Peru – Andes & Machu Picchu

BMW R1200GS, Local Peru Woman and motorcyclist with lambThis is a perfect introduction to the Andean heartland of South America!  Peru is the highlight of any tour in the Andes.  It is famed for its charming colonial highland towns, soaring snow-capped mountains and, of course, Machu Picchu.  A day visit to the famous Inca citadel is included on our itinerary, of course!

But no Andean adventure would be complete without also riding high to the second largest mountain plateau in the world, in Bolivia.  Here we visit the de facto capital, La Paz, take our bikes on barges across Lake Titicaca and you’ll have the option to try out the “Road of Death” too.

Watch out for the alpaca and llamas, flamingo and condors, as we wind our way on our way through the mountains on this spectacular South American motorcycle tour!

At a glance

15

Duration (days)

1820

Miles Covered

Moderate

Riding difficulty

5%

Unpaved Roads

Medium

Culture Shock

At a glance

Duration (days): 15
Miles Covered: 1820
Riding difficulty: Moderate
Unpaved Roads: 5%
Culture Shock: Medium

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.

DateRider
Shared Room
Single SupplementPassenger
Shared Room
Bike Rental
Sep 16 – Oct 1, 2019£3,700£1,200£3,200BMW R 1200 GS: £3,295
BMW F 800 GS: £2,995
BMW F 700 GS: £2,795

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.
Date:Sep 16 – Oct 1, 2019
Rider Shared Room: £3,700
Single Supplement:£1,200
Passenger Shared Room:£3,200
Bike Rental:BMW R 1200 GS: £3,295
BMW F 800 GS: £2,995
BMW F 700 GS: £2,795
  • This motorcycle tour is a 16 day itinerary following a stunning Andean route through Bolivia and Peru, with the tour starting and ending in Arica, Northern Chile.

    • The majestic volcanic landscapes of Chile’s Lauca National Park
    • Ride the breath-taking cliff-clinging unpaved “Road of Death” from La Paz to Corioco (optional)
    • Take a boat out on Lake Titicaca and visit the famous floating reed islands of Uros (included)
    • Ride the Sacred Valley of the Incas onto the famous market town of Pisac and the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo
    • Visit the iconic Machu Picchu, deep in the Andean Mountains (visit included)
    • The ancient Inca capital, Cusco and it’s Inca stonework, and a beer at the iconic motorcycle adventurers bar, The Norton Rats
    • The mysterious Nazca Lines etched into the desert
    • Enjoy a classic Peruvian “pisco sour” cocktail, watching the sunset over El Misti Volcano in the White City of Arequipa

    ROUTE MAP

  • This is a 16 day itinerary, covering around 1,820 miles in Peru & Bolivia. We start and end the the tour in Arica, Northern Chile.

    16 September 2019.  Day 1:  Arica, Chile

    Arrive into the northern city of “Eternal Spring”.  We will collect you from airport, if you are arriving on the official start day – please arrive no later than mid-day.  The afternoon will be spent doing bike familiarisation.  Our hotel is in a superb location, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a fabulous pool.  You can try your first “pisco sour” cocktail as a welcome drink, when we have our first group evening dinner together.

    17 September 2019. Day 2:  Arica – Moquegua, Peru (135 miles)

    We leave the coastal city of Arica and head north to cross the border into Peru.  After the formalities, experience the vastness of the desert landscapes, on empty roads, before reaching the city of Moquegua, founded in 1626. Moquegua is the agricultural centre for the area, producing olives and grapes and is especially known for the production of pisco, a grape brandy.

    18 September 2019. Day 3: Moquegua – Arequipa (140 miles)

    The shimmering desert landscapes continue on our ride, before climbing to 2,335 metres on twisty mountain roads.  But be careful of the slow trucks – your overtakes need to be well planned!  Arequipa lies in the shadow of El Misti volcano, providing a dramatic backdrop.

