’ll head out for an ear­ly lunch near the bustling main plaza of Cusco.

After lunch, we’ll head back to our hotel to build our bikes. We’ll then head out right from our hotel for a short intro ride to the upper part of the city. Once we are on top of the city, we’ll ride down an Inca trail with a few sur­pris­es thrown in. We’ll end our ride back at our hotel leav­ing enough time to explore Cus­co or catch up on a few lost Z’s from travel.

Tonight, we’ll head to one of the best restau­rants in Cus­co. At din­ner, we’ll take the time to review in detail our full itin­er­ary for the week and answer any ques­tions you may have. Tonight, we can enjoy some of the nightlife this Impe­r­i­al city has to offer.

Day 2. Sacred Val­ley Treasures

Anoth­er ear­ly morn­ing will be wel­comed with a hearty break­fast of local cui­sine and coffee.

Today, we’ll shut­tle to Chinchero, one of the most impor­tant Inca sites near the Sacred Val­ley. Chinchero is locat­ed at a whop­ping alti­tude of 3,700 m (12,139 ft.).

From here, it’s pos­si­ble to see the entire plateau of Maras and the Vil­can­o­ta’s Moun­tain Range with its +5,000 meter glac­i­ers like Chicon and Veron­i­ca. We’ll cross agri­cul­tur­al fields, bor­der Lake Huay­po and reach the vil­lage of Mis­mi­nay where we’ll have lunch at a local family’s house.

We’ll con­tin­ue the ride on an Inca Trail that will take us to the round ter­races of Moray, the town of Maras and then descend to Sacred Val­ley fol­low­ing an incred­i­ble ancient trail. Get your cam­eras ready, as the view of the Sacred Val­ley below is like no other.

Final­ly, we’ll end our ride at the Urubam­ba Riv­er, at an alti­tude of 3,000 m (9,843 ft.).

Tonight, we’ll stay in the Sacred Val­ley, home for the next 5 nights.

Day 3. Lamay Val­ley Shut­tle Runs

Today is a lit­tle more relaxed and super fun.

We’ll ride two dif­fer­ent descents from the top of Lamay Valley.

The first trail starts at the top of the val­ley at an ele­va­tion of 4,350 m (14,271ft.). We’ll expe­ri­ence Enduro style rid­ing on the top, fol­lowed by an incred­i­ble descent down ancient Inca trails to the bot­tom of the val­ley at 2,900m (9,514ft.).

After catch­ing our breath and wip­ing the tears of hap­pi­ness from our windswept faces, we’ll hop back in our shut­tle and head back to the top of the moun­tain.  Our sec­ond run will cross moun­tain­side farms where we’ll cross paths with the locals hard at work.

This ride will be a true Inca expe­ri­ence, high atop the moun­tains of the Sacred Valley.

We’ll enjoy a group din­ner and head back to the same hotel as last night.

Day 4. The Ori­gin of The Inca Empire

There are three the­o­ries that explain the ori­gin of the Inca Empire, all of which agree that it stemmed from Ollan­tay­tam­bo, in the Pat­a­can­cha Valley.

Ear­ly this morn­ing, we’ll start with a shut­tle from Ollan­tay­tam­bo and climb towards the Pat­a­can­cha Val­ley, a trib­u­tary of the Sacred Val­ley at an ele­va­tion of 4,500 m.  We’ll descend most­ly, with the occa­sion­al climb. We’ll cross rivers, pass through moun­tain­side vil­lages and enjoy the stun­ning views of the Andes.
 

We’ll stop in the vil­lage of Huil­loc for lunch, where the local peo­ple will show us how they work the land and make their clothing.

In the after­noon, we’ll con­tin­ue on a dirt road for about 5 km before we start climb­ing to Puma­mar­ca. The climb­ing to Puma­mar­ca is around 20 min­utes on the bike and 5 min­utes of push­ing (you can do it!).  The sin­gle­track that starts in Puma­mar­ca and ends in Ollan­tay­tam­bo is one of the best, flowy sin­gle­track trails in the area, with some rocky sec­tions and excel­lent 360° views.

We’ll enjoy a group din­ner and head back to the same hotel as last night.

Day 5. Rest Day or Choose Your Own Adventure

Day 5 is a sched­uled rest day with no activ­i­ties planned. For those need­ing to catch up on some extra Z’s are wel­come to take the day at leisure.  The fol­low­ing options are avail­able as Add-Ons through the Add-Ons tab.  Please vis­it the Add-Ons tab for pricing. 

MACHU PICCHU

(Please Note:   the Machu Pic­chu tour is not includ­ed in the trip price. Please vis­it the Add-Ons tabs for pric­ing. The Machu Pic­chu tour includes return train ride to Aguas Calientes, bus to Machu Pic­chu, admis­sion and guide.)

We high­ly rec­om­mend you vis­it Machu Pic­chu while in Peru, con­sid­ered one of the 7 won­ders of the world!

The Machu Pic­chu tour starts with a train ride from Ollan­tay­tam­bo to the town of Aguas Calientes. From there we’ll take a bus up to the Citadel.

