Crossing the Andes Cycling Adventure

This 13-day, 450 km cycling adventure takes you from the mystical Lake Titicaca through the Sacred Valley and all the way to Machu Picchu.

Andes to the Amazon Cycling Adventure: An Epic Journey!

What better way to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on Earth, the Andes, than on a bike with the wind in your hair? Haku’s Crossing the Andes Peru cycling adventure takes you on a massive, 13-day mountain biking vacation that begins at the largest lake in South America, Lake Titicaca, and ends in Peru’s historical crown jewel, the Incan citadel Machu Picchu. You’ll stay in a combination of hostels, home stays, and tents, combining natural and cultural experience for the full Peru experience.

A cross-country Peru cycling adventure, start in the mystical Lake Titicaca and cycle your way across the altiplano to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu. This fully-supported mountain bike holiday is meant for cyclist who want a local adventure company like Haku Expeditions to show them the way in a safe and fun manner.

Tour Dates

Dates for our 13-Day Peru Cycling Adventure:

What you can expect

Peru Cycling Adventure Highlights

Highlights to look forward to on your Peru Cycling Adventure:

Live the adventure

Peru Cycling Adventure Full Details

  • ITINERARY
  • INFORMATION
  • REVIEWS
  • FAQS
  • ADD ONS

Welcome! Today, you’ll Arrive in Juliaca via plane and transfer to Puno. Tonight we’ll stay in a simple hotel and allow the body to acclimatise. Your guide will give you a briefing tonight on how the epic Peru cycling adventure that awaits you will unfold.

Lodging: Hotel in Puno
Meals included: N/A

Today, you’ll be treated to a half-day tour of the floating Uros island on Lake Titicaca.

By volume and surface area, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in the South American continent, and sometimes referred to as the “highest navigable” lake in the world. Archeologists have recently found evidence of pre-Incan civilizations that lived on this lake; in 2000, an archeological team found the submerged ruins of a temple they believe was built between 1,000 and 1,500 years ago. As you acclimate, walk the shores of Titicaca and take in the beauty and history of this world-famous lake.

Tonight, you can look forward to a homestay on the Lechon Peninsula.
We’ll also build our bikes today to get ready to begin our Peru cycling adventure!

Lodging: Homestay on Lechon Peninsula
Meals included: B, L, D

Time to really start this Peru cycling adventure! We will ride about 50 km/31 mi from Lechon Peninsula to Juliaca, the capital of the San Roman Province of Peru.  We will have a picnic lunch along the way. Tonight we’ll stay in a simple hostel in Juliaca.

Distance: 50 km/31 miles. 
Lodging: Hostel in Juliaca
Meals included: B, L

Today we ride approximately 35 km/21 miles northwest from Juliaca to the charming, quiet town of Lampa, also known as La Ciudad Rosada (the Pink City). Here we can visit the beautiful church with its catacombs and a replica famous Pietà statue. For lunch we will eat at a local restaurant before cycling about 20 km/12 mi to our campsite just outside of town.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. We’ll sleep in tents tonight.

Distance: 55 km/34 mi
Lodging: Tents
Meals included: B, L, D

Today we’ve got a 50 km/31 mi day ride from Palca to Tinajani Canyon, a remote canyon with amazing views and stunning rock formations. We’ll be camping again this evening, this time in a canyon filled with century cactus, which only flower once every 100 years.

Distance: 50 km/31 mi
Lodging: Tents
Meals included: B, L, D

Today we ride from Tinajani to Ayaviri and beyond! Today’s jaunt is about 50 km/31 miles. We’ll get to camp, have lunch, and then have the afternoon to stretch, explore, or do whatever our hearts desire. Ayaviri is a small, quaint town that was conquered by the Incas in the 13th century and then by the Spanish in the 16th century.

Distance: 50 km/31 miles
Lodging: Tents
Meals included: B, L, D

Today will be the longest day on the bike — we’ll be going around 140 km/86 mi to make the push from just past Ayaviri to Langui, so we’ll start fairly early in the morning. It’s a challenging but spectacular ride. Tonight, we’ll stay in a hostel and have a much-needed shower. Breakfast and lunch are included; you’ll have the evening free in Langui to do whatever you want!

