from the andes to the deep amazon jungle (310km) 6 days - 5 nights
biking from the mountains to the jungle is an unforgettable experience. from a high point of 4960m on the huallahualla pass we descend from the andes through the cloud forest into the jungle to 300m, making for a fantastic cross section through eastern peru.
not only does the altitude and scenery change dramatically but also the local beliefs, traditions and dresses. our route follows the road that connect peru to brazil, “pan oceanic highway,”. this is a wonderful way to follow this interesting route before it turns into a main highway. along the route we stay in small locally run “hospedajes” and eat in some of the numerous small cafes to give you an authentic taste of the local dishes. we ride 310km from the high andes to the amazon basin.
route: cuzco - urcos - cuyumepass - ocongatevillage - huallahualla pass - colin - huallayoc - marcapata - puente amacho - puente san pedro - puente cadena - puente manire - puente la oroya - quincemil - puente fortaleza - san lorenzo - puente golondrina - puente iinambari - santa rosa - santa rita - primavera - puerto maldonado.
at 7am picking you up from your hotel in cusco, we travel by a 4x4 through urcos to the cuyume pass (53km from cusco). the journey takes roughly 3 hours and passes through numerous rural villages and hamlets. as the road winds its way out of the cusco valley the view expands into a patchwork of small fields which cover the surrounding mountains. at the top of the pass unload and give you a short safety briefing before getting on our bikes for the first downhill of the trip. this short ride takes us roughly two hours and follows the dirt track down into a shady valley towards the village of ocongate where we spend our first night. the village is typical of the region, having a small plaza where markets are regularly held.
level of difficulty: easy, a mild introduction taking approximately 2 hours. stay in basic local accommodation with shower and bath availability (l - d).
distance: 4x4 63km - biking 38km.
over the huallahualla pass. starting early we drive to the top of the 4950m huallahualla pass (thought the adventurous may decide to cycle up part of the way). climbing up we see spectacular views of mt ausangate (6340m) and the glacier (caravaya range) which is the focus of the qoylluriti festival where thousands of pilgrims flock each year to pay homage to the ‘apu’ or spiritual mountain, and pass grazing flocks of alpacas watched by shepherds in traditional andean dress. once over the pass the eastern side of the andes fills the view. deep glacial valleys strewn with giant boulders and remote hamlets surround us we start to descend. there are many opportunities here to take exciting off road shortcuts and further down the mountainsides are covered in steep terraces before the high scrubland gives way to cloud forest. we finish the day at marcapata (2900m), a mysterious town cloaked in cloud by afternoon but offering spectacular views in the clear mornings. hot springs wait to loosen your aching muscles, and a hearty meal to replenish your energy levels. stay in tents or basic local accommodation with shower and bath availability (b - l - d).level of difficulty: easy, and optional single track routes, taking 4 - 5 hours downhill with an optional 2 - 3 hours if you choose to cycle up to the top of the huallahualla pass.distance: 4x4 12km - biking 47km.
from then cloud forest to the high jungle after an energizing breakfast in marcapata and a quick look around the town we start our rapid descent through the cloud forest. dramatic green mountain sides meet in the valley bottoms where streams turn into rivers and waterfalls run like ribbons down the slopes. coffee beans can be seen drying next to the road, while early morning fresh forest smell and fantastic views make this a beautiful downhill ride. as our road winds down the cloud forest flattens out and we enter the jungle. the second half of this day is spent fording streams and cycling on more of an even road. giant ferns and cliffs hug the roadside and hundreds of butterflies flutter around you. we finish the day at quincemil (755m), a small gold mining community. stay in tents or basic local accommodation with shower and bath availability (b - l - d).
level of difficulty: medium, mostly downhill with sharp rocky bends and some flat sections, 5-6 hours.
distance: 4x4 0km - biking 70km.
through the high jungle leaving bright and early to make the most of the cool morning we follow on the left bank of the river out of town and spend the first three hours alternating between fairly steep up and downhill sections. the road is fairly smooth on this day offering some lovely descents and some interesting stream and small river crossings which is a lovely way to cool off in the heat of the day! we pass through several small jungle villages including san lorenzo and inambari, constructed out of wood and raised off the ground to avoid the flooding in the rainy season. though we obviously cannot promise wild life the sorts of animals that can be seen include squirrel monkeys, macaws, wild boar, orapendulas, parrots, snakes and vultures. toward the end of the day the road flattens out and we finish the day in the lively town of mazuko (440m).stay in tents or basic local accommodation with shower and bath availability (b - l - d).
level of difficulty: medium, but a long day and hard work on the uphill sections. the jungle is hot and humid from midday. 6 - 7 hours biking, if you don't want to continue pedaling you can stay in the 4x4 to end of the day.
distance: 4x4 0km - biking 68km.
into the low jungle staying in the jungle gives you many opportunities to taste fresh fruit drinks and dishes such as fried bananas and a jug of papaya juice for breakfast. this day we take our 4wd vehicle until santa rosa pass, from where we get nice view of the low jungle and the dirt road disappear in hug canopy. from santa rosa jungle village we have the last opportunity to continue pedaling on paved road to hundred ten (110km village). from here we normally use our 4x4 to do last hundred kilometers to puerto maldonado. stay in a comfortable amazon lodge (b - l).
level of difficulty: easy, taking approximately 3 hours on the flat and deep low jungle.
distance: 4x4 131km - biking 40 km.
this day you are free to choose how you want to come back to cusco by plane (40 min) or by bus (12 hours).
after breakfast all our camp staff will back driving our 4x4.ps. we suggest you to stay more days in the jungle and explore with organized boat trip to tambopata reserve, you can do trip from 2 up to 7 days with everything included, check our jungle programs for itineraries and details.
november to march. some days blue sky with good conditions to cycle.
best time for cycle
april to october, on the rain season same days are with good weather (blue sky) permiting to cycle this zone. before to book your tour please see the weather report.
advice for bikers
to have good acclimatization, good physical conditions and good quality winter clothes. one day before all the bikers will have meeting with the mountain bike guide at our office or in the hotel, who will give a briefing about this bike trip and also you can check the quality of bikes and gear will be used on this trip.
if this is your first time going to the andes or high mountains we recommend getting information about the altitude sickness, see below some websites recommend by high mountain doctors and scientists from over the world.
ismm – international societyfor mountain medicine
medex – medical expeditions
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