All inclusive 9-DAY SACRED VALLEY TRIP - INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED RIDE LEVEL
I did a mountain bike trip to Peru in 2019 and ABSOLUTELY loved it! It changed my riding, inspired my curiosity with rich history, delighted my taste buds, and was overall one of the best trips of my life!
Now, I want everyone to have a chance to mountain bike Peru, so I have put together two trips for 2021. Both trips are designed to be all-inclusive: riding shuttles and guide(s), lodging, tasty meals, massage, tips, and the Machu Picchu trip are all part of the $3750 price. You’ve just got to bring your bike, sense of adventure, personal gear and backup/repair parts, and readiness for the best mountain bike week of your life! You’ll improve both your riding capability and fun factor, while also enjoying an authentic experience in Peru!
October 17-25, 2021 - ADVANCED TRIP
10k shuttle days, technical terrain, lots of adventure, a true mountain bike experience! We will ride through multiple side valleys of the Sacred Valley, learn history, see many remote towns, and integrate cultural experiences . . . all while riding some of the best trails of our lives! This trip is catered to fit riders who are comfortable on blue trails and regularly challenge themselves with black trails.
October 8-16, 2021 - INTERMEDIATE TRIP
Rides will be less technical, and ride days will be more like 3-5000' of shuttle assisted downhill fun! Ride pace will be slower than the advanced trip, with time taken to advance skills on more technical sections of trails. The balance of days not spent riding will be filled with touring ruins, cultural experiences (eating cuy - guinea pig!, visiting a local organic farm for lunch, spending time in towns wandering about, etc) and some hiking. This trip is suited well to both intermediate riders and those who'd like to ride the Sacred Valley while exploring more of its less active/remote nuances :)
Cost: $3750, all-inclusive once you arrive in Cusco with your bike (details below - bike rental - Scott Ransom 920s/930s - can be added on for $400 for the trip).
DAY 1 Arrivals
Welcome to Cusco. Guides will meet the group at the CUZ airport and shuttle riders to their hotel in The Sacred Valley, a 1-hr shuttle ride. In the afternoon and evening, guides will provide tools and support to build and test bikes in the courtyard of our spacious lodge. In the evening, we’ll have a brief orientation to overview our itinerary and share our first incredible meal of the week. It’s worth noting that there is no finer kitchen in the entire Sacred Valley than that of our host; our host will prepare meals throughout the duration of our stay with fresh ingredients selected from her very own garden. Riders can participate in the preparation of meals or can simply sit back and wait for them to be plated!
Stay: Calca, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge
Meals: dinner at lodge
Notes: We’ll run multiple shuttles from the airport today. Ideally riders will try to arrive in the AM hours to have everyone checked in and bikes built up before dinner and orientation. For riders arriving within one hour of each other, we’ll combine shuttles to avoid an excessive number of trips.
DAY 2 Lares, Ancashmarka & Parco Trails
What better way to start an unforgettable mountain bike trip than by ripping one of Peru’s most iconic trails straight down to our lodge?! The Lares Trail brings big views, big heights, big alpacas, and big-time riding. As our first experience riding in the Peruvian Andes, it most definitely won’t disappoint. Wind along the banks of a gushing mountain canyon and navigate narrow mountain singletracks as we descend from the heights of the Cordillera Urubamba and take in epic views of Nevado Sahuasiray. Along the way, we’ll take some time to tackle techniques for riding rock stairs — something that will become a common theme for the trip!
