Peru mountain biking – rest day – Machu Picchu

And when mountain biking in Peru, rest day mean radness like Machu Pichu.   Easily accessed by train from Ollantaytambo, it’s super doable in a day and definitely worthy!  In our case, we decided day-of and walked to the train station at 7am, got on a train, easily got tickets online to Machu Picchu, spent a few hours on a self-guided walking tour, chilled at a viewpoint overlooking the cloud forest, got some food in Aguas Calientes, and got a 4pm train back to Ollantaytamobo.  A taxi ride to Calca, and we were back in our hotel by 8pm!  9am the next day we were back on bikes!!!  Certainly, you could do this differently, spend more time exploring ruins around Ollantaytambo, hot springs in Aguas Calientes, etc. but as it was our focus was biking and the day trip was perfect.

We stayed in Ollantaytambo at Casa Blanca hotel, which was super nice, convenient to town, and easy to leave bags at while we were out exploring.  All for around $40!  While Calca was great, we also wanted to mix it up a bit.  Having been to Machu Picchu before, I wasn’t planning to go this trip, but how could we be so close and not go?!?!  I’m so glad we did!

If you’re planning in advance, it’s worth buying tickets early so you can go to Huayna Picchu too (although that makes it even less of a rest day!).  That was one thing we missed by not having a plan to do this!  This is the famous mountain that appears behind the main city in the classic photo of Machu Picchu.  The hike is super cool, exposed, challenging, and beautiful.  It’s got some exposure, so heads up if that sort of thing bothers you!  At the base of the mountain is the Temple of the Moon, which is super cool and worthy to check out as well.  Since I’d been there before, I wasn’t too heartbroken to miss it this time, but definitely recommend advance purchase of tickets if you go!

Oh, and for what it’s worth, these mountains would be cool even if there wasn’t an ancient city hidden in them!  It’s near the Amazon headwaters in an area called the cloud forest for the way the clouds hang in the mountains – so cool!

Huayna Picchu in the background – worth the hike if it’s your first time!

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