Canyons, Condors and Machu Picchu by Bike

Canyons, Condors and Machu Picchu by Bike

Trip Highlights

  • Visit Arequipa City and Colonial buildings like the Monastery of Santa Catalina, enhanced by the knowledge of your local guide
  • Cycling along The Colca Canyon and see the flight of the amazing Condors, one of the largest flying birds in the world
  • Visit Puno and Los Uros, the Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca and enjoy an overnight home stay with a traditional local family on the Peninsula of Capachica
  • Visit Cusco City, the Capital of the old Inca Empire
  • Cycle along the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with stunning views of the many Inca ruins along the way, before descending by bike over 2500 metres from the mountain passes into the Cusco jungle
  • See the sunrise over the ancient Machu Picchu ruins and then spend the morning exploring this spectacular Inca citadel
  • Return to Cusco via the world famous train journey from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo

Trip Summary

Shopping in the Colca Canyon, Peru&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Louise Vargaya-Conza</i>

Join us on this thrilling cycling adventure with the magnificent Andes ranges as a dramatic backdrop. Beginning in Arequipa with its rich mix of the indigenous and Spanish colonial cultures we cycle along the Colca Canyon, twice the depth of the Grand Canyon and view the huge Andean Condor soaring in the thermals overhead. Without a doubt cycling is one of the finest ways to discover a country and cycling on rural roads through small villages and experiencing the very traditional day to day life of the Andean people is a wonderful experience. Discover the unique lifestyle of the indigenous people on the islands of Lake Titicaca before continuing across the high Altiplano to explore Cusco. Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the ruins of Ollantaytambo. Our cycling adventure culminates at the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu.

Trip Grading

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. The Canyons, Condors and Machu Picchu is graded introductory. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Please remember the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your holiday.


We arrange to pick everyone up from their accommodation in the morning, and then spend some time getting the bikes fitting just right for the adventures to come. It’s also an important day to start adjusting to the thin air, after your short cycle in the morning we have lunch in the city before joining a local guide for a tour of the beautiful Monastery of Santa Catalina, known as a city within the city. After some free time to explore, we regroup later for our first dinner together. Cycling distance: Up to 20km

Meals:  L,D

Today is an important day to acclimatise as we transfer by van to the surrounding countryside in Arequipa for a local ride and picnic lunch, returning back to the city late afternoon. You will have the option after the ride to join your local guide for a tour of the rest of the centre city, including the vibrant San Camilo open air market which is filled with local flavour. A free evening gives you time to prepare and relax before we hit the road the following day. Cycling distance: Up to 20km

Meals:  B,L

We depart early this morning and transfer by coach to the highest Pass in the area (Patapampa 4800m). Here we can enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and after a hot coca tea, we start our winding decent to Chivay (3700m), arriving in time for lunch at a local buffet restaurant. After lunch we cycle on through the surrounding countryside and down into the Colca valley, where we load up and transfer by coach to El Refugio, a hot springs resort on the banks of the Colca River, with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. We are here for two nights while we explore the Canyon. Cycling distance: Up to 45km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we transfer by coach to the Cruz Del Condor, where it is possible to see these amazing birds soaring on the prevailing winds. After a short walk to appreciate views of the Canyon we make our way back to Chivay by bike and coach, enjoying the many view points and village markets along the way, then we cross to the other side of the canyon, to ride the quiet roads there. In the late afternoon we have some time to chill out and enjoy the hot springs at our accommodation. Cycling distance: Up to 40km

Meals:  B,L

Today is mostly a travel day, but we still fit in a little blast on the bikes in the morning. We then transfer by coach for the busy main road section, taking the time to stop at points of interest along the way and after lunch we have the chance to enjoy our first ride across the Altiplano (high plains) on quiet back roads towards our final destination, Puno and the shores of Lake Titicaca. Total travel time from Chivay to Puno is around 6 hours. Cycling distance: Up to 40km

Meals:  B,L

Today we step off dry land and take a boat from the port of Puno to visit the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca. The magical islands of Los Uros are man-made from reeds and have a permanent local population living on them. We spend the morning learning about their unique way of life and then after this visit we continue by boat to the Peninsula of Capachica where we meet with your local hosts and spend the afternoon with them, getting the chance to experience firsthand their traditional way of life and for those who are feeling energetic there is the option to hike up to see the sunset over the lake. Cycling distance: No riding today

