trip Length: 7 full days, 6 nights
Trip Type: Mountain Biking, skill level Intermediate and above
Highlights: The Inca Avalanche is a mountain biking and cultural experience unlike anything else in the world. Technically it is a race, but don’t let that deter you as most people treat it as the joyful event that it is, and every year we have participants ranging from 7 year old boys to 50+ year old females and everything in between! The race is very fun and only the first few rows are competitive and after that it is all for fun. This week features some of the best gravity-fed mountain biking in the world, swooping down foot trails hundreds of years old; ride single track in and around numerous Inca sites; mingle with the locals and children in high Andean villages; finish each day with locally sourced organic dinners, and of course a visit to one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu
Fixed Date: The 2020 dates for the Inca Avalanche week with are April 20nd to April 26th, 2019.
Trip Price: $1680 per person (includes the $300 cost to visit Machu Picchu!). Multiple person discounts available
Day 1 – Arrive to Cusco airport, where our private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide will all be waiting for you! Beautiful, two hour drive transfer to your hotel in Ollantaytambo with a few photo stops along the scenic drive. Check into your hotel, relax, and get your bike set up. We’ll go for a sweet ride in the afternoon, right from our hotel up into the surrounding hills and then blast back down into town.
Day 2 – After breakfast of local fresh fruit, coffee, breads and eggs, let the riding begin! We’ll begin this morning continuing our progression by riding the trails in the Urubamba and Salt Mines of Maras region. We will have time for 3 different full shuttled rides today, and one of them has some pedaling involved so you won’t feel too guilty. We’ll ride some trails exclusive to the sota adventure team, and overall this zone is dry and fast and makes for a really great day of riding.
Day 3 – Today we are heading up in our van to the Continental Divide of South America, at over 14,000 feet above sea level, to ride down one of our favorite trails in the world, the famous Inca Avalanche course. Fast and flowy, this ride has a bit of everything including some rock gardens, cliff exposure, and an amazing ancient Inca road. It plunges down nearly 5,000 feet over 11 miles of gravity goodness. Some of the most famous mountain bikers in the sport’s history have all ridden down this trail and you will soon see why. When we finally arrive at the bottom, we’ll have time to enjoy the local specialty of hot corn on the cob (“choclo”) Peru style, with cheese and large kernels you can eat with your fingers they are so big. Then its off to the next ride, another trail that KB Tambo founded back in the day, called Pumamarca, which features a fast, somewhat technical single track that goes right through the top of one of the most underrated Inca archaeological sites in Peru (“musca puquio”)
Day 4 – Calca and Lamay, two of our favorites rides, are on the table for today. These are two zones that are an hour drive from our hotel in Ollantaytambo, then a little over another hour up to the high point of the road (again, at the Continental Divide and only the Amazon jungle lies below the other side, far down the mountain. We will return via the side that we drove up, each of these routes has fantastic riding flow! Calca follows in great part an old Inca road, and some technical descending through a narrow canyon complete with some pre-Incan royal burial sites hidden up in the cliffs. Lamay is full of long, fast descents on a perfect singletrack in a downhill valley of green and views in all directions for miles. A great day of riding, and almost all of it is gravity fed with no climbing.
Day 5 – Its finally time to visit Machu Picchu, one of the 7 Wonders of the World! By now you will be fully acclimated, and settled in to the rhythm of Peru culture, familiar with Inca stonework, and ready to fully appreciate its splendor. Because make no mistake, no matter how many pictures you have seen or how crowded you might worry that it is, a visit to Machu Picchu remains one of the most spectacular days one can spend anywhere. We never get tired of it, its amazing! Take the train through the jungle to Aguas Calientes, and the included bus up to the site itself, visit as long as you want with your knowledgeable and licensed guide, then back down and train back to Ollantaytambo
Day 6 – Let the festivities begin! Today is Inca Avalanche Qualifier day, and is often the funnest day of the trip. Imagine several hundred people gathering in the mist at the foot of a 20,000 foot glacier, then all descending at once (hence the term “Avalanche”) all the way down to the valley floor below. Technically, today is to determine where you lineup tomorrow for the main race. In theory you want to be near the front but it really doesnt matter. Still, today has two drops down to the bottom, and you get to pick the best of your two times.
After, down in the warm sunshine of town, we’ll all tell stories of how “we almost won until ‘” and have a big group dinner and a well deserved cold drink or two.
Day 7 – Today is the final day of the trip, and also the finals for the Inca Avalanche race. Just one drop today from the top, winner takes all. At the bottom the whole town will come out to greet the riders, the little kids in the area all ask to wash your bike for the equivalent of 40 cents, and plenty of fresh local food, water, and cold beer will also be waiting for you at the bottom. Afterwards back in town, we will have the prize ceremony and then the famous “Jump Jam” where some of the pros, and amateurs, will huck off a big ramp pulling tricks like backflips and 360’s while the local townspeople cheer them on. It is a real blast, and a great high note with which to end the trip. By now you will probably have some aching forearms and legs anyway, ha ha, as you will have descended nearly 100,000 feet of Inca trails in the last week, congratulations !
Thus the trip ends this afternoon, after the day of riding. In part, because by this point people are on different schedules due to flight and work limitations, and some will need to head to Cusco this afternoon to catch an early flight out the next morning, while others may have the time to stay in Ollantaytambo this evening (recommended) and head to Cusco the next day. In either case, your private shuttle for the two hour drive to Cusco or its’ airport is included with your trip.
Whenever you are scheduled to fly out of Cusco, be sure when checking in to ask for a seat on the right hand side (a la derrecha) for awesome views of the Peruvian Andes!
Trip Inclusions: Private transportation and English speaking guide the entire week from airport pickup to airport dropoff; 6 nights hotel, (comfortable and well located two to three star hotel, upgrades available for small extra charge upon request), breakfast Days 2 through 7; Machu Picchu standard entrance ticket, Round trip train ticket, Round trip bus ticket. It also includes unlimited phone and email support with our owner from beginning to end, including 24/7 support in English to a toll free US number while you are in Peru.
Also included is your Inca Avalanche fee (a $40 value!) and a race shirt.
Trip Exclusions: Does not include lunches or dinners, Boleto Turisto ticket (optional, approx $42 and includes every site listed in the itinerary)