Mountain Biking in Cusco
Cusco has the potential to offer some top class biking trips but, generally, facilities are underdeveloped and the quality of rental bikes is just about adequate. It won't take long until the situation improves, but until then serious bikers are better off bringing their own bikes. There are several tour companies and equipment rental shops along Calle Plateros which rent out bikes from $15- 25 per day. All should come complete with helmet, pump, basic tool kit and puncture repair kit. Excellent day trips include Chinchero to Ollantaytambo and from the Inca ruins of Tambomachay to Calca. Both routes are long downhill sections followed by flat sections along the Sacred Valley and are on paved roads. The start and finish points are easily accessed by local bus to or from Cusco. Just throw your bike on the bus roof and hope for the best! There are some off-road alternatives to the above routes but you must bare in mind that most trails in and around Cusco are frequently used by farmers and villagers; encounters with a large group of cyclists hurtling along can prove a little unsettling to the locals so please be careful. Most companies that rent out bikes can provide basic maps and route descriptions, as well as guides and private transportation. For the more adventurous, longer biking trips can be arranged. These are best undertaken with the support of an experienced tour operator who can provide professional guides and equipment as well as the necessary support vehicles. A popular route is from Tres Cruces to La Union on the road from Cusco to Manu (Amazon jungle). Some of the Manu specialists can arrange this beautiful, breathtaking trip.
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