Pedal Across Peru 2013
2012 Tour Details
This new tour across Peru will combine visits to the historic sites of Machu Picchu and Cusco with 500 miles of challenging road cycling over the Andes Mountains. In the PAC Tour tradition of going to where tourists don't go, we will include several adventuresome visits with local families.
Our tour begins from the coastal city of Lima. Lima was founded in 1535 and has a rich history of Spanish influence. We will fly to Cusco the next day and have a tour of their city's Sacred Valley. In the evening we will have a traditional dinner and birthday party with a local family in their home overlooking the Cusco Plaza.
The following morning we will visit salt mines of Maras and tour the markets of Ollantaytambo. Our train will depart Ollantaytambo in the afternoon for the three hour train ride to Machu Picchu. This route travels through the Andes mountains into the canyons of the Urabamba river valley.
In the evening we will enjoy the peaceful town of Aguas Caliente (Hot Water) and stay at a tourist style hotel. The next morning we will have a guided tour of the Machu Picchu Ruins. We will also have time for swimming and soaking in the hot spring pools at Aguas Caliente. Later in the afternoon we will return to Cusco on the train and have a group dinner near the plaza. The riders joining for the cycling only portion of this tour will arrive in Cusco from Lima this afternoon.
The next day is a transition day in Cusco. New arriving riders will have a chance to visit Cusco and get acclimated to the elevation. An optional side tour will be visiting a rural mountain village where PAC Tour has been working to build a water pipeline. The village is looking forward to meeting with us about this project. This is a traditional local village without the hype of tourist areas. Today we will assemble bikes and get ready for our cycling part of our tour.
The next morning we will begin our bicycle tour from Cusco back toward the Pacific Ocean. The first dayıs ride is a nice introduction to cycling in the high elevation of Peru. The ride is a moderate 44 miles with several climbs topping out at 12,000 feet. After our hiking tour at Machu Picchu we should be ready for the cycling portion of our trip.
The road from Cusco to the Pacific Ocean will be mainly downhill dropping almost 12,000 feet during the first 300 miles. The highway has been recently paved and it is smooth enough for road bikes with 25-28 mm tires. Although we lose elevation, there are many long climbs (8% grades) each day. We will descend into several towns in the valleys at 7,000 foot elevation and then climb over the next 10,000 foot pass. Daily destinations are planned for a 10 mph riding average that will allow us enough time to visit the rural countryside between our nightly accommodations.
What Kind of Bicycle to Bring
Bicycles should have low gears for 8% grades of 5-10 mile in length. The road conditions are good to excellent for road bikes. Road damage can occur from landslides, so sections of gravel can be expected. Tires of 25-28 mm are recommended.
We are riding in a dry climate so rain is unusual. However bikes should have a seat bag to carry clothing for cold mountain descents. A seat bag is also needed to carry some basic tools and spare inner tubes. A reliable pump should also be carried by each rider (no CO2 cartridges in Peru). Riders should always carry two water bottles or 50 oz. of liquids (2 water bottles) when riding in the dry climate .
We will not have room to transport bike boxes and bike cases with us during the tour. If you need a bike case to transport your bike home you can ship your empty bike case from Cusco to Lima by truck for about $75 or see Ride a Donated Bike below.
Ride a Donated Bike (Optional)
PAC Tour has an assortment of donated racing bikes we need to take to Peru. These bikes will be used for prizes for the local racers. If you would like to ride one of these bikes during the tour it would save you shipping your bike home after the tour. PAC tour will send you the bike during September so you will have time to ride it before the tour. You are responsible for bringing this bike with you on the airlines to Peru.
Non Cycling Option
We will have room for three non cycling tour members to travel in our support van. This van will be leap frogging and stopping at villages along the way. Non cycling riders will be able to have time to stop and photograph the interesting areas we will be traveling through. Several member of our support staff will speak English and will be personal tour guides for everyone in the van.
Hotels and Accommodations
Most of our nights will be in tourist quality hotels with hot showers. The beds in Peru tend to be shorter and narrower than in the United States. The hotels in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu are regularly visited by tourists so the hotels tend to be similar to moderate American motels. The hotels along our route in the rural towns will be more basic. Most rooms will have private bathrooms with hot water showers.
On the 3rd and 5th day of our bike tour between the towns of Chalhuanca and Puquio there are no hotels during this mountainous 120 mile section of the route. We have divided this section into two days by staying in the village of Pampamarca. We will be staying with local families and at a restaurant in town. You should bring your own air mattress or camping mat (Thermarest). We will buy additional blankets, pillows and sleeping supplies at the previous big town. These supplies will be left with the local families after we depart. We have stayed with local families in the past and these evenings will be some of the most enjoyable of the tour. We will eat with the locals and see how they live in their desolate mountain terrain. (Warning: If you are uncomfortable sleeping with camping conditions this tour to Peru is not recommended for you).
Our cycling tour will be joined by several local guides and van driver. Our gear bags and equipment will be carried in this 8 passenger Sprinter Van vehicle. Each rider is asked to limit their luggage to one gear bag of less that 35 pounds. The support vehicle will meet us at one hour intervals during the day to provide drinks and snacks. Most mountainside villages have venders selling bottled water, soda, potato chips and cookies. Each rider should carry $5.00 of pocket change for additional snacks during the day.
