Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure

Cycle from the sierra of Cusco to the lush Amazon rainforest on a memorable Amazon Cycling Adventure!

Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure: An Epic Journey!

Join us in Peru on an epic Andes to the Amazon cycling adventure! This unforgettable Amazon cycling adventure takes you from the Sierra of Cusco to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru known as Manu National Park, a World Heritage Site. On this once-in-a-lifetime mountain bike adventure you will visit the famous town of Paucartambo, camp in the iconic campsite of Tres Cruces, and watch the sunrise over the Amazon, in itself a truly magical experience. Manu National Park is located east of Cusco, and it is the only park in Latin America to cover the full range of climates and environments, from low, tropical jungle to cold, high grasslands at over 3500 m/12,000 ft of elevation. Peru is famous for being one of the most diverse countries on Earth as it covers 30 of the 32 world climates; there’s no better way to experience the incredible diversity of Peru’s climate, landscape, and wildlife than on a guided cycling holiday with Haku Expeditions, Peru’s adventure travel experts.

Ride Description: This ride is a long distance ride with sustained climbs and epic descents. We will be mostly on gravel or asphalt roads passing though Andean pueblos and diverse climates. Once in the Amazon we will tour mostly by foot or boat.

Tour Dates

Dates for our 7-Day Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure:

What you can expect

Amazon Cycling Trip Highlights

Some highlights to look forward to on your 7-Day Amazon Cycling Adventure:​

Live the adventure

Amazon Cycling Trip Details

  • ITINERARY
  • INFORMATION
  • REVIEWS
  • FAQS
  • ADD ONS

Hopefully you slept well, because your Andes to the Amazon cycling adventure begins at 8 a.m.! We will meet at the Haku Expeditions office, right in the Cusco city center, to grab our mountain bikes and gear. Then, we’ll begin our journey from Cusco to the Amazon and ride to the outskirts of Cusco, which will bring us past the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay, each a unique and stunning historical site. A short and necessary history lesson is included! The ride continues up to the pass and begins a nice curvy and scenic downhill to the towns of Corrao and, eventually, Pisac. Lodging tonight is nestled in the valley, and there may be some time to visit the ruins of Pisac. Supper is included and the stay is very nice. Sleep well — tomorrow is a big day!

 

Amazon cycling stats:

Distance: 32 km/19.88 mi

Elevation gain: 400 m/1312 ft



Lodging: Martina Wasi

Meals included: L, D

The village of Paucartambo, at 2900 m/9514 ft, is quite the place. Home to the colorful and famous Virgin of Carmen festival every July 16th, the 3 day processions and parties are always a sight to behold. Riding there will also be quite the accomplishment — it’ll take the better part of the day to get to this historic Peruvian town. Lunch is included on the way and after arriving in Paucartambo and looking around for a bit we’ll drive to Tres Cruces, our campsite. Tres Cruces is a truly special place; in the morning, we’ll rise early to experience the campsite’s perfect positioning for the sunrise over the vast Amazon rainforest. As we inch our way from the Andes to the Amazon in Peru, you’ll notice that the changes in the ecosystems are extraordinary. 

 

Amazon cycling stats:

Distance: 75 kilometers/46.6 miles

Elevation gain: 1280 m/4199 ft

 

Lodging: Camping at Tres Cruces 

Meals included: B, L, D

Have you ever dreamt of riding 1700m/5,000 ft of downhill that starts in the high grasslands of the Andean sierra and ends in the vastness of the Amazon?! If so, the next two days will achieve such a dream! While it’s a long ride we make sure to take breaks along the way and to appreciate the truly special Peruvian natural world. Andean bears, pumas, various species of monkey, and hundreds of birds have all been sighted on this incredible ride. Lunch is at an Amazon cloud forest lodge and we end the day in San Pedro, a  neat village with a plethora of wildlife stalking around it. 



Amazon cycling stats:

Distance: 45 km/27.9 mi

Ascent: N/A

Descent: 1760 m/5775 ft

 

Lodging: Local lodge

Meals included: B, L, D

Continuing our Peru Amazon adventure, we ride about 40 km/25 mi today to Salvación, a quaint little town on the border of the Amazon that is considered one of the gateways to Manu National Park. Rest up: tomorrow morning you will begin your 3-day Peru Amazon adventure!

