Lake Titicaca to Machu Picchu Mountain Bike Tour
Peru, Bike - Semi Slick, 12 days - from £1,595 (land only) - from €1,945 (land only) - from $2,580 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at Juliaca Airport where you will be met by your guide and transferred to our hotel in Puno near the shores of Lake Titicaca. Today is for acclimatisation to the rarefied air of the Andean Altiplano (3800m). Drink plenty of liquids and take it easy. In the afternoon we can explore Puno and its environs.
Day 2: Today, another acclimatisation day, we board our motor boat launch on Lake Titicaca for a fascinating visit to the floating islands of the Uros Indians before continuing on to the small community of Llachon where we stay with local families in a new community based project. We will have time to assemble our bikes and maybe hire a kayak or take a fishing trip on Lake Titicaca.
Day 3: Being more acclimatised to the altitude we set off our on first ride along the shores of Lake Titicaca to the bustling town of Juliaca. We then head out on a good tarmac road to the picturesque colonial city of Lampa, where set up our first camp outside the town. Altitude at camp 3850 metres. Ride distance 67 km (41 miles) with 194 metres of ascent and 130 metres of descent.
Day 4: We follow a rarely used dirt road on a gentle ascent to lunch at the small Andean village of Trapiche de Palca, From here we start a gradual climb to our camp near the lake of Vila Vila (4000m) below a high pass. Ride distance 60 km (37 miles) 400 metres of ascent and 100 metres of descent.
Day 5: We have a steady climb to the top of the pass at 4580 metres. Then its down for 600 metres through the incredible Canon de Tinajani with its weird and exotic rock formations. We camp near the canyon and swap our bikes for walking boots and explore the canyon. Ride distance 38 km (24miles) with 643 metres of ascent and 763 metres of descent.
Day 6: Today, we continue our journey on undulating dirt tracks across the spectacular Altiplano. We pass the small villages of Humachiric and Llalli. We have some opportunity today to take a little side tracks onto singletrack. Overnight at Grupo's Inca's Alpaca breeding station at Pacomarca in a small hacienda. Ride distance 62 km (39 miles) with 256 metres of ascent and 119 metres of descent.
Day 7: Now we are acclimatised, we have our first big day of classic Andean riding. We pass the villages of Llalli and Macari along dirt tracks, undulating through the Peruvian country. After lunch, we climb up to the Layo Pass at 4500 metres. Then it's an awesome descent to the shores of Lake Langui, where we camp. Ride distance 88 km (55miles) with 1015 metres of ascent and 832 metres of descent.
Day 8: Leaving Lake Langui, we climb up and over a ridge towards the town of Yanaoca. We then continue on dirt tracks awesome 20 kilometre downhill into Urubamba and to the town of Rachi, home to some impressive Inca ruins. On tarmac now, we blast towards to Sacred Valley and camp near the village of Cusipata. Ride distance 110 km (69 miles) with 662 metres of ascent and 1436 metres of descent.
Day 9: Mainly on tarmac today, we really cover some ground as we follow the Rio Urubamba as it heads towards Machu Picchu. At Urcos we leave the Cusco road and ride to our overnight stop at the pretty village of Pisac. Famous for its handicrafts market, this is a great place to buy souvenirs. Ride distance 85 km (52miles) with 50 metres of ascent and 277 metres of descent.
Day 10: We follow a network of rarely used dirt roads through the Sacred Valley, passing the villages of Calca, Huaran and Yucay. After a lunch stop at Urubamba, there is a final optional blast on tarmac to Ollantaytambo, where we can shower and change before catching our late afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, where we overnight in a hotel. Ride distance 75 km (47 miles) with little ascent or descent.
Day 11: Today we visit the fabled Inca site at Machu Picchu. We have a guided tour plus time for independent sightseeing. Returning to Aguas Calientes we board the afternoon train back to the Sacred Valley and from there transfer to our Cusco hotel. Those of us with energy to spare will want to explore Cusco's excellent nightlife.
Day 12: KE Land Only services end after breakfast. Complimentary transfers to Cusco Airport are provided.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.