Apart from trekking the Classic Inca Trail or other alternative trails, mountain biking is another exciting option for adventure-loving visitors heading to Machu Picchu. Read our guide for more facts and information…
Many tour operators offer mountain biking trips to Machu Picchu on a spectacular biking route that passes through vivid landscapes of mountains, valleys and forests. The route also allows visitors to come in contact with the local residents of the Cusco region, especially children walking long distances to reach their schools.
About mountain biking to Machu Picchu
Mountain biking tours combine bike riding and trekking through remote trails and are especially designed for adventure seekers. Hence, participants must be physically fit and require altitude acclimatization. Usually, organizers allow beginners and visitors of all ages. The downhill biking involves good roads and hence, do not require technical expertise. Apart from the adventure, participants can experience nature at its best, getting a glimpse of diverse vegetation, fauna, birds, animals and plantations. The thermal springs at Qolkamayo and suspension bridges across the Vilcanota River are among the exciting parts of the trip.
The best season for Machu Picchu mountain biking
The dry season from April to November is considered ideal for biking and trekking. During this season, the mountains are snow-clad and the slopes are covered with fresh vegetation, allowing photographic views. Further, there are lesser mosquitoes. The rainy season that extends from December to March may have a few sunny days and clear skies that favor biking and hiking trips.
A typical 4-day itinerary
The trip begins at Cusco from the hotel where you are staying. The tour operator takes you on a journey towards the Sacred Valley through Urubamba to Ollantaytambo. Travelling up, you arrive at Abra Malaga, the highest point and the starting point of the biking venture. The downhill biking begins here and traverses through the Amazon rain forest, with stops to view the stunning sceneries. After about 5-6 hours of biking, you arrive at Santa Maria, where you stay overnight at a lodging or a campsite.
The next day, you begin a hike towards Santa Rosa. It gets steeper, as you pass through coca plantations and the highland forests to reach the Inca Jungle Trail. Thereafter, the route involves a two-hour descent to Kellomayo and a walk past Rio Vilcanota to reach the hot springs of Qolkamayo. After spending some time at the thermal pools, you continue hiking to Santa Teresa, where you stay for the night.
On the third day, you trek through vegetations and cultivations to reach a suspension bridge to cross River Vilcanota via an iron cable. Perhaps, this is the most daring part of the tour. Walking on for about two hours, you reach Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. You spend the night in the town and the following morning, you take the bus to Machu Picchu. You may also wake up earlier for a two-hour climb to the citadel. The tour concludes with your return to Ollantaytambo by train.
Tour operators provide the bikes and safety equipment required for the mountain biking trip. The tour package also includes a bike mechanic, adventure guide, spare parts kit, and other essential services.