 

Amazon cycling stats:

Distance: 40 km/25 mi 

Descent: 1250 m/ 4100 ft 

 

Lodging: Local lodge

Meals included: B, L, D

Salvación is literally on the edge of Peru’s Amazon basin. Here roads end and river travel begins. Today will begin with a canoe ride and then hike to Machu Wasi, a diverse area across the Madre de Dios river from the “Otorongo Blanco” campsite. We’ll get our first real, up-close-and-personal introduction to the verdant beauty of the Amazon. After a day of exploring, the evening will be spent enjoying the sounds of the Peruvian Amazon. We’ll also be going on a night hike, which is a great time to see a different side of the Amazon rainforest come to life.

 

Lodging: Camping or local jungle lodge

Meals included: B, L, D

Wake early and explore. Have a siesta and then ride in canoes to spot wildlife on the riverbank. There are eleven species of monkeys, many rodents, and even jaguars that we’ve spotted while canoeing. Take a bath to cool off in the afternoon and enjoy your final evening in the Amazon.

 

Lodging: Camping or local jungle lodge 

Meals included: B, L, D

Your transport back to Cusco is around 11, so take some time this morning to soak in the magical beauty of the rainforest one last time. Back in Cusco, we’ll say our farewells — see you next time!


Meals: B

What’s the price of this 7-day Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure? And what’s included?

The price is 2295$ per person. 

Price includes:

  • All transport
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Bilingual guide
  • Kona Process 153 mountain bike rental
  • All lodging from night 1 to night 6
  • Meals from day 1 lunch to day 7 breakfast
  • Snacks and water everyday
  • 3 day/2 night Amazon jungle excursion
  • Entry fees Manu National Park
  • Tents for camping nights

 

Not included:

  • Entrance into the Pisac ruins should you decide to visit them
  • Sleeping bag and mattress 
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips

Part of making sure this is your mountain biking holiday of a lifetime is looking realistically at your ability level. We’ve rated the Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure at a fitness level of 3 and skill level of strong beginner to intermediate

What does that mean? 

For us you need to be fit with the ability to pedal for longer periods of time. You can fit into our beginner to intermediate experience levels. Note that beginner for us does not mean someone with no experience on the bike. Read below to see how we categorize fitness levels and experience levels of beginner to  intermediate. 

Fitness level 3: You exercise one to two times a week but do not have a normal schedule that keeps you biking or doing other activities weekly. You don’t go to the gym or train for any specific sports but you lead a relatively active lifestyle by biking, hiking, skiing, or whatever it may be. For biking: climbs and long descents give you some trouble and you tend to get tired after about 2-3 hours on the bike.

Mountain biking skill level for this cycling adventure: beginner to intermediate

Beginner: You’ve been riding a mountain bike for a couple of years or less and you’re most comfortable on smooth single-track and wider, forgiving double-track. You like rides with scenic views; you like both ascending and descending on well-maintained, safe trails. You’re looking for an active but safe mountain bike vacation; you’re not into jumps, drops, super steep trails, rock gardens, roots or taking big risks on your bike.

Intermediate: You’ve got two plus years of experience mountain biking on single-track trails under your belt; you’ve gotten pretty confident behind the handlebars and are beginning to expand your mountain bike abilities. You like riding most types of terrain, and you’re comfortable both climbing and descending on single-track trails with smaller technical features such as rocky sections, small drops, and small steep sections. You aren’t trying to walk on most of the trail and are looking to take small risks with things like speed, jumps, rock gardens, and stair sets to improve your skills as a mountain biker.

We will pick you up from the airport on arrival to Cusco and take you to the hotel you have booked in Cusco. If you would like us to book a hotel for you we can do so. At check out you can purchase extra hotel nights. 

Our driver will pick you up at the Cusco airport, he will have a sign with your name on it. He will not arrive early. Therefore, if your flight arrives early please wait until arrival time for him to pick you up. 

Pick up does not include drop off outside of Cusco.

If you still have a balance we will make sure to bring you over to the office to pay the rest of your tour. 

This Amazon Cycling Adventure begins and ends in Cusco, Peru. You will want to look for flights to Cusco (CUZ) which will always require a layover. Layovers are often in Bogota or Lima and arrivals in Lima are generally around 1-2 am. You can also fly into Lima and spend a night or two there. 

