explora's Cycling Programs - exploring on wheels!

Cycling Programs

Cycling Programs

Exploring on wheels is an invitation to add a little more adventure to your exploration experience and to see things from another perspective. Whether you are among those who want to take a quiet ride or a fan of adrenaline, our cycle programs will let you get to know the natural and cultural richness of the destinations we explore.  Our next edition will be held in Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu in partnership with Trek Travel.

Cycling Programs

Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu 2019

The programs scheduled for 2019 at this destination will last 5 nights and 6 days on the following dates: August 18 to 23, August 25 to 30, September 1 to 6 and September 8 to 13.

This unique life experience will give you the opportunity to get to know the best of Peru by combining guided explorations on a bike and on foot with the comfortable infrastructure of explora Valle Sagrado

In total, you will cover 120 kilometers (75 miles) exploring the history and architectural greatness of the Incas in Machu Picchu, going through traditional villages, archaeological sites, and the Andean pampas and mountains.

It is an ideal program for recreational cyclists. Travelers who do not ride bicycles are also welcome!

Day 1 | Welcome to explora & cycle along the Urubamba River

Welcome to Cusco! The city sits nestled in the heart of the Peruvian Andes and perched on top of the world. The explora Team and your Trek Travel guides will welcome you warmly at the airport with a ride to your hotel for the week. Here, we’ll enjoy a hearty gourmet lunch in preparation for the first ride of the trip. After lunch, your guides will then familiarize you with your Trek bike, including an informal fit session along with safety talks and expectations for the week. Then, it’s off on our first mountain bike ride, starting with a gravel road that takes us down the south side of Urubamba River, through quiet, peaceful cornfields, and past old haciendas and manors from the 19th and 20th centuries. We’ll keep it light and easy, using this first spin to acclimate to the altitude (9,829 feet/2,996 meters at the highest point) and terrain. A support vehicle is available should you wish to shuttle for any portion of the ride today. Upon our return, take the rest of the day to unpack and unwind at the hotel. Tonight, we’ll gather for an aperitif and first dinner together, prepared from fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Day 2 | Chincheros & Machu Qolca

After a delicious breakfast, we’ll take a private shuttle (50 minutes) and begin the day with a visit to the community of Cuper Bajo to learn about the process of making textiles, a local industry. Then, we’ll enjoy a nature hike, taking in panoramic views of crystal-clear lagoons and crops on our way to the town of Chinchero. This undiscovered gem sits in the shadow of the hulking mountain of Salcantay and is home to some of the most famous Peruvian weaving and local art. We’ll descend into its archaeological complex, where Inca architecture fuses with colonial structures to create Syncretism. Ultimately, our walk will take us to the Machu Qolca archeological center, formerly used as a warehouse to store products for the Inca, where we’ll stop for lunch at a particularly beautiful spot for views. Then, we’ll get on our bikes for a descent down a long, winding gravel road to Huayllabamba in the Sacred Valley of the Inca. It’s smooth sailing from here, through more expansive farmland, back to our hotel. We’ll gather this evening for another fun social hour and dinner at the hotel.

Day 3 | Huaypo views

Awaken refreshed as your body becomes acclimated to the altitude. The Sacred Valley region is speckled with farms, large gardens, and small villages. We’ll take a private shuttle for one hour to arrive at our first stop at the Moray experimental crop center. The archaeological feature resembles a crop circle, where concentric circles sit at different elevations for the Inca to try out different crops at different altitudes. Then, it’s on to the colonial town of Maras, known for its pristine salt mines and pinkish hue. Take some photos and refuel for the ride back, as we then take our bikes through the highlight of the day: a combination of gravel roads and single track and a descent back to the Urubamba River. There are some exposed sections today, but nothing that is long or not walk-able should you not wish to ride. We’ll stop for lunch in the middle of the valley, then head back to the hotel on a 40-minute shuttle, where the afternoon is yours before we gather again for social hour and dinner.

Day 4 | Explore Machu Picchu

Today is the crown jewel of the trip. In this full-day exploration, we’ll travel to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most impressive architectural feats of the Inca civilization and a wonder of the world. The itinerary begins early in the morning with a shuttle to the Ollantaytambo rail station, located 45 minutes away from the hotel, where we take a 1.5-hour train ride to the town of Aguas Calientes. From there, we’ll board a quick 20-minute bus to Machu Picchu, and arrive at the entrance to the sanctuary at around midday. This is the starting point of our journey on foot to Inti Punku or the Sun Gate, the ancient checkpoint to enter the citadel and the beginning of the Inca Trail from Machu Picchu. This challenging 1.2-mile hike can be done at a leisurely pace, as it is considered moderately difficult. Take the time to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime view by the Sun Gate. At the end of the hike, we begin touring the most famous locations in Machu Picchu. You’ll see the Sacred Plaza, Hut of the Caretaker and so much more. Dinner tonight will be back at our hotel, where we’ll toast to a week of high-altitude excitement and archaeological adventure! For those not interested in touring Machu Picchu, other options will be available at explora. We arrive back this evening fairly late, so it’s likely you will want a quick bite before you rest for the night. Tomorrow is our final day together in the Sacred Valley, and we have an incredible hike and bike adventure planned.

Day 5 | Inca Tracks

Today, we’ll venture by bike into the Sacred Valley and over a mountain trail with panoramic views of Cusco and the valley below. Our destination will take us over 14,000 feet above sea level, so come hydrated and with plenty of sunscreen! The descent includes a pass through potato plantations and treeless plains, or “pampas,” of shepherds tending to animals. This afternoon, we’ll start our ride from these pampas, descending down through indigenous Quechua communities and farms. We’ll be treated to sweeping views of the Sacred Valley and Pisac, a picturesque area you’ll want to capture without a doubt. Then, it’s back to the hotel for some personal time before the social hour and dinner.

Day 6 | Departure

It’s time to say goodbye to the ancient history and the vast natural beauty of this Peruvian landscape. Choose to indulge in one more half-day exploration, or relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy the serenity of the day. Today we fly out of the Sacred Valley back to Lima. Checkout is at 11:00 am, and lunch will be provided at 1:00 pm. Transportation to the airport will be provided after lunch.

This program includes:

  • Transfer from/to the airport and hotels in Cusco on a preset schedule.
  • Accommodations.
  • Three meals per day, plus snacks and open bar.
  • Two half-day explorations or one full-day exploration with explora and Trek Travel guides every day.
  • Bike riding gear (Trek X-Caliber 9 and helmets).
  • Trekking poles.
  • Tickets to nature reserves and archaeological sites.
  • Full day guided exploration to Machu Picchu (it includes a hike to the Sun Gate / Inti Punku).
  • Access to pools, hot tubs and leisure areas.
  • Wi-Fi in shared areas.

For further information and questions about our cycling program in the Sacred Valley, please contact Trek Travel at +1 (866) 464 8735 or click here.

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