Here are all the details on the week long shuttle shredfest that is known as the Inca Avalanche Trailfest
The trip and trailfest both begin in Cusco, Peru on Monday, May 22nd and ends the afternoon of Sunday, May 28th. (This is the day of finals for Inca Avalanche. Most people but not all, stay an extra night in Ollantaytambo tthe 28th. It is not part of the trip but hotels are reasonably priced and we are happy to help book you one.
Trip Length: 7 days, 6 nights
Trip Type: Mountain Biking, skill level Intermediate and above
Highlights: Experience some of the best gravity-fed mountain biking in the world, swooping down foot trails hundreds of years old; ride singletrack in and around numerous Inca sites; mingle with the locals and children in high Andean villages; Climb shamelessly to the top of each ride in our comfortable van, this is a shuttle trip; Finish each day with locally sourced organic dinners, and of course a visit to one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu
We run this trip privately starting any date, at any time of year, with minimum of three people. Additionally, we have five fixed dates during 2023 dry season (our winter) where you can join in with just yourself or else with some friends, our groups are small and always max out at 8 people.
Trip Price: $2199 per person (includes the $300 cost to visit Machu Picchu!) Multiple person discounts are 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 KB Tambo 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 – There are 3 options today: Either “Client’s Choice”, where we go repeat your favorite rides of the trip so far; “Guide’s Choice” where you dont want to repeat a previous ride and so the guide will pick one of their favorites that hasnt been ridden yet; or else you can choose what we would have to call an “extreme adventure!” While you dont have to be in amazing shape for this day, you have to be in decent shape and/or be willing to suffer a tortuous steep 3 to 4 hour, three thousand foot ascent up to the top of a mountain and the location of a spectacular Incan lookout and sacred site called “Inti Punku”, or ‘Sun Gate’ in Quechua, the native language of the Incas.
This is a long and tough day but has been called by many experienced travelers and bikers to be one of the most amazing days they have ever had on a trip. Either option you choose is up to you, and everything is included and you are sure to have a great day of riding no matter what you choose.
Day 7 – A lot of trips will include the last day as a trip but its really just a “Have breakfast and we’ll drop you off at the airport” day. Not us, we try to offer the same full itinerary, and value, that we look for ourselves when we travel. So today is a full day of riding if you have time, on the other hand as it is customary for the last day to be a go to the airport day, that is fine too. Either option you choose, everything is included and your guide will drop you off wherever you wish today, at whatever time, for the end of the trip. By now you will probably have some aching forearms and legs anyway, ha ha, as you will have descended nearly 50,000 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.
Trip Exclusions: Does not include lunches or dinners, Boleto Turisto ticket (optional, approx $42 and includes every site listed in the itinerary)
You first fly to Lima, Peru. (LIM) Some, but not all, USA airlines will book you all the way through to Cusco (CUZ). It is preferable to buy 1 ticket that goes all the way to Cusco, but it is also common for people to buy one roundtrip ticket to Lima, and a second one from Lima to Cusco, separately. Almost all flights to Lima arrive late at night. Almost all flights to Cusco from Lima go from early morning to early afternoon. It is common but not ideal for folks to spend 4 hours or so at Lima airport, as thats too short of a layover to leave. But it comes right at the peak sleeping hours we all need (midnight to 4am) so its a rough go. If one has the extra time, it is advisable to fly into Lima a day or two earlier and break that flight pattern.
LAN.com is a carrier that flys all the way through to Cusco and so we recommend them, and as they partner with American Airlines (AA.com) they also might book flights straight through. United, Spirit, Delta, and others all fly to Peru also. A local airline option for Lima to Cusco is StarPeru.com
You do not need any special shots to enter Peru; we are not in any malarial or yellow fever zone. You do not need a special visa to enter Peru, entry will be automatically granted at the border upon your arrival. You can change a small amount of dollars at either the Lima or Cusco airport, the current rate is araound $1 = 3.82 peruvian soles
You will receive more information after booking, in order to book we need:
- A deposit of $500, payable via this PayPal link: www.PayPal.me/KBtambo/500 Note that we use that deposit primarily to actually purchase, right away, your roundtrip train ticket to Machu Picchu, and your ticket to Machu Picchu. As those sell out far in advance. And, we email them to you right away, just so you have them. The cost of them is already included in your trip. The balance of your deposit secures the hotel. The train and Machu Picchu tickets are not changeable or refundable except by paying a 25% fee plus a second admin fee. There isnt much left over by the time they are done. So please dont pay the deposit, until after you have purchased your airfare
We will need in order to get your train and MP tickets, your full name, birthdate, gender, and passport number, and country that issued you the passport. We dont need the exp date of passport, or original date, where, etc and we prefer you dont send those at all.
Who you wish to share the double room with, or if you want to pay the $225 for a single supplement to have your hotel room all alone for the entire week. (we dont spend much time in the rooms, but yeah some people snore 🙂
Whether you wish to make the optional, steep and rugged hikes within the Machu Picchu Park, one is known as Machu Picchu Mountain and the other known as Huayna Picchu). most of us climb Huayna picchu, if tickets are available, and if not we climb the mountain. but it is optional. It is all within just one day no matter what you choose
A few things to note: There is readily available, but slow, wi-fi at your hotel and at most restaurants in town. Not much available while we are out riding every day though. Our basic daily pattern is shuttle based: we drive up long paved or sometimes dirt roads, very high up to the top which is usually over 4000 meters (13,000 feet). Then we ride singletrack down. Its fun. We usually do 2 drops a day, averaging over 4000 feet of descent each. sometimes we get in 3 drops. we leave the hotel by 9am everyday, breakfast is served right at the hotel. We have lunch a few times at restaurants, and a few times bag lunch style. KB Tambo provides unlimited free snacks during the days of riding.
There are no bike supply or repair facilities in Ollantaytambo. There may not be a compressor available, if you run tubeless for example. You should bring any and all tools you need to maintain your bike (within reason of course) and also some replacement parts (in particular a rear derailleur hanger and brake pads, and if run a dropper post a spare seat post non mechanical might not hurt). For tires we would recommend a pretty fat and aggressive tread pattern, a Maxxix Minion DH 2.6 or something like that works pretty well.
For bike, we recommend an enduro or trail bike and not a downhill bike. There is not much pedaling on the trip, but there is some, and some pushing bike up short clymbs and features. So, anywhere from 125 to 160mm travel is probably the sweet spot. 26ers,27.5, and 29ers all welcome.
Just email us at [email protected] and we will give you all the local beta!!