IMPORTANT: Generally anytime you land in another country you need to get your luggage and rescan it or re-check it for customs. Every country is different so check ONCE YOU ARRIVE, so do not count on the front desk lady who checked you in at your first airport. In Lima you must re-check your bags. Make sure you have enough time during your layover for customs and the bag check. 

Cusco is located at 11,350 ft/3500 m, you will need to arrive early in order to acclimatize.

Our Andes to the Amazon cycling adventure includes meals prepared by local restaurants. The delicious meals generally consist of a soup with fresh vegetables and potatoes with a main meal afterwards. The main meals are generally chicken or trout along with rice, potatoes and vegetables. Most lunches do not contain flour. Thankfully all of our meat is free range, grass fed and produced by local farmers with small farms. We do cater to both vegetarian and vegan diets. 

We provide nutritious, locally made snacks for the hiking days. However, Peru does not have all of the same high calorie snacks that you may enjoy at home. Feel free to bring extra energy bars for the trail that you may find yourself craving.

We provide fresh water for the entirety of the ride. You will need a bottle or CamelBak to fill in the mornings. 

Cusco has an amazing food scene and there are many places to choose from, take advantage before and after this amazing ride 

The accommodations are a perfect mix of campsite tents and hotels. The hotels are comfortable with hot water, wifi, breakfast and a helpful and accomodating staff.  

Each person is required to have a specific travel/trip insurance outside of your credit card or regular medical insurance. You should get comprehensive coverage with trip interruption/cancelation and with personal liability. Mention all activities that you will be involved in and whatever other activities you may have planned. 

We do not provide refunds. Because mountain biking is an adventure activity and getting hurt is a possibility you will want a travel insurance. If you should get hurt not only will it cover your medical expenses it will also cover the lost portion of the Amazon cycling adventure and any other tours you may have booked. Make sure you have trip interruption or trip cancelation included! South America is famous for people striking and shutting down all activities. If you miss your Machu Picchu tour, your Amazon tour or your flight due to strikes the insurance will cover the loss or additional costs that are incurred. 

Peru’s currency is called the Nuevo Sol. You’ll be able to exchange US currency for the Sol easily in Cusco. The exchange rate often fluxuates between 3.29-3.33 sol per US dollar. 

We recommend you bring cash. Peru is still a cash society. Most people don’t have bank accounts as Peruvian banks charge up to $15 per month just to have the account open. So, services like Venmo, Pay-Pal, and Apple Pay aren’t used here. Most local stores, taxis, and local restaurants are cash only. 

ATMS charge around $8 to take out $60-200. Banks only allow a small withdraw daily. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to withdraw a good sum of cash before you come to Peru. The USD, EURO, CAD cash you bring should be non-ripped bills. Small rips or bills that are written on are not accepted for exchange. 

Seeing as Peru is a cash society and it is difficult to withdraw large amounts of cash, we require your balance be brought in cash. 

TIPPING: Local restaurants generally do not require a tip, however, leaving a few soles is a nice gesture. Tourist restaurants are generally a 10% tip. Tipping your guide in Peru is generally 5-10% of the price you paid for the tour. 

What to bring:

  • Passport, plane tickets, travel insurance papers
  • Cash, Credit cards, ATM cards 
  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag and mattress 
  • Water bottle or two for refilling or Camelbak bladder in your day pack/ hiking pack
  • Rain gear
  • Sandals, flip flops, or sneakers for camp
  • Clothing for the Amazon: lightweight long pants and shirt
  • Clothing for the cold: down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, base layers, wool clothing
  • Biking gear, biking shoes, clip-less is best, fingerless gloves, padded cycling shorts, bike jerseys, biking socks
  • Pedals for the bike to match your biking shoes, we only provide platform pedals
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
  • Bug spray (natural or chemical) and bug bite cream
  • Ear plugs and face mask for sleeping
  • Travel towel and toiletries 
  • Any medicines you may need: epi-pens, inhalers, ibuprofen, aspirin, or something similar for headaches or muscle pain 
  • Camera or phone
  • Charging devices for phones and camera
  • Day pack or CamelBak for carrying water, camera, snacks, medicines
  • Larger pack or duffle for additional clothing and snacks — this will go in the support car
  • Doctor-recommend meds for both parasites and bacterial infections should they occur after the cycling adventure begins. 
  • If you think you will want high altitude medication, Diamox is what many people use. Please talk with your doctor about dosing and use.