Distance: 140 km/86 m
Lodging: Tents
Meals included: B, L, D

Today we ride from Langui to a hostel in Cusipata, approximately 70 km/43 mi of riding. 

Distance: About 70 km/40 m
Lodging: Simple hostel
Meals included: B, L, D

Today’s ride will include breathtaking views of the gorgeous Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We’ll end in Pisac, a Peruvian village in the valley situated on the Vilcanota River. The town is home to incredible Incan ruins and a large local market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Some historians believe that the ruins of Pisac once served as an Incan defensive station for the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. We’ll stay in a hotel tonight. 

Distance: 80 km/49 mi
Lodging: Hotel in Pisac
Meals included: B, L

Today we’ll ride approximately 70 km down the valley to Ollantaytambo. The town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley was once the royal estate of Incan Emperor Pachacuti and later served as a stronghold for the Incan resistance during the Spanish conquest of Peru. Now, Ollantaytambo is a relaxing, charming place. The entire town is made of gorgeous, giant Incan stones and enclosures, and you’ll be able to relax in town or stretch your muscles on a hike to the ruins on the mountainside above. We’ll be in a hotel in town tonight.

Distance: About 70 km/40 miles
Lodging: Hotel in Ollantaytambo
Meals included: B, L

You’ve made it! Today, you’ll get to behold the spectacular, world-famous ruins of Machu Picchu. Included in the price of our Crossing the Andes Peru cycling adventure is a round trip train ticket to Aguas Calientes, entrance ticket, a guided Machu Picchu tour, a bus up to and down from the ruins, and transport to your hotel in Cusco in the evening. 

Lodging: Hotel in Cusco
Meals included: B

There’s tons to do in Cusco. Visit the stunning ruins of Sacsayhuaman or experience the colorful authenticity of the San Pedro Market, just a quick 8-minute walk from La Plaza de Armas. There, you’ll find ladies in traditional dress at tiendas selling nectarines, nuts, and plantains. The other kiosks might be selling alpaca jumpers and pachamama dolls. Try foods like lomo saltado (stir-fried beef) and anticuchos (beef hearts) and local fruits like lucuma, granadilla, and chirimoya. Or, if you have a soft spot for the arts, check out the contemporary tapestries at El Museo Maximo Laura or the ancient artifacts in El Museo de Arte Precolombino. If the possibilities for today feel overwhelming, come by the shop, and any of our guides can give you tips on how to make the most of your day in Cusco! 

Before the day is over we will pack up our bikes and have a farewell dinner.

Lodging: Hotel in Cusco
Meals included: B, D

Unfortunately, today your Peru cycling adventure draws to a close! After we say our goodbyes, we’ll drop you off at the airport; or, if you’re staying for longer in Cusco, we can take you to your hotel. 

The price is: 

$3350 per person for a group of 2-3 people; 

$2550 per person for a group of 4-6 people;

 Included in this price are: 

  • Airport pick up and drop off on arrival and departure
  • 12 nights of lodging with hotels, hostels and camping
  • All transports; there will be a support car with the group for all riding days
  • 8 days of cycling
  • Full day at Machu Picchu including train, bus, and entrance tickets
  • 27 Meals 
  • Professional bilingual mountain bike guide (1 per every 5 riders)
  • Snacks and water for all ride days
  • Signature “Haku Expeditions” bike jersey
  • Group farewell dinner on the last night
  • The time of your life!

Not included are:

  • Flights
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Sleeping bags and mattress
  • Mountain bikes (however, rentals are available for $50 per day)
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

For this 13-day Peru cycling adventure:

You should have a mountain biking level of intermediate although a strong fit  beginner would be welcome as well:

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.

Your fitness level should be at least a 3.5: 

You will want to be at least in between these two levels:

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.

4 You exercise 3-4 times a week and enjoy physical activities such as biking, hiking, skiing. You are active. For biking: you enjoy climbs that are moderately long and being on a bike for 3-5 hours in one day doesn’t get you too tired or fatigued.