Stay: Calca, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge (massage available)
Meals: B,L & D at the lodge
Dist: 20.8 mi, ascent 320 ft, descent 9,617 ft, Max elevation: 15,216 ft
DAY 3 South Valley Riding Epic: El Radar & Huaro Trails
In the morning, we’ll shuttle to Cusco’s South Valley, home to some of the Cusco Region’s best singletrack riding! Enjoy stunning views of Nevado Ausangate (6,386 m) from today’s trailhead. Flow along narrow singletracks that cross fields of quinoa, potatoes, and barley and pedal along a trail that borders the Vilcanota River. Pedal management will be the technical focus of the day, as the trails are narrow and loaded with smaller obstacles. We’ll enjoy a mid-afternoon lunch break at the home of a local trail builder and rider. In the afternoon, before returning to our lodge, we’ll stop in Pisac to visit the town’s famous artisans’ market and to enjoy a beer or two at one of our favorite watering holes. Later in the evening, riders will want to pack gear for 1 day of riding and a 1-day optional visit to Machu Picchu.
Stay: Calca, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge (no massage option)
Meals: Breakfast at lodge, Lunch on trail, Dinner in Pisac
Dist: 19.4 mi, ascent 761 ft, descent 9,312 ft, Max elevation: 14,862 ft
Notes: This is one of the longer shuttle days we’ll have, so better to fit it in to the ride itinerary while everyone is fresh. We’ll aim for an earlier start and start the day with an endure-style ride (both climbing and descending), stop for lunch, and then drop a nice DH track so that there is less pedaling in the afternoon. If riders are keen, we can stop in Pisac on the way back to peruse the market and then have dinner and drinks before the final 20 minutes back to Calca.
DAY 4 Maras, El Sapo, Lost & Found, and Pumamarka Trails
Today’s trail lineup is a celebration of pure flow! Sure, there’s a rock garden or two and a short hike-a-bike mixed in there, but, on the whole, today’s trails will be fast, so we’ll work on brake control. The terrain is a red clay hardpack that, on the right day, is unbeatable — grippy yet firm. We’ll start the day with a ride past the Moray Inca Ruins overlook and then drop fast towards the Urubamba River along a winding, playful singletrack. In the afternoon, we’ll experience our first Andean hike-a-bike to Lost & Found Trail — some trails we just have to earn with some good ol’ fashioned pushing. Our final trail of the day swerves along the top of ancient Inca terraces and occasionally offers an epic sunset over the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. We’ll finish at the door of our hotel.
Stay: Ollantaytambo, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge (no massage option)
Meals: Breakfast at lodge, Lunch on trail, Dinner in Ollantaytambo (Chuncho Restaurant)
Dist: 23.2 mi, ascent 1677 ft, decent 9,650 ft, Max elevation: 13.386 ft
Notes: Riders will leave as much of their luggage as possible at the Calca lodge, but pack enough for a change after Day 4 of riding and for the Day 5 visit to Machu Picchu.
DAY 5 Machu Picchu Visit or optional Rest Day
Option 1: After a 5-minute walk to the Inca Rail Station, we’ll ditch the bikes for a change and set our sights on Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world. Our private site guide awaits us at the Aguas Calientes Train Station (Machu Picchu is only accessed by train or multi-day hike) to show us this special site through the eyes of a local culture expert and historian -- after days of adrenaline, a touch of culture couldn’t hurt! Riders can anticipate a 2-3 hour guided walking tour of the site and an additional 1-2 hours to explore on their own. Our bike guides will remain at the lodge to tune all the bikes after an aggressive day of riding. In the evening, we’ll return to Ollantaytambo by train and shuttle back to Calca to gear up for another day of riding. Dinner will be served at our lodge upon arrival.
Option 2: Explore other Sacred Valley treasures or rest at your lodge.
Stay: Calca, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch on Machu Picchu excursion & Dinner at Calca lodge (no massage)Note: There are plenty of activities in Ollantaytambo for those who opt against Machu Picchu.