The support car is with you for the entire ride. You can leave your extra gear inside. Each day you’ll carry your water, snacks, camera, rain gear, layers, sunscreen, meds, and bug spray.

Any changes to the itinerary after the ride begins can incur charges.

There is very limited cell service for most of the ride.

We cannot be responsible for acts of nature such as, but not limited to, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, etc. Nor can we be responsible for strikes by the people closing down roads and transport. We will do our best in these situations to get you to the necessary destination; however, you may need to depart earlier than expected or take a transport that is longer than stated in the itinerary or make changes to the itinerary

 

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We’re super excited you’ve booked your Peru 7-day Andes to the Amazon cycling adventure with us! Now, we’ll need some information from you. 

You will receive a couple of emails from us asking for specific information. Please get us that information as soon as possible to begin making reservations for your trip. 

If you have added on any extras like a Machu Picchu tour or extra hotel nights we will begin planning that aspect of the trip with you as well. 

Working out in a gym, running, or going on long extended rides will definitely help you out. Good rest, healthy eating and hydration is a good idea as well.

Talk to your travel clinic about any vaccines or medications you may want. You will be in the Manu National Park part of the Amazon along with Cusco. While there is currently no malaria or yellow fever outbreak in Manu National Park, you should consult your doctor about vaccines or medicines you may need. 

We recommend you take vitamin C supplements and probiotics before you come and while here. As great as Peru’s food is, it’s probably different than what your body is used to, so it’s important to make sure your body is ready for the transition. Food safety is crucial when travelling abroad, and Peru is no exception. Check out our blog on the subject.

Bring cash. Peru is still a cash society. Most people don’t have bank accounts as Peruvian banks charge up to $15 per month just to have the account open. So, services like Venmo, Pay-Pal, and Apple Pay aren’t used here. Drivers, guides, local restaurants — all will be expecting cash. 

This means that we too will ask for the balance of your trip in cash for the simple reason that we must pay everyone we work with in cash. 

While we don’t have a limit on the number of riders most of our trips are small and personal. In fact if you would like to create your own trip dates you can do so as long as two people are on the trip. We will then work to get others to join the Amazon cycling adventure with you!

It’s open and dependent on the physical limitations of each individual. 

Our guides are local men and women who are have at least three years experience as a mountain bike guide and are excellent companions on the trail. They have a keen knowledge of both their history and their surroundings — it’s a pleasure to be with them.

You are required to carry a small backpack for your water, snacks, rain jacket, etc.

The distances are noted for each day; time is biker-dependent.

The accommodations are a perfect mix of campsite tents, and hotels. The hotels are comfortable with hot water, wifi, breakfast and a helpful and accomodating staff. 

Every meal from day 1 lunch to day 7 breakfast.

You can leave your extra luggage either in your hotel or our office in Cusco.

You will be given a visa at the Lima airport. Typically they are for 90 days. Check all the countries you will have a layover in and their visa requirements. 

In short: we don’t know! We are at a base altitude of 11,000+ feet. When you’re that high up, the weather is constantly changing. We recommend that you don’t look at the forecast because, frankly, it’s always wrong. Our dry season is between mid-May and late September. The shoulder seasons are April and October, and the rainy season is between November and March with the heaviest rains in December and February.

Obviously in the Amazon rainforest you may experience rain.

