Cycling routes in the Peruvian jungle

Exploring the cycling routes in the Peruvian jungle is an exhilarating experience for adventure enthusiasts. The Peruvian jungle offers a variety of fascinating trails that weave through lush landscapes and unique biodiversity. There are options for all skill levels and travel preferences.

Get ready for an unforgettable two-wheeled adventure in the Peruvian jungle!

Why Explore the Peruvian Jungle by Bicycle?

Riding through the Peruvian jungle on a bicycle is an unmatched experience. The lush vegetation and diversity of wildlife will captivate you from the first pedal. Moreover, cycling allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature and the opportunity to interact with the jungle's wildlife.

The trails snake through dense forests and lead you to remote areas where the sound of wildlife is overwhelming. Each turn reveals a new wonder, from majestic waterfalls to ancient ruins hidden among the foliage.

Additionally, close contact with local communities provides an authentic perspective on life in the jungle. However, it is important to be prepared for the challenges this environment presents, such as unpredictable weather and rugged terrain.

Cycling Routes in the Peruvian Jungle

1. Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu

The Inca Jungle route to Machu Picchu offers a unique experience that combines cycling, hiking, and adventure. This route immerses you in the rich local culture and history.

You will start from the city of Cusco to the Malaga pass, situated at an altitude of 4,350 meters, where you will begin your descent by bicycle to the village of Huamanmarca, lasting approximately 3 hours.

During the descent, you will be surrounded by jungle fringe vegetation, experiencing the climate change from the highlands to the warm and humid climate of the Peruvian jungle. The highlight, of course, will be the arrival at the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu.

It is essential to be physically and mentally prepared for the terrain challenges and to follow the directions of local guides for a safe and memorable experience.

You must be vigilant during the descent, as the route frequently crosses the highway leading to Quillabamba, with constant presence of cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

General Information:

  • Bicycle distance: 55 km
  • Travel time: 3 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 4350 m.a.s.l.
  • Minimum altitude: 1250 m.a.s.l.

Note: The Inca Jungle route combines mountain biking, rafting, zipline, and trekking, all divided over different days.

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Machu Picchu es la parada final del Inka Jungle

2. Yanamayo-Ocobamba-Quillabamba to Machu Picchu

The Yanamayo-Ocobamba-Quillabamba to Machu Picchu route is an adventure that challenges and amazes you at the same time. You will start your journey from Cusco and reach the Yanamayo pass, located at an altitude of 4300 meters, where you will receive a brief briefing about the route before plunging into the thrilling journey.

As you move towards Ocobamba, you will be greeted with the warm hospitality of local communities and have the opportunity to taste authentic Peruvian cuisine. You will continue to Quillabamba, where the landscape transforms into lush coffee and cocoa plantations, giving you the chance to stop and enjoy fresh tastings. Here is where you will spend the night.

On the second day, you will depart by car to Cochapampa, located at 1500 meters above sea level, from where you will descend through the Quillabambina jungle road. Along the way, you will make stops to taste freshly harvested fruits. The journey ends in Santa Teresa, where you will spend the night and have the opportunity to visit the Cocalmayo hot springs.

The final stretch to Machu Picchu will be an unforgettable experience. You will start with a transfer to the hydroelectric station, where the walk to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town) begins. Surrounded by majestic mountains and tumultuous rivers, you will head towards the legendary Inca citadel.

Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time to explore the town before visiting the Inca city. Early the next day, you will depart to Machu Picchu, the impressive archaeological site that will be the highlight of your adventure.

General Information:

  • Bicycle distance: 79 km
  • Travel time: 17 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 4450 m.a.s.l.
  • Minimum altitude: 2950 m.a.s.l.
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Crossing the Ocobamba River

3. Biking the Pongo de Mainique

Biking the Pongo de Mainique is a unique experience that immerses you in the majesty of the Peruvian jungle. Starting in Quillabamba, cyclists embark on an exciting journey through lush landscapes. Pedaling along winding roads, surrounded by rich biodiversity, you reach Quellouno where you can taste dishes from the Peruvian jungle. From there, you will proceed to Cochayoc Lagoon for a pleasant time by its shores.

The Pongo de Mainique offers breathtaking views and a sense of awe. The route presents thrilling challenges and unparalleled rewards. As cyclists progress toward the Pongo, they can stop to enjoy panoramic views and capture unforgettable moments.

This circuit ends in Koribeni, however, there are extensions of the route that take you to the Megantoni Sanctuary, an incredible place that makes all the effort worthwhile.

