E-bike Peru Southern Journey
Get active and immerse yourself in an incredible adventure, riding your E-Bike at the shores of glimmering lakes, impressive canyons, beautiful valleys with active volcanoes, and downhill roads into the cloud forest. It’s a 14-day journey full of adventure, nature, living cultures, and the most beautiful scenery that you can only reach by e-bike. Our e-bikes are the perfect way to explore Peru’s challenging geography swiftly and smoothly. The extra power of the e-bikes will let you ride uphill leisurely and ride longer distances per day. You’ll have more time for pleasure and less time sitting in a car! The itinerary includes the highlights of Southern Peru, such as the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, and Machu Picchu, but all of them through less-traveled routes. This new circuit was just developed in 2018 by Peruvian Soul. Ready to be one of the first explorers in Peru to enjoy this completely new concept of traveling?
- Explore the impressive Puya de Raimondi´s forest and the Tinajani Canyon
- Cycle by the shores of Lake Titicaca and experience the rural lifestyle of the Andes
- Enjoy a downhill ride from the highlands to the cloudforest of Machu Picchu
Arrival to Arequipa and short briefing
Upon arrival to Arequipa, we’ll welcome you at the airport and have a short drive to the city center. Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2,325masl which makes it the perfect place to start getting used to the altitude. We´ll have the morning free to relax at the hotel or have a light lunch (not included).
In the afternoon, we’ll have a short briefing to discuss all the details about our e-bike journey. Basically, the briefing will be about some general guidelines on the e-bikes and safety instructions for the trip. We’ll then assign the e-bikes to each one of the participants and make sure everyone is feeling comfortable with them.
Riding through Arequipa´s countryside - Huanca
Today we’ll have an early breakfast and leave Arequipa towards Huanca, a small town in a charming valley where people devote their time to farming and livestock. We’ll drive approximately 2 hours before the start of our biking adventure. Ideally, the first 14 km of the journey are on practically flat terrain, which is the perfect way to start familiarizing with our bikes and equipment. We’ll then meet our first challenge: 15 km uphill, along a gravel road, towards a beautiful natural lookout where we’ll take a short break and just enjoy the gorgeous scenery. There’s no need to hurry – you can take your time and cycle at your own pace. From the “abra” (highest point on the route), we’ll be rewarded with an incredible view of the valley and its colourful terraces. Fun fact: most of these terraces have been built using only manual tools, such as the traditional “chakitajlla”. From this viewpoint, we’ll ride downhill for about 15 km, all the way to the town of Huanca, where a simple but delicious lunch will be ready for us. After lunch and if time allows it, we can make a short 20-minute hike to see the Pichirigma Canyon. Then, we’ll rest for a bit in Huanca, and drive back to Arequipa, arriving at our hotel at about 7:00 pm.
Cycling to the Colca Canyon – Callali, Sibayo, Coporaque
This morning, at the coordinated time, we’ll get ready to begin our journey towards the Colca Canyon. The trip will start with a drive through the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve, where it’s quite common to see wild vicuñas and other South American camelids. This will be followed by a detour to reach a lesser travelled road, away from the traditional tourist circuit. Our destination will be the Upper Colca Canyon, namely the picturesque villages of Callalli, Sibayo, Tutti and Canocota.
Our biking excursion for the day will begin just before we reach a viewpoint called “La Ventana” and about 20 km before reaching Sibayo. “La Ventana” is a peculiar rock formation with great views, and can literally be translated as “The Window”. Today’s route will be along an unpaved road, which will possibly make pedalling a bit more of a challenge but, nevertheless, will reward you with beautiful countryside landscapes. Once in Sibayo, we’ll drive for about 14 km along a nicely paved road next to the colourful valley, until we arrive to Tuti, our stop for today’s lunch. If we still have energy afterwards, we can continue to ride our bikes all the way to our hotel, in the small town of Coporaque.
Note that this is a 65 km biking route that can easily be extended to 70 km or 80 km, depending on the physical conditions of the group. Today we’ll spend the night in a nice hotel in the Colca Valley overlooking the Sabancaya and the Ampato volcanoes. Let’s make it an early night today so that we can start early tomorrow.
