There are only 3 possible ways to get to Machu Picchu: Hike, Bike, or take the train. All the GravityPeru trips to Machu Picchu include two of the three: Biking and riding the train, both of which we think are a blast !
We offer several different custom bike adventures to Machu Picchu, including our famous "BackDoor Classic" as well as other unique itineraries including an extra day hiking other Incan sites in the area.
Gravity Peru was one of the first companies to offer this bike ride to Machu Picchu, and it remains our most popular trip. When people ask us if we ever tire of going, the answer is "No!" This really is one of the most beautiful and amazing rides that can be done on a bicycle anywhere in the world.It is all cruising down a curvy, smooth road a long way - from the icy start at the very base of a glacier (5700meter/18.600feet Mt. Veronica) down a few hours to the upper Amazon jungle, where you can literally pick a banana or coffee bean from your bike seat at the end of the ride
The idea for this trip is to have a quality multi-adventure way of getting to Machu Picchu. If you re looking for an escape from your usual routine of working 9 to 5 before watching TV or playing online games like partypoker , then this is the perfect opportunity to do something a little different, and experience this amazing area of the world. The trip combines a fantastic day of downhill biking, trekking a beautiful trail, the opportunity to do the longest and highest zipline in South America and visiting Machu Picchu, one of world’s seven modern wonders! Day one involves a 75km downhill bike ride to St Maria on top quality double suspension Kona mountain bikes, with a private vehicle support and an English as a first language guide.
OPTION A: 1 day Independent BackDoor to Machu Picchu (ride only)
This is our famous "Back Door" mountain bike ride to Machu Picchu, but on a shortened version for those with less time available in their schedule or who wish to economize a bit by planning part of their own trip. Departing from Cusco at 7am, we arrive at Ollantaytambo at 8.30am where we will have a free continental breakfast before driving one hour up to Abra Malaga (4316m, 14,150 feet) where you will begin your descent. First though, our guides will get the bikes and safety equipment sorted and give us complete instructions and assistance in how to enjoy the ride safely. Starting from the foot of the massive Veronica glacier, we will begin this amazing downhill to the jungle (there is some short singletrack sections up near the pass but the rest of the ride is on a combination of newly paved, and rugged dirt roads).
Along the way are spectacular views, Incan ruins, and an increasingly jungle-like terrain and culture as we whiz down the road. After a quality and hearty lunch at our favorite Incan site, those who are a bit tuckered out (or don t fancy riding some uphills) can hop in the support vehicle, while others can continue on biking, with some short climbs of just a kilometer or two along an increasingly dusty road, before the final downhill plunge into the town of St. Maria. From the pass of Abra Malaga, this takes between 3 to 4 hours. The tour officially ends here, but first we will help you get situated with everything you need to know to continue on to Machu Picchu. The first decision is whether you wish to relax, slow down, and spend the night in St. Maria (hostels cost 15 soles and under) or continue the hour and a half rugged journey on local transport to St. Theresa, where there are a few hostals to stay at.
We can also assist you with reserving a decent hostel in Aguas Calientes, just ask us.
Cost is $99 per person from Ollantaytambo or $109 per person from Cusco
Includes: Quality hot breakfast in Ollantaytambo, transportation from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Abra Malaga, support vehicle, quality full suspension bike with hydraulic disc brakes for the descent to St. Maria, quality lunch, drinking water, snacks, standard or optional full face helmet, goggles, gloves, and an English speaking guide.
Does not include: Hostel in neither St. Maria, St. Theresa, nor Aguas Calientes - but we can help you arrange it. Also does not include train ticket to Aguas Calientes, entrance to Machu Picchu (s/129 soles per adult, neither dollars nor credit cards accepted), nor bus ticket to Machu PIcchu ($8 each way). Those can be purchased in Aguas Calientes.
Total cycling distance about 75km / Total descent 3312m
Total amount of fun – unlimited!
The idea for this trip is to have a quality multi-adventure way of getting to Machu Picchu. The trip combines a fantastic day of downhill biking, trekking a beautiful trail, the opportunity to do the longest and highest zipline in South America and visiting Machu Picchu, one of world’s seven modern wonders!