What to bring:

  • Passport, plane tickets, travel insurance papers
  • Cash, Credit cards, ATM cards 
  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag and mattress 
  • Water bottle or two for refilling or Camelbak bladder in your day pack/ hiking pack
  • Rain gear
  • Sandals, flip flops, or sneakers for camp
  • Clothing for the Amazon: lightweight long pants and shirt
  • Clothing for the cold: down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, base layers, wool clothing
  • Biking gear, biking shoes, clip-less is best, fingerless gloves, padded cycling shorts, bike jerseys, biking socks
  • Pedals for the bike to match your biking shoes, we only provide platform pedals
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
  • Bug spray (natural or chemical) and bug bite cream
  • Ear plugs and face mask for sleeping
  • Travel towel and toiletries 
  • Any medicines you may need: epi-pens, inhalers, ibuprofen, aspirin, or something similar for headaches or muscle pain 
  • Camera or phone
  • Charging devices for phones and camera
  • Day pack or CamelBak for carrying water, camera, snacks, medicines
  • Larger pack or duffle for additional clothing and snacks — this will go in the support car
  • Doctor-recommend meds for both parasites and bacterial infections should they occur after the cycling adventure begins. 
  • If you think you will want high altitude medication, Diamox is what many people use. Please talk with your doctor about dosing and use.

The laws here are always changing. We have had no problems in the past with drones, although this is at your own risk. Furthermore, if you are jumping in with an already-formed group, we can’t promise that we’ll be able to stop to do drone footage for you as it can significantly cut in on riding time. If you are in a private group and the group doesn’t mind, then we are happy to stop to film.

  • Each person is required to have a specific travel/trip insurance outside of your credit card or regular medical insurance. You should get comprehensive coverage with trip interruption/cancelation and with personal liability. Mention all activities that you will be involved in and whatever other activities you may have planned. 
  • We do not provide refunds. Because trekking is an adventure activity and getting hurt is a possibility you will want a travel insurance. If you should get hurt not only will it cover your medical expenses it will also cover the lost portion of the trip. Make sure you have trip interruption or trip cancelation included! South America is famous for people striking and shutting down all activities. If you miss your Machu Picchu trip, your Amazon trip or your flight due to strikes the insurance will cover the loss or additional costs that are incurred. 

Our guides are equipped with a first aid kit for all types of abrasions, breaks, bites, stomach and altitude issues, and general symptoms. They have all been trained in first-aid. If you should get hurt we will either evacuate you to the nearest medical center or call for an ambulance if needed. 

Seeing this iconic 15th century Incan citadel is a more than worthy bucket list item for most people that come to Peru. If you’d like, we’ll organize a tour of the site that includes a round-trip train ticket, entrance to the sanctuary, and an English-speaking guide.

Archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as a palace for the Incan emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century. They abandoned it after roughly a century during the Spanish conquest, only to remain virtually unknown until 1911, when American historian Hiram Bingham made Machu Picchu’s existence public. In 1983, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and since then it has captured the imagination and awe of the millions of people who travel to experience its magic.

Price: $350 per person. 

Included:

  • Entrance into Machu Picchu
  • Round-trip train ticket on Peru rail
  • An English-speaking guide
  • Two-hour tour
  • Taxi to the train station in Cusco

Not included:

  • Bus up to the ruins ($15 USD can be purchased at checkout) 
  • Entrance into Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Taxi to train station in Ollantaytambo

 

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Sleeping bag rental

Price: $25 USD

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Add on a full day of singletrack mountain biking to your trip.

We will take you out on some of our epic Andean singletrack! Don’t miss the chance the shred 2600 m/8000 ft of downhill MTB!

Price: $180 USD

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Make your vacation even easier! Let us book a hotel or airbnb for you!

We make sure to book you a place that has a central location in Cusco with in walking distance to the Plaza de Armas. 

We also make sure you have a place that has real hot water as many places in Cusco only offer cold water or luke warm showers at best! 

Hotels include breakfast. Private apartment airbnb do not.

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

If you want a room to yourself, let us know and we can arrange that.

Price: $30 per person per night

6 nights: $180 per trip

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Fitness & skill level

Is this Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure for you?

This 7-day Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure in Peru is for avid cyclists who practice cross country cycling or road cycling and want to be challenged and amazed by world class scenery and high altitude pedaling. If you are looking for something easier or a one day trip, check out our Inca Legends downhill ride. 

Our 7-day Andes to the Amazon cycling adventure is ideal for you if:

  • You enjoy being on a mountain bike in the great outdoors 
  • You are comfortable on the bike for long sustained climbs
  • You are looking for a unique mountain biking experience in Peru
  • You have always wanted to visit the Amazon rainforest
  • You are looking for an off the beaten path adventure 

The ride in images

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Giving back

1% For Charity

Haku Expeditions donates 1% of all profits to support local education programs.

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