Mountain Biking Peru – Sacred Valley Day 1 – Moray Ruins, Lares Pass

Mountain biking in Peru’s Sacred Valley started off with a pretty rad day of riding near the Moray ruins on super fun singletrack and then descending Lares Pass for nearly 10k vertical!!!  What an introduction to our time riding Peru with PeruBiking!

Ride 1: Misminayi to Maras 2 (Moray)

This ride was super fun – it started in the village just above the Moray ruins – a fun and straightforward warm-up took us to a really cool overlook of the Moray ruins.  These are Inca agricultural sites whose depth, design, and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (27 °F) between the top and the bottom.  Soil samples have shown that soils were brought in from different regions to be used in helping grow crops at the different levels of the terraces, and the thought is that these terraces were used to test and condition plants to expand the regions they can grow in – super cool!  From there, it was a descent, climb, and cross country combo to the village of Maras.  We rode Maras 2 to the valley, which was a super fun and flowy trail that was at times super technical too (read: tight and rocky switchbacks).

Making local friends before the ride 🙂
Some pedaling on this ride, and definitely feeling the altitude!
Riding into Peruvian villages doesn’t get old . . . especially on fun flowy trails!
The upper section of Maras 2 – super flowy!!
The final descent section of Maras 2 – fun and just techy enough to keep attention focused!

Ride 2: Lares Pass

Starting at 4605m Lares Pass, this trail descended through some alpine-style choose-your-own-adventure riding through some alpine grasses and creek beds.  It then connected with an old Inca trail to transition over to the weeping canyon (Huacanhuayco in Quechua).  This part was SO COOL!  Riding though a proper canyon on rocky, slightly-technical-but-very-rideable trails with super cool bridges was just rad . . . especially after starting in the very dramatic high alpine.  From the canyon, the trail goes through some steep and fun treed section and then emerges into a long traverse along an aquaduct.  I got quite the surprise when I though I was riding over a water bar and my foot caught on the diverter plate and the next thing I knew I was going over the handlebars :(.  I hadn’t seen it because it was brown (camouflaged) and just as we had come out of sun into the shade so my eyes hadn’t adjusted.   I had a bit of PTSD after that for trail obstacles and water bars, but got over it quickly enough.  But the trail got super fun descending through the village of Banderayoc and it was about dodging children and riding stairs back to the lodge in Calca.  Overall a super fun ride, and over the 5000’ of descending, super cool to watch topography, agriculture, animals, towns, and people change.  It was really more like 5 rides than 1!

Te ride started at the pass in the distance and was a bit ‘free-form’ off the top before transitioning to this pedal/flow/beautiful section that connected back to more singletrack
Riding through Peruvian life into the Weeping Canyon . . .
Transitioning between downhill sections was a somewhat exposed pedal along an aqueduct . . . again, cool to be riding through the ‘real’ Peru

And then we were on to day 2 with PeruBiking!

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