This really is one of the most beautiful and amazing rides that can be done on a bicycle anywhere in the world.
It is not a true mountain bike ride however. The road has recently been paved, and is now smooth and brand new asphalt from top to bottom – very fun ! Up top near the pass of Abra Malaga, there are a very few singletrack sections that short cut the road switchbacks, but they total less than 1 kilometer of off-road riding.
That said, we can say with great confidence that this "mountain bike" ride is extremely fun ! We have taken many of the world s top professional freeride and DH racers, and they all loved it. What s not to like about it? It is all cruising down a curvy, smooth road a long way - from the icy start at the very base of a glacier (5700meter/18.600feet Mt. Veronica) down a few hours to the upper Amazon jungle, where you can literally pick a banana or coffee bean from your bike seat at the end of the ride.
Summary of Itinerary
Day 1 involves a 75km downhill bike ride to St Maria on top quality double suspension Kona mountain bikes, with a private vehicle support and an English as a first language guide.
Day 2 is a relaxing morning in Santa Teresa, where we have the option of doing the longest and highest zipline in South America, having a trek to a local waterfall, traveling to the St Teresa hot springs (from June to October) or just chilling out in town. In the afternoon we make our way to Aguas Calientes.
Day 3 You will spend visiting the incredible Machu Picchu ruins, getting the bus up (included) first thing. Entrance to Machu Picchu is also included. In the evening we make our way back to Ollantaytambo by train (also included !)where you can choose to spend a night or return directly to Cusco.
DAY 1 Our biking day involves 75 Km and 3312m of vertical descent on a newly paved road, taking you from the Andes to the Amazon – the most adventurous way to get to Machu Picchu! From Cusco we head out to Ollantaytambo and then Abra Malaga where we start our biking, following the same route that the Inca Ollanta took in the 16th Century when he lead his people to escape from the Spanish. Our biking finishes in the small jungle village of Santa Maria. After arriving and enjoying a nice cold one, we jump into local transport for the hour transfer to Santa Teresa and our hostal there. There are not many hostals in St. Theresa so our choice will be clean and basic but the town is charming, and dinner is on us at a local restaurant !
Included – 6am pick up In Cusco private transport Cusco to St Maria, free continental breakfast in Ollantaytambo, Lunch, snacks, Dinner, public transport from St Maria to St Teresa and hostal in St. Theresa. The biking equipment we use includes a full suspension Kona mountain bike, a quality mountain bike helmet, and full fingered gloves.
DAY 2 After a relaxed breakfast we have two options. Most opt for the famous Cola De Mono – one of the highest and longest ziplines in South America. This adrenaline pumping ride consists of 6 sections of zipline totalling nearly 4 kilometres of high wire. Criss-crossing the valley, you begin the ride about 250m above the valley floor and finish at the bottom. GravityPeru customers receive a special price for this zipline, $40 instead of $50. The other option is spend a relaxing morning on your own in town or near the river and under the tropical sun.
After finishing our morning’s activities, we take local transport arriving at Hidro Electrica. We then begin to make our way to Aguas Calientes. We now have a relaxing and scenic 3 hour trek along the railway lines before arriving at our destination Aguas Calientes and our hostel for the night. (Included – Breakfast, a light lunch and also your private hostel accomnodation in Aguas Calientes)
DAY 3 Rising early the following morning you will take the bus up to Machu Picchu where you will have plenty of time to wander around on our own to take in the majesty of this beautiful place before exploring Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu mountain, the Inca Bridge, the Sungate or just sitting on the terraces soaking up the beauty and atmosphere of one of the seven modern wonders of the world. When you are ready we head down to our meeting point in Aguas Calientes, from where we will take the 9.20pm evening train back to Ollantaytambo (train ticket included. For a small extra charge you may also opt for an earlier train.) You then have the option to stay in Ollantaytambo, (we can get you special discounts there) or arranging transportation directly back to Cusco.
What is included: Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, roundtrip bus transportation from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, train ticket to Ollantaytambo, and breakfast in Aguas Calientes.
What is not included: Lunch or Dinner, Drinking water, Transportation from Ollantatambo to Cusco after the train ride. (Readily available right at the train station for around just $4 per person)