The tour live

Complete track display

On the map shown below the pedaled route will be updated to date.

Symbol distance Distance: 2.474 km.

Symbol positive altitude gain Altitude gain: 62.220 m.

Symbol negative altitude loss Altitude loss: 59.441 m.

Symbol days Days: 57

Symbol maximum altitude, highest point in route Highest point: 5.005 m.

Symbol seasons Season: May-October

“Today, July 2019, we leave Peru to cross over to Bolivia!”

At the end of the trip the complete track that we have followed will be displayed. If you want more details and information, you can check the following articles, where the sections with marked points of interest appear on the route and articles that tell the experience!

MAP

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ASU! Pura bicicleta pe!

PE.1: Primeres vegades

The first great bikepacking experience of Ariadna. Starts in Lima and ends in Cusco passing through the Reserve Nor Yauyos-Cochas , a section of Peru Divide, pushing on the Salkantay Trail, crossing Incas paths to Machu Picchu and getting to know small and large cities.

Symbol distance Distance: 923.8 km.

Symbol positive altitude gain Altitude gain: 32.827 m.

Symbol negative altitude loss Altitude loss: 28.411 m.

Symbol days Days: 20

Symbol maximum altitude, highest point in route Highest point: 4.970 m.

Symbol seasons Season: September - October

This article explains the first tasting of bikepacking in Peru, from the arrival to Lima’s airport until the return to Barcelona. All the articles that tell the stories that have marked us in each section are linked and are shown in the map.

Air, we need some air

We arrived on August 9th, 2018 and returned on November 7th, three months that flew away. On the first 15 days we went to the Cordillera Blanca without the bicycles, along with Gisela, where we acclimatised over 4.600m. On August 24th we started the route that took us from Cieneguilla, a town in the nearby of Lima, to the Reserva Paisajística Nor Yauyos-Cochas, 6.700m of altitude gain in 160km.
Obviously the first stages were very short. A few kilometers a day were enough for Ariadna since it was the first time she made a trip like this, and more over, she hadn’t trained for it. So, we made the start soft to get in shape gradually.
We went to find Perú Great Divide in Tanta, a cyclist route that crosses Peru through the mountain ranges. By following it, we arrived to Laraos, where we met two more couples who were doing following it as well. Just before reaching the town, Ariadna had the first crash, a hard time psychologically but nothing serious. The Peru Divide took us to our first pass of almost 5.000m on the bike, Punta Pumacocha 4.990m, one of the most magical moments. It was an uninhabited area: nature, silence and us.

Lucky as it get’s

An error led us to lose a backpack, Ariadna left it in a truck that took it to Huancayo, a bit scaring at that moment, a good anecdote from the distance. We went on a rugged road, with very unevenness, rivers and beautiful places up to Huancaveliva, where we rested a few days. Just on the starting day in direction Ayacucho, Gerard suffered the first intestinal attack with high fevers that made us stay a few more days to recover. However, since we weren’t feeling good at all, we decided to move forward with two large stages by bus in order to pedal the last section of the planned route that would lead us to cross the border with Bolivia .

A route with a new paragraph

We restarted in Abancay, where we spent ten days living with a guy who was a warmshower’s host and we visited Inca ruins. Then, direction Cusco passing through the Salkantay (6.271m), pushing a lovely route to the pass (4. 640m) and all the way down to the jungle landscapes in Santa Rosa. There we followed the inca road to Machu Picchu and we continued our route to Maras (Sacred Valley), where Gerard had the second and strongest episode of intestinal infection. We reached Cusco where we went to the doctor, at that time Ariadna was also sick and with the diagnoses we decided to return to Catalonia. We were still in Peru at the end of October, rainy season arrived and the state of health did not allow us to pedal . The piece of route that came then was the Ruta de las Tres Cordilleras, a one-month very remote route mainly located over 4,500m, large distances between villages and no possibility of leaving the route if something happened.
We decided that we wanted this trip to continue, that was not an end but a point and a part. We left the bikes and luggage in Lima and went back home to surprise all our families and friends, with return flights to Peru once the rains in early May 2019.

