Our Peru Bike Tour to Machu Picchu has it all, breathtaking views of the Andes, spectacular Inca Ruins, awesome downhill cruising, Urcos floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca and a day hike on the Inca Trail through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu.
Charter Tours can also be arranged any dates between March – December for groups of 4 or more people
Single Supplement: $500 US
International & domestic flights,, airport taxes, tipping of local guides and drivers ($200 US/pp), meals not indicated on itinerary, beverages, bicycle rentals ($200 US), Flight from Cuzco to Juliaca ( approx. $150 US , this flight is booked by Nichols Expeditions and invoiced 90 days prior to the trip)
A non-refundable $600 US deposit per person is needed to reserve a space.
This tour is perfect for riders and hikers of all abilities who are reasonably fit and in good general health.
The 5 days of riding is moderately strenuous and daily cycling distances will vary from 15 to 45 miles. We will be riding at 8,000-14,000 feet, and most of the rides are actually downhill, yea! We will be on scenic paved and packed dirt roads with little traffic. A support van follows to assist riders when ever they want a lift and to avoid congested areas. The hiking is moderately strenuous on well maintained trails, with most hikes being 1-2 mile tours of Inca ruins. The longest hike is 8 miles to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. All hikes and rides are optional.
Get ready for a world class cycling adventure in the Andes Mountains of Peru! Our fabulous route takes us from Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world to Machu Picchu, the most famous Inca ruin in South America. This is adventure cycling at its finest, with miles of awesome downhill cruising, charming hotels and inns and lots of friendly smiles from the local people.
The tour begins in Cuzco, Peru, the archaeological capital of South America. After touring the city and visiting Sacsayhuaman, an enormous Inca fortress shaped like the head of a puma, we depart by bike for a remarkable downhill cruise to the colorful Sunday market in Pisaq. Next, we fly south to Lake Titicaca where a boat will take us to the amazing reed islands of the Uros Indians and then on to Taquile Island for a cozy night in a wonderful native-owned inn. The panoramic view of the distant snowcapped peaks across the lake in Bolivia is out of this world.
After returning to the mainland, we hop on our bikes and pedal the magnificent shoreline of Lake Titicaca as we pass through a remote region where there are not many tourists.
Our attention now shifts to visiting Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. A morning train ride brings us to the trailhead where we begin hiking to the dramatic Winya Wayna ruins and then on to the Sun Gate where we enter Machu Picchu – what a fantastic view! From this vantage point, you can see the entire Inca city perched high above the mountains and dense jungle that hid this site for centuries. Our evening accommodations are in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes. The following day we return to Machu Picchu for a comprehensive tour of the ruin and then take the afternoon train to our overnight lodging in Ollantaytambo. We'll have our farewell dinner and the following day we transfer the group to the airport in Cuzco.
Our Cycling Tour of Peru is filled with breathtaking vistas and heart-warming memories of an ancient region that has proudly maintained its heritage and customs.
Meet in Cuzco, Peru, (11,000 ft.) in the early afternoon in the lobby of our hotel for a group orientation and city tour of Cuzco. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND arriving in Cuzco a day or two before your tour to be fully acclimatized before the tour starts. Hotel in Cuzco. (The day’s schedule will be finalized in a Pre-Tour Letter.)
We begin with a morning bike fitting before departing for a mostly downhill ride to Pisaq (8,700 ft.). After lunch, we will explore the magnificently terraced Pisaq ruins that tower high above the valley and then transfer by van back to Cuzco. Ride: 16.5 mi. Hotel in Cuzco. (B/L)
In the morning we’ll visit Sacsayhuaman (11,800 ft.), an enormous Inca fortress, for a guided tour. In the afternoon, a short flight from Cuzco takes us over the spectacular snow-capped Andes to Juliaca on the Peruvian Altiplano (12,500 ft.). We will travel by van to our hotel in Puno (12,000 ft.) on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Hotel in Puno. (B,L,D))
We leave the mainland and take a chartered motor launch on Lake Titicaca to the fascinating floating reed island community of the Uros Indians. We will continue our boat trip to Taquile Island where we’ll spend the night (12,000 ft.). It is peaceful there and walking is the only method of transportation – there are no roads or motor vehicles on the island. Tonight’s lodging is a rustic inn overlooking Lake Titicaca that is run by a hospitable native family. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we reboard our motor launch and head back to the mainland, reunite with our bikes and start riding a scenic route along Lake Titicaca’s shore that few tourists have ever seen. That evening we will have a short transfer in Juliaca, our hotel for the night. (B/L/D)
After a morning van transfer, we start our ride to La Raya Pass (14,300 ft.). It is a gentle but steady climb, and llamas and alpacas can be seen in the alpine meadows beside the road. The support van will be following close behind for assistance. After a photo stop at the top of the pass, we will enjoy a sweeping descent to the spectacular Vilcanota River. During the descent, the high alpine pastures give way to small farms with colorful crops growing in harmonious patterns on the hillsides. We will finish our ride in Sicuani where we will have very basic hotel accommodations with a private bath. Ride: 35 – 40 mi. (B/L/D)
We cycle the winding Vilcanota River canyon as it passes through a delightful countryside of small farms, cactus gardens and eucalyptus groves on our route to Pisaq. Birds are abundant, and the Andean hummingbirds (some the size of robins) are fascinating to watch as they flit above the cactus flowers. After lunch, we continue riding to our charming hotel (8,500 ft.) in Urubamba. Ride: 48 mi. Hotel in Urubamba (B/L/D)
In the morning, we transfer by van to Chinchero for a very interesting visit to the weaver’s co-op and tour of the village. Following a picnic lunch, we ride a grand rolling 2,000 ft. descent back into the Sacred Valley and continue riding to Ollantaytambo. We’ll tour this massive Inca fortress where the Incas turned the Spaniards back. Our lodging tonight is in a gorgeous hotel in Ollantaytambo (8,000 ft.). Ride: 29 mi. Hotel in Ollantaytambo. (B/L/D)
