The Best Spots for Mountain Biking in Peru

Colca Canyon | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Colca Canyon | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Photo of Harry Stewart
27 December 2017

Home to some of the most spectacular mountain terrain on earth, there are plenty of amazing places to get your downhill fix in Peru. So put on your helmet, oil those gears, and let Culture Trip take you on an exhilarating excursion of the best mountain biking trails in the country.

The Inca Jungle Trek

As the world-famous Inca Trail becomes more crowded and expensive, a number of creative alternatives have popped up to meet demand. The most exciting of these is the adrenaline-pumping Inca Jungle Trek, a four-day escapade that entails hiking, rafting, zip lining and—of course—a spot of downhill mountain biking. Despite only occupying a short section of the journey, the ride is the highlight of this action-packed adventure that is infinitely more exciting than getting to Machu Picchu by train.

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Lima’s Coastal Barrios

Escape the snarling traffic of downtown Lima and head off on a cycling excursion along her picturesque coastal highways instead. Tours take passengers by bus to the postcard-worthy Solar Hill before meandering down to the seaside suburbs of Chorillos, Miraflores, and Barranco, all while taking in spectacular coastal views.

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Solar Hill | © Marie Thérèse Hébert & Jean Robert Thibault / Flickr

The Pachacamac Valley

Combine your love of cycling and history with a trip to one of Peru’s most intriguing archaeological sites, the fascinating ruins of Pachacamac. Although there isn’t much downhill adrenaline involved, the ride is a lot of fun as it winds its way along an ancient indigenous path between pretty valleys and gushing rivers. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there is a more hardcore option for serious riders too.

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Pachacamac | © LWYang / Flickr

The Cordillera Blanca around Huaraz

The Cordillera Blanca is a mecca for trekkers due to its abundance of stunning mountain scenery. Unbeknownst to many, however, is that there are a number of adrenaline-pumping bike trails too, many of which pass through indigenous villages, Inca ruins, and crystal-clear lagoons.

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The Cordillera Blanca | © Bas Wallet / Flickr

To the archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley

Known for its lush rolling hills, ominous Andean peaks, and mind-boggling archaeological Inca sites, the Sacred Valley is a must for anyone visiting the region. And what better way to explore this pristine area than on two wheels? Take in the spectacular scenery and visit incredible Inca ruins on a bike tour of the region.

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Sacred Valley | © McKay Savage / Flickr

Down the Colca Canyon

One of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca is famous for its dramatic precipices, authentic indigenous villages, and the majestic condors that swoop overhead. Although most travelers choose to explore the region on foot, cycling excursions are available for brave and experienced riders.

Colca Canyon | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr

South of Cusco

Serious riders should get in contact with Gravity Peru, a well-established outfit who has been taking tourists on hair-raising descents for decades. Perhaps their most popular tour in Peru is the intermediate Inca legends with its windy mountainous roads along the roaring Apurimac River.Are you looking for something more extreme? They visit plenty of gnarly single tracks as well.

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