Cycling from Lake Titicaca to Machu Picchu
The area of starkly beautiful grasslands and farmsteads carpeting the altiplano around Lake Titicaca, and the pulchritudinous, ultra fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas are two of Latin America’s most attractive regions. Between the two, Peru’s Central Valley is defined by snow-dusted Andean mountains: the higher regions are grazed by llamas and alpacas herds; lower down, adobe cottages are perched on fields of cereals and fruit. Add to this the multitude of Inca ruins of temples and posthouses which stud the landscape and you can see why journeying from the lake to the region of Machu Picchu by motor vehicle doesn’t afford the scenery the attention it deserves.
Now you can cover this ground by bike, cycling from the lake’s edge right through the valley until you arrive at Ollantaytambo, gateway to Amazonia, and finish off your journey to Machu Picchu by train. It’s not an adventure for the faint-hearted: you’ll be cycling on unpaved roads and tracks for several hours a day, much of it at altitudes over 4,000m. The total distance cycled over 7 full days is 492km, averaging around 80km per day. But you’ll be able to absorb the views at a leisurely pace, taking in all the detail, probably engaging the surprise of local people as you glide by, camping under the stars or in friendly, simple inns.