Our support crew has traveled with PAC Tour to all corners of Peru during the past seven years. Our main guide is Clara Qquaccano. She lives in Cusco and is a tour guide there. She grew up on the mountainside overlooking the city. We will have a dinner and party at her house with her 10 brothers and sisters when we visit Cusco. Our next guide is Alessandra Divila who is the Womens National Cycling Champion. She will be escorting us on our cycling routes. Alessandra lives in the jungle near the Amazon. Ask her about her jungle tribe and how she became a bike racer. Our other guide is Aracely Jumpa. She is now 13 years old and lives at the Chosica Girls Home near Lima. Aracely has been traveling with us for the past seven years. All our guides come from different regions of Peru. They speak good English and learning about Peru from them is a highlight of the tour.
Airplane Tour of the Nasca Lines
After six cycling days we will have a stay over day in the city of Nasca. This region is famous for the huge outline of figures made into paths in the desert. Some of these designs of spiders and monkeys are over 1,000 feet across. Many of these designs were to help navigate the location of water wells in the distance. To see these designs we will charter a small airplane and make an aerial tour of the region. To learn more and see these designs before the tour: google Nasca Lines Peru.
Each morning a Continental Breakfast near our hotel will be provided. We will expand this breakfast to include scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, French Toast and fruit salad. American style breakfasts with pancakes and waffles are not common in Peru. We will provide filling food for cycling but please remember you are riding in the rural mountains of Peru and their menus are different than our local Denny's Restaurants.
For lunch some villages have restaurants where you can purchase additional meals. Menus with rice, chicken, fish and soup are usually available at truck stop type cafes. Lunch is always a good time for our group to meet and make plans for the afternoon.
Evening dinners are provided and will be in local restaurants. Peruvian food tends to be a cross of Chinese stir fry and Mexican dishes. Rice, beans and vegetables with rich sauces are common. Most people really like Peruvian food and their variety of menus. During our stay in Cusco, Clara's mom will make us some homemade Cuy (Guinea pig).
Training and Fitness Needed
This tour averages 65 miles per day at high elevation. Most of these daily distances will feel like 100 miles at lower elevation. Riders are expected to have the fitness to ride 100 miles in seven hours during their normal training rides at home. This tour will be a lot more fun when the cycling fitness is secondary to the interesting adventures we will see during this tour.
What is Included
Tours include airlines and taxes in Peru, airport shuttles, hotels (some nights are single or double occupancy), transportation in Peru by bus, train, van, and moto taxi, guide fees and commemorative T-shirt or jersey. During the Bike Tour #2 breakfast, evening dinners, snacks during the day are provided. During Tour #1 to Machu Picchu there are many assorted tourist restaurants available on your own.
What is Not Included
Airlines to and from Peru (Lima). Extra airline baggage fees for bikes on Peru flights ($2.00 per pound over 50 lbs.) Long term luggage storage at the Lima Airport of $7.00 per day per bag. $15 per day for bicycle cases. There is an extra fee for shipping of hard shell bike cases of $75 during the tours. Extra roadside snacks, lunches and souvenirs are on your own. Meals on Tour #1 to Machu Picchu are not provided.
Extra Nights in Lima
You may need to arrive a day earlier in Lima or stay a day later to make airline connections. We can help you make these hotel reservations at a nice hotel about 20 minutes from the Lima Airport. An extra daily fee of $90.00 per day/night will cover the costs for your hotel, and airport shuttle. Our extra personal guide will meet you at the airport and help you get to your hotel and back to the airport for your next flight. Meals and food are not included. There could be additional fees (for shuttles and hotels) if you choose to stay in the Mira Flores District of Lima located 45 minutes from the airport.
If your personal insurance does not cover you in Peru, you should buy travel insurance. PAC Tour riders have had good coverage with the Travel Guard Policy (www.travelguard.com). They have various policies that cover medical and change of travel plans.
Airline Flights to Lima
Do not buy your airline tickets to Peru more than three months in advance or before August 1st. Before you buy or confirm your airline flights to Lima, Peru be sure to double check your flight times with Lon Haldeman. Since some flights are arriving and departing at midnight you need to be sure your flights are on the correct days. Some of the connecting flights to and from Cusco are only available at limited times and those schedules will not be confirmed until August 1st.
Airline fees for bringing your bike on the airplane vary greatly between airlines. Sometime bicycles are free and considered a second piece of luggage. Sometimes bikes are considered oversized baggage and charged $200. Even the same airline treats bicycles differently on the same flight. You should ask about about the fees for bringing your bike when you buy your plane ticket. If you are quoted a good rate, be sure that rate is listed on your ticket.
This is our 14th year traveling in Peru. Although traveling in Peru is unique, it is helpful to understand how to be safe and comfortable. After you sign up we have 20 pages of hints and suggestions to get you ready that will be sent to you by e-mail during the months before your tour.
Thank you for your interest in the Peru Tours. Lon has not finalized his Peru Plans for the fall. Email him at email@example.com if you are interested.
Please read the following outline and guidelines for the tour. This tour has several factors that some people may find uncomfortable, such as cycling at very high elevation (over 12,000 feet), staying with local families and eating a varied menu. We want you to be prepared for the adventures you will discover on this tour. After reading the following information, if you are still interested, please confirm your desire to join the tour. These tours always have good adventure. I hope you can join us.