Chimpa fortress, Condors viewpoint and hot springs
It’s an early rise again today! We’ll leave our hotel at 6.00am and head to an off-the-beaten-path viewpoint called the Chimpa fortress. We’ll make a 1-hour drive along the right-hand side of the Colca Valley along a dirt road which has very little traffic. It’s essential we arrive at the starting point of our today’s hike as early as possible. Located practically in front of the classic Condors Cross viewpoint, on the opposite side of the valley, Chimpa is a Castle-like Collagua fortress with amazing views of the Canyon. To get there, we need to hike 3km uphill, from the last point reachable by car, going from 3,100mts to 3,600mts in approximately 2.5 hours. If we are lucky, we’ll enjoy the flight of the majestic Andean Condor, but bear in mind, it’s not always possible to spot condors (although, to be honest, in this place we might have a good chance!) After exploring the archaeological site of Chimpa, we’ll begin our hike downhill.
We’ll then have a snack to recover our energy, and make our way back pedalling between the towns of Madrigal, Lari, Ichupampa and Yanque, all of which are small, traditional, Andean Villages with lovely colonial churches and beautiful views of the valley. The ride back to our hotel will take about 2 hours, but we haven’t got any hurries, so we will enjoy the scenery, the stunning views of volcanoes, terraces and local farmers doing their daily activities. We’ll end our biking journey at the town of Yanque where we’ll have an exquisite lunch (Not included)
After lunch, we’ll drive back to our hotel where we are free to relax or, if interested, we can go to the hot springs of Coporaque, located next to the river overlooking volcanoes and ancient farming terraces.
Journey to Lake Titicaca & Biking around Sillustani
Our next stop is Puno. We’ll begin our journey after breakfast, and it will first be a very scenic route with views of glistening lagoons, stone forests and small Andean farmhouses. On route, we’ll stop at the Patapampa lookout to observe surrounding volcanoes and snow-capped mountains. We’ll also make a short stop at ”Lagunillas” where we can appreciate the region’s wildlife. We’ll then leave the main road to go through the old highway that used to connect the Colca Valley with Puno. Shortly after passing the town of Cabanillas, we’ll get ready to start our biking journey heading first to Mañazo, Vilque and then Sillustani.
We’ll be covering around 65km today, biking in the high plateau “Altiplano”. It’s highly likely that we’ll see some South American camelids, typical to this ecosystem, along the way. Plus, we’ll visit the impressive funerary tombs of Sillustani which are located on a hill above Lake Umayo. Historians claim these huge cylindrical tombs where constructed by the Collas culture as graves for their leaders and members of nobility. This is a very unique spot, which must have been very important for prehispanic Andean cultures; interestingly, we can find funerary tombs of various cultures here. It is a place with a special energy, where you’ll notice that even compasses don’t seem to work.
We’ll take a guided excursion in the area and then take the car back to our hotel in Puno, where we should be arriving in the late afternoon.
Lake Titicaca and the Chucuito Peninsula
This morning, after a tasty breakfast, we will begin our biking exploration trip by the shores of Lake Titicaca. Our private transportation will drive us to the rural area by the community of Ilave, on an hour-long trip, where we’ll observe the villagers’ daily activities. If we travel during the Harvest Season, we’ll organize a traditional huatia, an oven made out of clods of earth to bake different kinds of fresh tubers. However, if it’s another season, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in a nice spot.
Our goal is to arrive at a lookout in the Chucuito Peninsula from where we’ll have a panoramic view of Lake Titicaca, with Taquile and Amantani Islands in front of us. Here, we´ll leave our bikes in the car and continue hiking for about 2 hours through a well preserved Prehispanic route and pristine beaches, all the way to the community of Karina from where our transport will be waiting to take us to Luquina Chico – this is where our host families will be waiting for us. We’ll probably enjoy a nice sunset at the shores of the Lake and then have plenty of time to get to know the locals and share some time and stories with them.
Sailing at the Lake Titicaca and biking back to Puno
Our morning will start off sailing in traditional boats with the locals. Lake Titicaca is considered the highest navigable lake in the World, so this is bound to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Perhaps we can help to pick up fishing nets or simply enjoy the scenery around us, a palette of deep blues in the sky and the lake. However, if you’re not a fan of sailing, we can offer the alternative of staying in the mainland and either joining the locals in their daily activities (mostly related to agriculture and livestock) or simple relaxing and enjoying the landscape overlooking the lake.