Machu Pic­chu (like most of the Quechua names of towns and dif­fer­ent sites in the region) is a com­pound word that comes from Machu = old or ancient, and Pic­chu = peak or moun­tain; there­fore, Machu Pic­chu is trans­lat­ed as “Old Mountain”.

The famous moun­tain that appears in most of the clas­si­cal views of the site is named Way­na Pic­chu (Young Mountain).

We’ll have the entire day to explore the remark­able Citadel and learn about its well-pre­served secrets.

Tonight, we’ll dine in Yanahuara Vil­lage and head back to our lodge for a good night of rest.

RIDE HUCHUY CUSCO, THE INCA FORTRESS

(Please Note: the Huchuy Cus­co ride is not includ­ed in the trip price. Pric­ing for this ride depends on the # of par­tic­i­pants. Please con­tact us to be added to the “Rid­er” list and for more infor­ma­tion on pricing.)

For those choos­ing to ride Huchuy Cus­co, The Inca Fortress, it won’t disappoint!

We’ll have an ear­ly start and head towards the Sacred Val­ley and the sur­round­ing moun­tains in Chinchero.

This expe­ri­ence will be a true epic Enduro ride, where we’ll have to first climb until we reach 4,336 m and then descend fol­low­ing an ancient Inca trail down to Sacred Valley.

This Ride will treat us to amaz­ing views of the moun­tains, small vil­lages and the Inca Fortress of Huchuy Cus­co, locat­ed strate­gi­cal­ly high atop the Sacred Val­ley.
 

Tonight, we’ll dine in Ollan­tay­tam­bo and head back to our lodge for a good night of rest.

Day 6. Ollan­ta to Lares Val­ley to Hot Springs

Today is a tru­ly epic ride.

We’ll cross the moun­tains of the Sacred Val­ley towards the Lares Val­ley. Our shut­tle will drop us at the pass of the Vil­can­o­ta Moun­tain Range at an ele­va­tion of 4,350 m (14,272 ft.) and from that point, we’ll ride an amaz­ing ancient trail that descends towards the Lares hot springs. We will go through very remote areas and meet the local peo­ple that live in the Andes. As we descend we will pass through dif­fer­ent type of ter­rain and then reach the hot springs at an ele­va­tion of 3,200m (10,500ft.). This Inca trail is very impres­sive and we were the first to ride it! This is sure to be a high­light of your rid­ing expe­ri­ence in Peru!

We’ll reach the hot springs with lunch ready and wait­ing! We’ll spend the after­noon chill­ing at the hot springs, per­fect for recoup­ing our worked mus­cles.  If you’re eager to keep rid­ing this after­noon,  we’ll have the shut­tle avail­able for an option­al ride through the val­ley, anoth­er amaz­ing trail that ends at the hot springs. 

The shut­tle ride back to the hotel is about 3 hours, enough time to take a nap and edit a few pho­tos from the day’s adventure!

Day 7. Lares Inca Trail & Back to Cusco

After enjoy­ing break­fast at the hotel, we’ll shut­tle to the top of the Lares moun­tain pass, locat­ed at 4,420 m (14,501 ft.).

From here, we’ll start our ride head­ing down­hill fol­low­ing anoth­er impres­sive Inca trail with rock steps that look like they were made specif­i­cal­ly for moun­tain bikes.

We’ll pass one of the most impres­sive land­scapes through­out the trip, cross­ing a deep canyon that is only pos­si­ble to pass by moun­tain bike.

We’ll pass over a vari­ety of ter­rain, from the rel­a­tive­ly flat plateaus of the moun­tain­top to the rugged valleys.

We’ll final­ly end our ride in the town of Cal­ca, where we’ll meet our shut­tle and trans­fer back to the city of Cusco.

There will be an option­al after­noon ride once back in Cusco.

Day 8. Cus­co Shut­tle Runs

This is our last day of rid­ing in Cus­co and we have an amaz­ing day planned! We will ride three fun and flowy trails that descend right into to the city.

Shut­tles are short and the rid­ing will have you smil­ing from ear-to-ear! We will descend around 2,000 ver­ti­cal metres  through­out the day and fin­ish this amaz­ing trip in the main plaza of Cus­co with Cusqueña beers!

In the after­noon, we will wash and pack up our bikes. Guides will be avail­able to help! Then it’s time to cel­e­brate this week of adven­ture with deli­cious food, cold bev­er­ages, and your new moun­tain bike friends! Cheers! 

Day 9. Adiós Cusco! 

We have reached the last day of our amaz­ing trip in Peru and it’s time to say good­bye to Cus­co and it’s won­der­ful Inca Trails.

We’ll arrange for your shut­tle to the air­port based on your indi­vid­ual flight times.

Please note: we only offer an air­port shut­tle on Day 9. If you are depart­ing a dif­fer­ent day, we can book an air­port shut­tle for you at an addi­tion­al cost, please vis­it the Ride Add-Ons information

Picture Yourself Here…