Map

Fire and thermal water close to the Apurimac river

Bones vibres

Ariadna & Gerard
Machu Picchu ruins with Huanyna Picchu Mountain at the background

Ruïnes Incas

Ariadna & Gerard
Pushing the bike with the Salkantay 6.271m at the background

Travessa pel Salkantay

Ariadna & Gerard
Plaza de Armas of Huancavelica, a colonialist building with a mountain in the upper background.

El principi del final

Ariadna & Gerard
Pushing to the pass Punta Pumacocha at sunset

Punta Pumacocha 4.990m

Ariadna & Gerard
Views from Abra Suijo 4.700, Ariadna riding with Colquepucro and Laguna Suyoc on sight at sunset.

Dels 0 als 4.690m

Ariadna & Gerard
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ASU! Pura bicicleta pe!

PE.2: Following Peru Divide

We returned with a lot of energy! We decided to start right where we had left it but with a change of route: through the Peru Divide , the cycling route par excellence, to join the Cones and Canyons (Arequipa) instead of the 3 Cordilleras (Cusco).

Symbol distance Distance: 666 km.

Symbol positive altitude gain Altitude gain: 13.896 m.

Symbol negative altitude loss Altitude loss: 14.817 m.

Symbol days Days: 16

Symbol maximum altitude, highest point in route Highest point: 5.005 m.

Symbol seasons Season: May-June

therefore we felt very safe when making decisions and moving. We took a bus from Lima to Huancavelica , where the previous time Gerard had fallen sick and we could not continue. This meant going from 0 to 3.600 meters passing through a pass of 5.000 meters in a matter of 10 hours . It was a bus at night and we could rest a little until we started feeling the height: dizziness, headache and tiredness throughout the body. Altitude sickness took about three days to leave us completely and Gerard caught fever and stomachache again after that, the damn city! This time, however, it seemed viral, so we rested for a few days and started with a lot of energy and a lot of desire for cycling, mountains and km.

Devouring stages

Comenzamos con un ritmo más alto de lo que habíamos planeado, en un día hacíamos una etapa y media o dos, además, el horario de pedaleo nos permitía tener horas en las tardes para visitar, descansar o redactar las experiencias. El segundo día ya estábamos pedaleando a 4.800m sin dificultades y el cuarto superamos el primer cuello de 4.900m. Lo que durante el primer viaje vivimos como reto, en esta segunda parte han sido anécdotas de etapas más duras pero hemos podido pedalear todos los kilómetros y en horas de sol.
Nos desviamos de la Perú Divide dirección a la Laguna Choclococha (4.600m), pasando por Santa Inés y Rumichaca hasta reencontrar la Perú Divide a Licapa.

We started at a higher pace than we had planned, we were covering a stage and a half or two in one day. In addition to that, the pedaling schedule still allowed us to have some hours in the afternoons to visit places, relax or write experiences. The second day we were already pedaling at 4,800m without difficulties and the fourth we passed the first 4.900m pass. What we experienced as a challenge during the first trip in this second round became anecdotes of the hardest stages but we have been able to pedal all the kilometers and with daylight.
We went out of the Peru Divide direction to the Choclococha Lagoon (4,600m), passing through Santa Inés and Rumichaca until recatcing the Peru Divide in Licapa.
From there, we arrived at Santa Fe and, on the same day, we approached what would be another 4950m high pass but with splendid views of the valley. On the same day we made a descent of 1,678m in 40km to Paras , where we rested one day and we found wifi in the health center. We then went for a comeback and crossing a valley until we arrived at Chuschi, a 60km long stage with 1,260m positive and 1,970m negative. While we were having a tasty dinner, the restaurant gentleman explained to us that “Sendero Luminoso” (one of Peru’s terrorist organization from the 80’s) had been created in this town, where political debates began in educational centers and ended up in revolt.
The next destination was Cangallo (2,500m), a small city on the river bank that had a road connection. From there we went all the way up to Vischongo where we visited Intiwatana , some less known Inca ruins.
We finished the stage in the city of Vilcas Huaman , where we meet again with Inca stories , a very beautiful and recommendable city. Gerard had fever and stomach so we rested there for a week.
Following the Peru Divide, we made stretches with a lot of altitude gain and lots of heat. We noticed that Gerard’s front brake was quite worn out, so he decided to change the pads with so little care that he broke the piston. He had to ride without the front brake until Arequipa, this means the whole Cones and Canyons route plus the few days left before starting it.