We’ll probably have an early lunch, after which we’ll be ready to continue riding our e-bikes at the other side of the Peninsula, all the way to Plateria. Then, we’ll carry on towards the museum of Inca Uyo, from where we’ll board our vehicle and continue to Puno.
Lampa, Biking to Tarucani and Tinajani and Tambo Queque Norte
We’re getting closer to Cusco every day! On Day 8, we’ll go along a very special route, leaving Puno in the early morning and crossing the city of Juliaca, as we drive to the village of Lampa. At Lampa, we can have a rest and explore its colonial buildings, such as its beautiful church (tickets not included). From here onwards, landscapes are raw and beautiful. We’ll drive through a narrow valley and, once we reach the highest point, we’ll start descending by bike to an area called Tarucani, famous for its “Puyas de Raymondi”, a very peculiar, endemic plant that only grows in remote areas of the Andes. Some of them can grow up to 12 meters, and can produce over 8000 flowers and 6 million seeds!
As we descend from Tarukani we’ll enter the Tinajani Canyon, a relatively unexplored area with plenty of bizarre rock formations that produce a surreal landscape. Hope you have your cameras ready, because today’s route will be one of the highlights of the trip and doing it with the e-bikes will be an unforgettable experience. From Tinajani and just before we reach the motorway, we’ll board our private vehicle to continue towards today’s final destination, Tambo Queque Norte.
Tambo Queque Norte is a charming country manor located in the middle of the Andean High plains between Puno and Cusco. We’ll have a free afternoon to have a look at the rural activities at the Tambo (they have a dairy farm that produces great yogurt and cheese) and also to explore its surroundings. They also have horses here and, if we want and time allows it, we can go for an afternoon ride through the high plains.
Scenic route to Cusco through the four Lakes
This morning, after enjoying a nice breakfast typical of the Peruvian countryside, we’ll get ready to continue our route and finally reach Cusco. As always, instead of taking the most popular roads, we have a special and much more authentic path prepared to show you more hidden places in this area. Shortly after setting off, we’ll pass by “La Raya”, the division point between the provinces of Puno and Cusco. After crossing Sicuani, we’ll join a side route with very less traffic from where we’ll start our biking route. The route and length will depend on the physical conditions of the group and their interests. Generally speaking, the biking route of today crosses and area called the 4 lakes, a beautiful landscape of peaceful and shimmering waters full of huallatas, flamingos and different kinds of birds. We’ll be riding along a paved road for almost the entire route with the exception of a loop to Pomacanchis lagoon, which is a gravel route but with one of the most beautiful landscapes of the day. From Pomacanchis, we’ll continue our route to Cusco by car.
If there is still time available and we fancy it, just before entering Cusco, we can also visit the colonial church of Andahuaylillas. This church is also known as the Sistine chapel of the Americas because of its rich baroque style (Tickets not included)
Biking to Misminay + Maras and Moray
Today we’ll get back on track and prepare for a 50km ride through the most interesting sites at the Sacred Valley of the Incas!
Departing from Cusco, we’ll head to Cruzpata, starting point of our first 20km of the day. We’ll gear up and start pedaling to Huaipo Lake from where we’ll continue through an off-the-beaten route all the way to the Misminay community. We love Misminay because locals still preserve millenary traditions and nurture a special relationship with nature and the cosmos. You’ll be able to share time with the locals, learning about their lifestyle, their delicious gastronomy and their gorgeous textiles. Your visit will not only contribute to the economic development of the community, but also to the preservation of these special, millenary traditions. For lunch, we’ll take part in a typical “Pachamanca” or “Earth Pot”, a cooking technique where the food is prepared underground with preheated stones and covered with banana leaves to separate ingredients from the soil. The main ingredients are Potato, Olluco, Oca, Mashua, corn, barley and other Andean products, as well as beef or lamb and Andean aromatic Herbs. If time allows it, we can also take a short hike to a nice lookout from where we´ll have a beautiful view of the Moray terraces. After this, we’ll continue riding our bikes all the way to Moray, one of the most unusual Inca sites in Peru, consisting of circular terraces built upon a natural depression, which seem to have been an agricultural experimental station used to adapt crops to different temperatures. Afterwards, we’ll continue riding to Maras, an impressive salt-extraction complex consisting of thousands of small terraces. During the dry season pans are filled every 3 days with salty water coming from a natural spring; once the water has evaporated, locals collect the salt and sell it in local markets in the region, like their ancestors since before the Inca times. From Maras, we’ll continue by car to a charming small hotel at the Sacred Valley, where we should be arriving in the late afternoon.