We board the train for a dramatic ride down the rugged Urubamba River gorge. Before reaching Machu Picchu, we leave the train for our hike to Machu Picchu. After crossing the river on a footbridge, we follow a moderately difficult trail to Winya Wayna. This dramatic Inca site overlooking the river has cascading ceremonial baths. After a picnic lunch, we traverse through the cloud forest and emerge at the Sun Gate for our first view of Machu Picchu (7,970 ft.) high above the city. We will then stroll down the Royal Inca Road for a suitably regal entrance to the Lost City of the Incas. Lodging is nearby in Aguas Calientes (6,500 ft.). Hike: 10 mi. & 2,500 ft. ascent. Hotel in Aguas Calientes. (B/L/D)
We return to Machu Picchu for sunrise & a complete tour of this remarkable archeological treasure with our guide. Later, you might choose to explore some of the nearby trails or simply wander back through Machu Picchu to sketch or photograph this extraordinary site. Later that day, we will return to Ollantaytambo by train. We'll spend our final night in Ollantaytambo and have our farewell dinner. (B/D)
Morning van transfer to Cuzco Airport. Flights leave Cuzco for Lima and homeward, or stay additional days and we can arrange extensions to the rain forest or the Nazca Lines. Do not schedule any flights until 2 pm from Cuzco to Lima. (B)
All the services described above are arranged weeks or months in advance of your trip. If airline schedule changes, unusual weather conditions or other circumstances beyond our control prevent us from operating the services according to the schedule described above, we will attempt to substitute services of equivalent value. If we are unable to do so, passengers may be responsible for additional costs due to circumstances beyond our control.
You can expect a spirited mixture of singles and couples in their 20′s to 70′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. The experience range within most groups spans from novice through experienced recreational riders. All seem to share the common bond of an appreciation for the outdoors and an active lifestyle. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
Yes! This tour can be chartered with a minimum of 8 people. Call us for information and availability, 800-648-8488.
Our exceptional Peruvian staff includes a bilingual Peruvian guide and our support vehicle drivers. The owners, Chuck and Judy Nichols, accompany most trips and supply a fun style that brings folks together like a group of friends having a great time on an unforgettable vacation.
We will be staying in hotels and inns that serve great food.Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can easily be accommodated with advanced notice. All meals are included except some meals in Cuzco.
The skies are generally sunny and clear, and temperatures during the day may go into the 70′s and at night drop below freezing. We have scheduled the tour at this time because it is the beginning of the dry season, but there is always a chance of rain.
We rent good quality mountain bikes with a water bottle cage and flat pedals without toe clips and straps. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat. We will supply all mechanical support during the tour. NOTE: You will need to provide your own water bottle and helmet.
High altitude begins at 8,000 ft. This tour starts at 11,000 and we will ascend to 14,000 during a brief portion of one afternoon. From our experience leading many high altitude tours and from information gathered from leading medical experts, we can help you understand more about the effects of traveling at high altitude and how to lessen or prevent altitude sickness. You can also find altitude information online at MD Travel Health.
Read more about recognizing the effects and treatments for high altitude sickness in our travel support section.
Equipment used for screening checked and carry-on baggage WILL DAMAGE UNDEVELOPED FILM. Make sure to REMOVE IT AND HAVE IT HAND INSPECTED. To expedite the screening process, carry all film in clear canisters or take the film out of solid colored canisters and put it in a clear plastic ziploc bag. DIGITAL CAMERAS AND DIGITAL MEDIA ARE NOT AFFECTED. See the TSA website for complete details – http://www.tsa.gov
You do not need to be able to speak Spanish, but it can be lots of fun, and our bilingual guide can always help you with the finer points of the language. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.
The currency of Peru is the Sole. You will need Soles for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips. Some restaurants and shops will accept credit cards, but some will not. You can use a US debit card to procure soles in every city throughout the trip. But ATM's and cash exchange businesses are especially abundant in Cusco, where the trip begins. You can bring clean US bills with no rips or tears, and exchange them for soles once you get to Cusco. We suggest starting with a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop, there are plenty of opportunities to buy local art, jewelry & gifts).
We suggest 10% for good service in restaurants and a small amount for baggage and taxi workers. Keep $1 US bills handy and you will produce a smile every time! You can also tip in Soles, and it's a good idea to have small bills and Peruvian coins with you at all times, as it is customary to tip when taking photographs of local people and animals. During the tour, we suggest $200US per guest to cover our Peruvian guides, the staff and the various service people on the tour and at the lodges. You can withdraw this amount from an ATM, and present it to your guide (in US Dollars or equivalent amount of Soles) at the end of the trip.
US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.
This tour starts and ends in Cuzco. There are no direct flights from the US to Cuzco, as all flights go through Lima. Continental, American, Delta and Lan Peru Airlines all service Lima. Lan Peru and Taca Airlines fly into Cuzco. We suggest checking Orbitz.com.
U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!
Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.
For all travelers, we suggest keeping your tetanus immunization up to date (every 10 years), and we suggest a Hepatitis A immunization, too. You can check your state health department, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the online traveler’s data base http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/ for the most current information.
Simply put, pack light and arrive at the starting point of your trip a day or two early. Many have told us this was the most important thing they did to get ready for their trip. They felt rested and more acquainted with the customs and pace of life in their new surroundings.
Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in Cusco either before or after the tour.
Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.
To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!