Off track

Following the advice of a taxi driver we turned aside from the route in Pampachiri, he told us that we had to visit “El Bosque de Piedras “, a very magical area. We took his advice it without having it clear and after following a path that did not appear on the map we arrived there at sunset. The 700km we followed from the Peru Divide ended in Santa Rosa (2,300m) a town that connects the coast with Abancay and Cusco.
We were used to the cycling routine and bikepacking lifestyle, we enjoyed ourselves a lot more, the landscape, the ruins and the people. We also fulfilled our goal of making this journey Zero Waste, we made all our purchases in bulk with our own bags, while avoiding consuming when the only option was plastic, we did not buy packaged products beyond two exceptions.

MAPA

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ASU! Pura bicicleta pe!

PE.3: Cones and canyons

A totally different landscape, with many anecdotes and surprises that lead us to the border with Bolivia. After a total 2,615km and nearly 6 months, we leave this fantastic country. We will return!

Symbol distance Distance: 891 km.

Symbol positive altitude gain Altitude gain: 16.311 m.

Symbol negative altitude loss Altitude loss: 16.296 m.

Symbol days Days: 21

Symbol maximum altitude, highest point in route Highest point: 5.005 m.

Symbol seasons Season: June -July

This last part in the Peruvian ground begins in Antabamba , where we spent a week living in a lodging where they treated us as part of the family, inviting us to celebrations, meals and where we learned to do Peruvian bread. There we started the Cones and Canyons, a route that would take us to the second capital of Peru, Arequipa.

The highest point

The first stretch was pedaled through an inhospitable area, just some small villages where there were no stores. Our food forecast failed, we thought we could buy basic food and we had to ask for help in some cottages. We were lucky that a lady received us and another man sold us some potatoes that we could boil. It was also a very cold area, where we had to sleep at 4,700m and everything was that frozen that we had to wait from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 to be able to start.
It was a very fierce area with brutal landscapes that led us to the highest point of the entire route, for the first time pedaling over the official 5,000m mark. That day we slept in Huacullo (4,800m), a village next to a lake with snowy mountains between 5,000 and 6,000m altitude at sight, the first cones. It was so cold that the people did not have water because the pipes were frozen but we could sleep inside and start somewhat early the following morning!

Long days

We reached the first great canyon after a long day, a descent through the paths crossing streams led us to the Cotahuasi canyon. The following day we arrived to the city of Cotahuasi after having dinner, the bike light’s batteries were almost empty and our muscles too. That day we made 80km with + 2250m and -3700m. BOOOM!
A few days off and we head down the road to the mountains of Solimana (6.093m) and Coropuna (6.425m). During the ascent our breathing stopped when we saw a pair of condors, the native birds and mythological symbol of Peru, as close as 10 meters away from us. We pedaled following the feet of these white giants and it was wonderful, we could not stop taking photos but it was difficult to capture the sensation. At the end of this stretch we made a beautiful descent accompanied by a small hail until reaching Andagua, capital of the Valle de los Volcanes (Volcano’s valley) and starting point of the Colca Canyon.
A bad weather forecast together with the curiosity to see the “Cañón del Colca” made us modify the initial track . We had made a descent of 2,200m down to the Colca river when we found a section in construction where they did not let us pass, the flower in the ass (Catalan expression for ‘being lucky AF’) appeared again and we could cross to Huambo, from where we started to follow the Canyon to Chivay. Ariadna suffered a strong stomach attack and we ended up in a pickup from Chivay to Arequipa, the great capital.
After a few visits to the doctor, good gringo meals and a very warm hostel stay, we left Arequipa following “El Camino del Puma” heading to Lake Titicaca. However, we ended up riding the Camino del Puma enfermo, a modified track that took us directly to Puno.
From the capital, following the Titicaca lake we arrived to Desaguadero, where, after 2,615km pedaled in Peru, we arrived to Bolivia!

MAPA

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