Meals:  B,L,D

After saying a sad goodbye to our hosts, we set off on bike to ride the quiet Peninsula roads on the Altiplano, finishing our ride just before entering Juliaca. From here we transfer by coach to Sicuani for lunch, where we enjoy another short ride known as the “Cuatro Lagunas”, passing through a series of high lakes and small villages before an exhilarating downhill back to the main road, where we continue by coach, arriving to Cusco late afternoon. The total driving time from Juliaca to Cusco is five hours. Cycling distance: Up to 50km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a well earned rest day in Cusco, a chance to explore the city, visit the museums and ruins around the centre or just relax and take in the atmosphere of this vibrant little tourist hub. Cycling distance: No riding today

Meals:  B

Today we get back on the bikes and take a ride around some of the ruins in the Sacred Valley, stopping for a coffee in the famous market town of Pisac and further on in Calca for lunch. We then continue cycling alongside the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo. The afternoon ends with a short van transfer through to our accommodation and the option to explore the impressive Ollyantaytambo ruins, once an Inca fortress. Cycling distance: Up to 60km

Meals:  B,L

Today we drive up to Abra Malaga (4315m) the high pass in the area, for our final spectacular bike ride. Here we descend by bike from the mountain pass to the tropical rainforest. We enjoy many scenic stops along our route, beofre arriving for lunch in the town of Santa Maria (1200m), part of an important area for cultivation of coca, cacao, tea and coffee. After lunch we transfer by coach to the village of Santa Teresa and to the Hydro-electric station to catch our train connection to Aguas Calientes. This little tourist town is our base for exploring Machu Picchu. Cycling distance: Up to 75km

Meals:  B,L,D

We have an early breakfast at 4:45am to get us up to Machu Picchu in time to see the morning light on the ruins. Due to the limitations of the Machu Picchu permit, we can only spend a half day there. We take a guided tour in the morning and after that you have more time to explore the ruins independently. At midday we leave the ruins to head back into town for lunch, before boarding the famous train journey from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. We then re-unite with our coach and drive the final stretch back to Cusco, arriving early evening. We regroup later to have our final dinner together to celebrate our Peruvian adventure.

Meals:  B,L,D

You tour concludes after breakfast today and we say a sad farewell to our guides and fellow guests. You may choose to stay on in Cusco to explore more, or you may be flying out this day. We are happy to help with arrangements for a transfer to the Cusco airport, but please note this is not an included service.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 6 dinners
  • 10 nights ensuite hotel accommodation on a twin share basis, 1 night basic homestay with shared bathroom facilites
  • Profesional qualified bilingual group leader and bike mechanic
  • Private support vehicle with dedicated, experienced driver/mechanic
  • All entrance fees and activities in Arequipa (Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve), Puno (Lake Titicaca National Reserve) and Cusco (including Machu Picchu)
  • Bike hire of quality 24 speed mountain bikes with disc brakes
  • A Peru cycle jersey
  • Airport transfers in Arequipa at the start of tour and to Cusco at the tour end
  • Spring water will be available from the support vehicle at all times

What's Not Included

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Departure transfer to Cusco Airport, but can be organised locally
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

We use mountain bikes on all our tours, as travel is on both sealed and unsealed roads. Mountain bikes offer the extra comfort of suspension and have nice low gearing to make your job easier on any climbing we do. Our bikes have 24 speed gearing (3 cogs on front and 8 on back) and have mechanical discs brakes.

We use Specialized, Hardrock Sport Disc bikes on our tours, with smooth front suspension, better breaks and nice component touches it makes the bike ideal for our tours. Please be aware that from time to time we may use different bikes to those listed due to availability, but they will be of the same quality specs.

Upcoming Travel Dates



Duration:12 Days
Starting Point:Arequipa
Finishing Point:Cusco
Adventure Touring
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:CPB
Prices From:NZD$4950

“WOW! What an adventure! Great biking,amazing scenery, quiet country roads, in rural Peru. Lots of exhilarating down hill due to the high altitude, but also some challenges. Perfect mix of biking and sightseeing in a country which is really different. Hugely high mountains, deep canyons, Lake Titicaca and of course lots of Inca history. Superb, authentic, accommodation and Peru turned out to be a foodie paradise. Master chef meals every night!!! I would highly recommend this trip. Well paced, well supported, and the landscape magnificent.” Pip WatersNew Zealand