    Known as the “White City”, it is so called due to the colour of the volcanic rock used for construction of many of its main buildings, including the stunning cathedral in the main plaza.  Take the afternoon to relax here and stroll down to the historical centre.  You can visit the 500 years old Inca Mummy of Juanita the Ice Maiden or the UNESCO listed Monasterio de Santa Catalina, then sit at one of the many balcony bars in the early evening to watch the sun set over the plaza.  Our hotel is a superb 5* within walking distance of the main plaza.

    19 & 20 September 2019. Day 4 & 5:  Arequipa – Nazca (355 miles)

    This is our longest ride on this tour, but the roads are largely traffic free, making progress is stress free.  Much of the journey has large open views of the Pacific Ocean, with only small fishing villages along the way, before we head inland to Nazca, where you have two nights.

    Nazca is famous for its mysterious Nazca Lines, carved into the desert.  You can ride to the Look Out Tower to see some of the lines etched in the sand or take an early morning flight over the Lines.  There’s plenty of other things to see – the ancient Cantalloc aqueducts, the ruins of Cahuachi, the major ceremonial centre of the Nazca peoples or the mummies in the desert at Chauchilla Cemetry. For the more active, you can go sandboarding or take a dune buggy into the desert or for those wanting to just relax, our hotel has the best pool in town.

    21 September 2019. Day 6:  Nazca – Chalhuanca (225 miles)

    We start our ascent into the Andes Mountains, crossing passes at over 4,000 metres.   Today sees the transformation the terrain, from the sand dunes around Nasca, including Cerro Blanco the highest dune in the world, to lush green soaring peaks where you can watch out for condors gliding on the air currents!  Our final location is at a remote riverside lodge, conveniently placed at around the halfway point on this fabulous ride between Nazca and Cusco.

    22 & 23 September 2019. Day 7 & 8: Chalhuanca – Ollantaytambo (198 miles)

    This is a stunning ride and is often voted one of the best riding routes in South America.  Climbing and descending several times through Andean valleys, gorges and plateaus, with small villages and the ever present llamas and alpacas watching as you ride pass.  The road will unwind before your very eyes and it truly a biker’s delight.

    You have two nights in Ollantaytambo, which is the site of an immense Inca fortress and a former home to Inca nobility. It is also the start point for your guided private tour to Machu Picchu.  Seemingly floating in mists, surrounded by lush vegetation and steep escarpments, this sprawling Inca citadel will not disappoint.  On your day off, you’ll take the Vistadome train and an English speaking guide will walk you around this not to be missed UNESCO site.

    24 & 25 September 2019. Day 9 & 10:  Ollantaytambo – Cusco (76 miles)

    This is a short days ride, but takes in the salt pools of Maras, and the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, before reaching the UNESCO World Heritage Site and former Inca capital, Cusco.  We have a day off the bikes, so that you can explore this unique city.  Cusco is located at 3,400 meters and full of history relating to the conquest of the Incas.  The mix of old Spanish and Inca architecture is obvious as you stroll around the main plaza and side streets.  In the evening, why not head over to the famous biker bar “The Norton Rats”, a favourite haunt of all overland bikers, then try a llama steak for dinner. Our 4* hotel is at the heart of the historical centre and housed in a 17th-century colonial mansion.

    26 September 2019. Day 11:  Cusco – Puno (245 miles)

    Leaving Cusco behind, we head across the high altitude plateau, over passes of more than 4,000m, through snow-capped mountain peaks and glaciers.  These roads are traffic-free (but not alpaca free – take care!) through spectacular Andean scenery and onto the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world and at an altitude of 3,800 meters.  In the evening, the adventurous can try some local delicacies in the evening such as “cuy” (guinea pig), ceviche or how about another pisco sour cocktail? Our 4* hotel is located on the shore line, with great views of the water from the sun terrace.

    27 September 2019. Day 12:  Puno – Copacabana, Bolivia (90 miles)

    In the morning, you head down to the hotel’s private jetty for our boat to take us out onto Lake Titicaca to visit the floating reed islands around Uros.  This provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the people who live on lake, their history and beliefs.  After lunch, we’ll enjoy the short ride to the border with Bolivia – it’s normally quiet, nevertheless, groups of bikes are always a talking point and the subject of some negotiation, so a little patience is needed.