DAY 6 Lamay Three Ways
Lamay is one of the sleepiest towns in the Sacred Valley, yet home to the rowdiest rides in all South America! The Lamay Valley is a 5-minute shuttle from our hotel, where we’ll start our riding at the pristine mountain lake Pacharcocha and share a zesty singletrack with local herders from the Poques community. Later we’ll shuttle two trails that, contrary to most of the raw trails that characterize Peruvian riding, have been worked and adapted for mountain biking – big berms and maximum flow! Cornering will be our technical focus of the day, stopping to session certain curves until we all feel more comfortable barreling into the tightest turns! In the afternoon, we’ll finish the day in the guinea pig capital of the world for those with a more adventurous palate. No worries, it washes down with cold beer just like chicken!
Stay: Calca, The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge (massage available)
Meals: Breakfast at lodge, Lunch on trail, dinner in Calca restaurant
Dist: 17.9 mi, ascent 1073 ft, decent 10,270 ft, Max elevation: 14,505 ft
DAY 7 Lord of the Keys & Huchuy Qosqo Trails
Get ready for a day loaded with massive vistas and mega adrenaline. Lord of the Keys is a little-known trail, but arguably the Sacred Valley’s best! Access must be coordinated with leaders from a small village who control the access to the key – hence, Lord of the Keys! This trail will test everything we’ve practiced thus far this week: narrow singletrack, rock steps, natural berms, and everything in between. Later we’ll shuttle again to descend a magical trail that passes an ancient Inca fortress and leaves us right at the doorstep of our hotel once again.
Stay: The Sacred Valley, 3-star lodge
Meals: Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner (including cooking class!) at lodge (massage available)
Dist: 19.4 mi, ascent 560 ft, decent 8,472 ft, Max elevation: 14,678 ft
DAY 8 Heart of an Empire Trails: Salkantay Pueblo, Inka Carcel & El Brujo Trails
On our way back to Cusco, we’ll shuttle a secret access trail that flows along the Inca quapac ñan (the Inca Royal highway) down into the heart of the empire, straight up to the door of our lodge. After briefly checking in, we’ll head back out to experience some of Cusco City’s best, where local riders go to polish their skills. Enjoy stunning views of Cusco from the city’s outskirts and navigate narrow switchbacks through eucalyptus forests. Our goal will be to finish slightly earlier this afternoon to allow riders time to explore the Imperial City on foot. In the evening, we’ll get together for farewell drinks, overlooking the city’s Main Square. Your guides will be available to help with bike washing and packing in the afternoon — or if you have a later departure flight on Day 9, we can always procrastinate a bit.
Stay: Cusco City, 3-star lodge
Meals: Breakfast in lodge, Lunch on trail, Dinner in Cusco
Dist: 17.5 mi, ascent 457 ft, decent 7,150 ft, Max elevation: 14,212 ft
DAY 9 Departures
After six hefty days of riding in the Peruvian Andes, we’re certain that you’ll feel more comfortable on any terrain as you move forward with your riding passion. We hope the one-of-a-kind riding, cuisine and guiding was everything you expected and more. Your guide is available to help pack your bike and to ensure you arrive on time to the airport. If you choose to extend your stay, your guide can help with travel plans and other logistics. It’s been real!
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES (DAY 1 & DAY 9)
Arrival & departure shuttles to Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) on Day 1 and Day 9 of the trip are included. Any additional shuttles outside of the scheduled dates need to be pre-arranged and paid for separately. Private shuttle arrangement is available for 25 USD.
The group will have at least one experienced guide with Wilderness First Responder and International Mountain Bike Association Level 1 Certification. All guides are at least bilingual in English and Spanish.
Lodges have been selected with a rider’s needs in mind: there is ample space to store, wash and maintain bikes and charming courtyards or patios where riders can relax in the mornings and evenings. Rooms are all double occupancy ($200 add-on for single occupancy).
GEAR & EQUIPMENT
All riders are expected to bring their own well-maintained mountain bike. Enduro or all-mountain full-suspension bikes with at least 160 mm of travel are recommended. An aggressive gravity-driven tire setup and dropper posts are also recommended.
Riders should bring a ¾ coverage all-mountain helmet or downhill helmet, protective eyewear, kneepads, gloves, and a light pack with water reservoir or bottle. See the suggested packing list for a comprehensive list of equipment and clothing needed.