Pinkuylluna, The Malaga pass, Coffee farm and the hot-springs
This morning, after an early wakeup (as usual) we’ll drive to the Inca site of Ollantaytambo, where we can make a short optional hike to the Qolqas of Pinkuylluna, agricultural storehouses located on the hillside opposite to the fortress of Ollantaytambo. From here we can have not only the best views of the archaeological site but also the opportunity to enjoy this place avoiding big crowds of tourists. Afterwards, we’ll leave Ollantaytambo on our transport and head for the Malaga Pass (4230 masl). Depending on the weather conditions, we can either start about 20km before the Pass or a few kilometers after, if the weather is not good (it’s normally very cold and foggy). After a short security briefing, we’ll start this quite popular and easy biking route downhill, which will take us from this high mountain pass into the lower jungle areas of Huayopata and Santa Teresa. It will be a ride of approximately 60km of changing scenery. Once in Huayopata, we’ll visit a coffee and cacao farm, where we’ll be able to appreciate and try the different local fruits and learn about the production of local, delicious coffee. From Huayopata, we’ll then continue in our transport all the way to the village of Santa Teresa, where we can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in our hotel or we can visit the nearby hot springs of Cocalmayo.
Discovering Machu Picchu
Today is the big day! We’ll be visiting the long-lost citadel of Machu Picchu! However, we’ll need be patient, and avoid rushing to the site. We’ll leave our hotel after an early breakfast and head to a nearby Hydroelectric plant, the starting point of our 10km hike to the village of Aguas Calientes. We’ll be sleeping in Aguas Calientes tonight, so it is important that we take a small backpack with us, with the things we need for only one night, as we will be carrying it ourselves. This is a very easy hike along flat terrain (following the train tracks), through the cloudforest. It usually takes us between 2 and 3 hours to complete (the idea is to begin at 7am). This means that we should be arriving to Aguas Calientes in the late morning.
On arrival, we’ll head to our hotel, have a wash and drop off our luggage. Check-in is usually in the afternoons but if the rooms are already available we’ll be able to use them.
Then, at around midday we’ll head to Machu Picchu. We want to visit this great site at noon, when most people are already leaving. We’ll take a 20-minutes bus up the steep, zigzagging road to Machu Picchu Citadel, located on an impressive mountain setting. Then, we’ll explore the site for the rest of the afternoon until Machu Picchu closes, at around 4:30pm, after which we’ll return to our hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Scenic train ride to Ollantaytambo and return to Cusco
This morning, after breakfast, we’ll get ready to enjoy a scenic train ride back to Ollantaytambo. The train journey is a spectacle in itself as we’ll be able to appreciate the changing landscape from lush jungle to green fields and eucalyptus forests, always travelling beside the meandering Urubamba River. Upon arrival to Ollantaytambo, our driver will be waiting for us to take us back to Cusco city, where we´ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax and enjoy at our leisure.
Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America. Today we’ll have the entire day to explore the streets, plazas and markets of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace. Then, at the coordinated time, we’ll head to Cusco’s airport to board your flight to Lima and international connecting flights back home.
- What’s Included
- Trasnportation - private SUV, Van or Sprinter
- Support vehicle - 4x4 vehicle (if more than 3 passengers)
- Peruvian Soul Tour Conductor with the group (English speaking)
- Professional English speaking guide in Sillustani, Puno, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
- Accommodation as specified
- Meals as specified
- Bus tickets for Machu Picchu
- Train ticket – Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Oxygen tank and first aid kit available during the trip
- Entrances tickets to all mentioned sites during the itinerary