This cycling tour begins in Juliaca and ends in Cusco, Peru. You will want to look for flights to Juliaca and out of Cusco.  

You can also fly into Lima and spend a night there before flying out in the morning — if you choose that option, let us know so we can help with your bicycle logistics. This requires that you pay a second time for your bike. Latam charges $35 on national flights. 

IMPORTANT: Generally, anytime you land in another country, you need to get your luggage and rescan it or re-check it for security purposes. Every country is different so check once you arrive; do not count on the person at the front desk who checked you in at your first airport. In Lima, you must re-check your bags/bike. Make sure you have enough time during your layover for migrations and the bag check. 

Cusco is at very high altitude, so we suggest arriving early if possible to acclimatise. 

We include airport pick up and drop off with your bike. 

On this 13 day itinerary you can arrive on day one and leave on day 13 unless you would like to come early to acclimatise or stay longer. 

A driver will be waiting at the Juliaca airport for you with a sign with your name. He will not arrive early. If your flight arrives early, please wait for him to arrive at the original scheduled time of arrival. 

If you would like to plan a longer trip and are worried about where to store your bike, please let us know so we can try and help you organize this in the easiest manner possible.

We recommend you bring a solid road bike with gravel tires or a hardtail mountain bike with gravel tires.

 

Since the ride is car supported it’s not necessary to carry loads of weight on your bike, a small camelbak with water and inclement riding gear is necessary.

Our Crossing the Andes Peru Cycling Tour includes most meals. Some dinners and lunches are not included. The itinerary shows what meals will be provided. 

Our multi-day rides include lunches at local restaurants, breakfasts in hotels, and food cooked at the campsite. All of the food we eat for lunch is produced locally and more often than not organic. Most meals are a large bowl of soup followed by a main meal. The main meals are generally meat, chicken, or trout along with rice, potatoes and vegetables. Most lunches do not contain flour. In the case that you do not eat meat you can get a plate that has rice, eggs and fried plantain. All of our meat is free range, grass fed and produced by local farmers with small farms. 

If you have dietary restrictions please let us know so we can help you plan for this mountain bike tour accordingly. 

We provide snacks for the ride days. However, Peru does not have the same high-calorie snacks that most developed countries have. Feel free to bring extra energy bars for the trail if you think you may want extra snacks!

We provide water for the rides. You’ll need a bottle or CamelPak to fill up.

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 such as mountain biking and whatever other activities you may have planned. 

We do not provide refunds. Because biking is an adventure activity and getting hurt is a possibility, you will want travel insurance. If you should get hurt, not only will it cover your medical expenses, it will also cover the lost portion of the your bike tour. 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 withdrawal 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, for the simple reason that we, too, must pay the people we employ and whose services we use in cash as well. 

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 cycling tour. If you would like to tip your driver for the day, a 10-20 soles tip would be a nice gesture. 

What to bring:

  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag and mattress 
  • Water bottle or two for refilling or Camelbak bladder in your day pack/ hiking pack
  • Rain gear. You must have a rain jacket or shell anytime of the year. From October through May you also need rain pants as well — a poncho won’t suffice. From June through October, you can take your chances with the rain pants. Just know that it can rain anytime of the year in the cloud forest.
  • Shoes for camp
  • Warm weather gear  down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf
  • Base layers such a thin wool like smartwool base layers
  • Wool Socks such as smartwool or another like it
  • Sunscreen and visor for riding
  • Biking clothing such as padded shorts and jerseys both long sleeve and short sleeve
  • Biking gear, helmet, bike shoes, pack, water bottle etc.
  • A fully maintained cross country bike or road bike with gravel tires and spare parts such as brake pads, tubes or sealant 
  • Any medicines you may need: epi-pens, inhalers, Ibuprofen, aspirin, or something similar for headaches or muscle pain, If you think you will want high altitude medication, Diamox is what many people use. Possible meds for both parasites and bacterial infections should they occur while in Peru
  • Camera or phone and charging devices for phones and camera
  • Official passport for entrance to any sites
  • Day pack for carrying water, camera and snacks
  • Larger pack or duffle for additional clothing and snacks — this will go in the support car

 

  • 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
  • Any changes to the itinerary after the ride begins can incur charges.
  • You must have travel insurance with trip interruption. Your deposit is non-refundable and would be returned to you by your insurance should you get sick or need to go home in an emergency.
  • 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
  • We’ll take care of cooking gear, most meals, water purification, tents. Accompanying you on the ride is your English speaking guide, a driver and an assistant if needed.
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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 from 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.