General Information:

  • Bicycle distance: 150 km
  • Travel time: 7 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 1800 m.a.s.l.
  • Minimum altitude: 350 m.a.s.l.

4. Three Crosses to Manu by Bicycle

Cycling from Tres Cruces to the Manu National Park is an exciting journey that offers stunning panoramic views and a unique connection with nature. This wildlife sanctuary hosts an amazing diversity of flora and fauna species.

The route to Manu by bicycle is not only thrilling but also an opportunity to explore the rich biodiversity and culture of the region. Following this path, you may come face to face with monkeys, parrots, and a variety of other exotic creatures.

Your journey begins in Cusco, from where you will travel by car to the town of Paucartambo. The first stop will be at the Acjanaco pass, from where you will bike to the Tres Cruces viewpoint, surrounded by breathtaking views. The overall route is not demanding, except for a couple of stretches.

Upon reaching Tres Cruces, a spectacular landscape with views that span vast expanses of the Amazon rainforest is revealed. This high point offers a unique perspective on the immensity and beauty of the Manu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You may descend from the Tres Cruces viewpoint, by car or bicycle, as per your preference. When you arrive at the Acjanaco pass, you will start the route towards the village of San Pedro, surrounded by dense forests and with the possibility of spotting the Cock-of-the-rock in its natural habitat.

In San Pedro, you can take a walk to observe more wildlife and learn about the local flora. The next morning, you will travel by car to the town of Pillcopata, where you will begin your bike ride to the "EcoManu Lodge," where you will spend the night. The next day, you will hike to the Atalaya port to board a boat that will take you to Machuwasi lagoon, your final destination.

General Information:

  • Bicycle distance: 118.5 km
  • Travel time: 17 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 3800 m.a.s.l.
  • Minimum altitude: 600 m.a.s.l.
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Waterfall on the route to Manu by bicycle

5. Biking in Tambopata

Exploring Tambopata by bicycle is a fascinating experience that immerses you in the natural beauty of the Peruvian jungle. From Puerto Maldonado to the gateway to Tambopata, you can venture along winding paths that traverse lush tropical forests and meandering rivers.

Your route begins in Puerto Maldonado, where you will receive a brief introduction to the route before venturing into the jungle. Along the way, you can spot a wide variety of wildlife, from colorful birds to playful monkeys.

Additionally, you will have the opportunity to visit local communities and learn about their way of life and traditions. Although the trail is mostly flat, the heat can be draining for cyclists. If the heat becomes unbearable, you can cool off in the river, always under the supervision of the guide.

Your journey ends at the entrance to the Tambopata National Reserve, where you can take a walk in nature, have close encounters with wildlife, and establish a deep connection with this incredible ecosystem.

General Information:

  • Bicycle distance: 15.5 km
  • Travel time: 2 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 239 m.a.s.l.
  • Minimum altitude: 182 m.a.s.l.

Preparing to Bike Through the Peruvian Jungle

Regardless of the chosen route, it is important to prepare adequately for the terrain conditions and changing weather of the jungle. Before embarking on your bicycle adventure, make sure you are properly prepared.

Essential Equipment for Your Biking Adventure

Equipping yourself with the right gear and following safety recommendations will ensure a memorable and safe experience on the cycling routes of the Peruvian jungle.

For your biking adventure in the Peruvian jungle, here is a list of the essential equipment you will need:

  • Durable helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Comfortable and breathable clothing
  • Closed shoes to protect your feet
  • Gloves for better grip
  • Enough water
  • Energy foods
  • First aid kit
  • Basic bike repair tools
  • Map or GPS device for navigating the routes
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You should use all necessary protection when riding


For those wishing to explore the cycling routes in the Peruvian jungle, we have the following recommendations:

  • Research the weather and terrain conditions before setting out.
  • Carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout the ride.
  • Pack energy foods to maintain your energy levels.
  • Don't forget to bring a basic first aid kit in case of emergencies.
  • Wear suitable clothing for the activity and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen.
  • Use a sturdy helmet for your safety.
  • Carry a map or GPS device to navigate the routes.
  • Follow the directions of local guides for a safe experience.
  • Respect nature and local communities during your journey.
  • Always maintain a positive and adventurous attitude to fully enjoy the experience.

By following these recommendations, you can enjoy an exciting and safe cycling adventure in the Peruvian jungle.

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Sunset on the route to Manu National Park