A bike stand and basic tools to assemble and maintain bikes will be made available throughout the course of the trip.
Peruvian cuisine — a fusion of ingredients and spices from the country’s coast, sierra, and jungle — has achieved international fame amongst foodies. It’s hard not to love!
Breakfasts will be served each morning at the respective lodges and lunches will vary between wholesome box lunches and pre-coordinated restaurants.
Alcoholic beverages are not included, but guides will provide coolers for the storage of cold beverages and snacks.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Peruvian trail riding is raw, and trails are minimally maintained. Trail exposure is common. Trails are all multi-use biking, hiking and herding trails; riders should manage speed accordingly and always yield to foot or animal traffic. We pride ourselves on managing healthy relationships between the riding community and local community.
ALTITUDE & CLIMATE
Riding will be done between 8,500 ft and 15,000 ft of elevation. While we’ll rely upon shuttles to reach extreme elevations, altitude sickness is always a possibility. Whereas many locals look to coca leaves as a traditional remedy for altitude sickness, riders might consider prescription medication also.
Temperatures range from wet and sub-freezing at extremely high altitudes to hot and dry at lower elevations. Snow, hail, and rain are possibilities. Riders should pack layers accordingly.
Rider safety is paramount. Guides, drivers, and everyone else involved prioritize the safety of the group over anything else. While cellular reception is frequently unavailable along the remote trails that we’ll ride, guides will always carry two-way radios, a satellite communicator, and lightweight oxygen canisters in the event of an emergency. Theft and robbery are very uncommon in Cusco and The Sacred Valley; however, riders should be vigilant regarding their bikes and store bikes each evening with bike locks.
Guides and trip leaders will comply with all up-to-date COVID guidelines for tourism trips in Peru.
ATMs AND MONEY EXCHANGE
Riders will be able to find ATMs to withdraw money in Calca, Ollantaytambo, and Cusco. Exchange rates may vary from town to town. Guides will be available to assist with money exchange and locations of ATMs.
Laundry services are available through the lodge administration at all respective lodges for an additional cost. Dryers are uncommon, so turnaround times are typically up to 24 hours.
✓ Airport (CUZ) shuttle service for arrivals and departures (Day 1 & Day 9)
✓ Lead guide and assistant guide (IMBA & WFR certified)
✓ Flow training on-trail and before/after rides
✓ Pre-trip flow basics delivered online — you’ll be ready to apply it all!
✓ 1:1, group flow/mindset coaching, catered to individual and group needs/desires
✓ Private shuttle and driver for all rides/activities
✓ 6 days riding some of the best trails in the world (5 Sacred Valley, 1 Cusco)
✓ 6 Nights of lodging in Calca, Sacred Valley
✓ 1 Night of lodging in Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley
✓ 1 Night of lodging in Cusco
✓ 8 breakfasts
✓ 7 lunches
✓ 4 gourmet dinners at lodge, 4 restaurant dinners
✓ Purified water, fruits, and snacks
✓ 2 massages at lodge in Calca
✓ Trail fees
✓ Admission to Pumamarka Inca Ruins
✓ Admission to Huchuy Qosqo Inca Ruins
✓ Optional cooking classes with our host
✓ Access to first-aid kit, supplemental oxygen, and satellite communicator
✓ Access to workstand, tools and repair parts
✓ Tips for bike guide and Machu Picchu guide
MACHU PICCHU TRIP
✓ Round-trip train service Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
✓ Round-trip bus service Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
✓ Machu Picchu ticket
✓ Privately guided visit to Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu
✓ Round-trip airfare to Cusco (CUZ)
✓ Bike rental or protective equipment - bike rental (Scott Ransom 920s/930s) can be added on for $400 for the trip
✓ Travel or medical insurance
✓ Shuttles beyond scheduled departure date (Day 9)
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