Please begin a workout routine or cycling longer distances on gravel to get you body ready for this cycling tour. 

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.

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 your flight to Peru.

Peru’s currency is called the Sol. You’ll be able to exchange US currency for the Sol easily if you need to in Cusco.

Each group should have at least 2 people with a max of 10 riders. If you are alone and have specific dates outside of our fixed dates, contact us — we are flexible and will make sure we can get you out cycling in Peru.

Generally 25-60. We expect you to be able to handle intermediate to advanced mountain bike trails. If you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This is a cross-country ride with a mix of gravel and paved riding with lots of pedaling across the Andes.

We have provided the distances for each ride day in the itinerary

On each ride you should have a Camel pack with water, snacks, rain jacket and whatever bike tools you need for the trail. Since we sleep in a hotel each night, we do not need to carry any additional gear with us. 

We have a great group of guides. Check out our Team page to see who may be on your mountain bike vacation of a lifetime.

We use hotels, campsites and hostels on this cycling vacation. Since it is a cross country holiday we do find ourselves in towns which are very typical and may not have luxury lodging, you can expect to stay in places like this on occasion.

The meals are mentioned in the itinerary.

Luggage comes with us in the shuttle vehicle as we move along.

You will get a tourist visa on arrival at the airport.

In short: 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.

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 cuts 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.

Check out our advice on insurance and some helpful links here

Each person is required to have a specific travel/trip insurance outside of your credit card or regular medical insurance. If possible, you should get comprehensive coverage with trip interruption/cancelation and with personal liability. Mention all activities that you will be involved in such as mountain biking and whatever other activities you may have planned. Say you get hurt on the first day and miss the rest of the trip — this insurance will refund you the missed portion of the trip. It will also cover any added costs due to delay, sickness, strikes by the local people, etc.

Per our regulations, all of our guides have at least basic first aid, and many have supplemented that with in-depth multi-day training. 

It is crucial that you ride at about 80% of your capacity and don’t overstep your abilities. Although our guides are there to help you, the success of your mtb tour is dependent on you managing your own risk by taking preventative measures, listening to your guides’ advice, and riding well within your skill level.

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.

We can make hotel reservations for you. 

Price: $60 USD

All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

For this trip we can provide you your own room for the 5 hotel nights and 4 tent nights. We can not provide this on the 3 hostel nights and 1 homestay night.

Price: $350 USD

 All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Bike rental for Trip.  

We have full suspension Kona Process Mountain bikes. If you prefer a road bike or hardtail, let us know and we can give you the contact information for someone in Cusco with this style bike. 

Price: $500 USD

 All add-ons can be purchased at check out.

Fitness & skill level

Is This 13-Day Peru Cycling Adventure For You?

This 13-day Peru cycling adventure is for intermediate mountain bikers who have about 2 weeks to truly immerse themselves in Peru. If you love natural beauty, historical sites, and having off-the-beaten-path experiences then this trip is for you. 

This cycling tour is not for the faint of heart (or the weak of leg) — we’re covering a lot of ground on the bike. Although this is a less technically challenging option as most of the cycling will be done on gravel mountain roads, it is still important that you are able to pedal long distances at high altitudes. 

Our 13-day Peru cycling adventure is ideal for you if:

  • You have experience riding a mountain bike or road bike for longer distances
  • You like cross country style mountain biking with an emphasis on experiencing scenery and natural beauty
  • You enjoy cycling from one place to another and camping under the stars 
  • You are fit and can handle eight long ride days in the saddle
  • You enjoy off-the-beaten-path adventures!

The ride in images

Cycling Adventure Photo Gallery

Giving back

1% For Charity

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

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