    Bolivia is one of South America’s poorest countries and you’ll see small adobe villages, herds of llama, alpaca and vicuna and many traditionally dressed locals, with brightly coloured skirts, bowler hats and ponchos.  Our destination is the small lakeside town of Copacabana, which is famous for its stunning white 16th century Basilica. In the evening, we can enjoy local trout from the lake and a cool Inca Beer, as we watch the sun set.

    28 & 29 September 2019. Day 13 & 14:  Copacabana – La Paz, Bolivia (100 miles)

    The road from Copacabana to La Paz offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.  We take small wooden barges across the lake – you may be sharing with cows! Then we take on the challenge of El Alto, where you’ll experience chaotic latino traffic jams, before we descend into steep-sided bowl lined with a mix of adobe and colonial buildings, dotted with modern skyscrapers.  This is the city of La Paz, the de facto capital of Bolivia, surrounded by snowy peaks and dominated by the white head of Illimani, the sacred mountain. We have two nights here.  If you are up to it, there is an optional day’s ride on the notorious “Road of Death”, a narrow dirt track leading out of La Paz and clinging to the mountains (140 miles out & back).  You might have seen it on Top Gear’s Bolivia Special?  If you get vertigo, maybe this is not for you, but it’s an amazing adventure!

    If you prefer to see the city of La Paz there is plenty to do; visit the “Mercado de las Brujas” – the Witches Market, wander the old cobbled streets to admire the old colonial buildings and magnificent cathedrals or look around the intriguing “Museo de la Coca”.

    Our hotel is a renovated colonial house, situated in the heart of the museum district of La Paz, just 5 minutes’ walk from the Witches Market.

    30 September 2019.  Day 15:  La Paz – Arica, Chile (305 miles)

    It’s an early start heading out of La Paz and west towards the border with Chile. After crossing the frontier, we have an incredible descent back to sea level, through the picturesque, volcanic Lauca National Park and returning to the coastal city of Arica. After arriving at the hotel, we check our hire bikes and return them.  We will then have our end of trip meal to celebrate a great ride through the Peruvian Andes of South America.

    1 October 2019.  Day 16: Arica to Home

    Transfer back to airport and fly home.

    Flights:  We do not include your passenger flight in our prices.  Once we have confirmed a guaranteed departure for the tour, it is your responsibility to book your own flights.  For this tour you will need to have an international flight to and from Santiago, Chile, with a domestic flight to and from Arica.  Please book your flight to arrive after 3pm on 16 September 2019 and you can leave any time on or after 1 October 2019.

  • You are in for a treat on this tour as we use different styles of accommodation, to suit the area we are in.  You will stay in a 16th century monastery converted to a hotel, a lakeside hotel overlooking Titicaca.  The standard of the accommodation is mainly 3* or 4* star, with one 5* hotel. In the more remote Andean, towns we aim to stay at the best accommodation in the area, which is often the equivalent to a 3* standard. In the main towns, we use high standard hotels such as:

    • Hotel Costa del Sol, Cusco.  A magnificent colonial 4* hotel in a converted 17th century mansion, with all modern amenities and within 5 minutes’ walk of the main Plaza de Armas.
    • Private Collection Casa Andina, Puno.  A well equipped 4* hotel with balconies offering magnificent views overlooking Lake Titicaca.
    • Pan Americana Hotel Arica.  This 4* hotel has an incredible location on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, where you can view amazing sunsets.

    You should note that as we like to provide characterful hotels close to the colonial centre of towns, on occasion, parking is not available on site, so we need to park the bikes in a secure location within a few blocks of the hotel.  We think this is a small price to pay for some of the magnificent locations we are staying in.

  • You have the benefit of booking your motorcycle tour with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

    Before you go

    • The assurance of booking with a UK tour operator and knowing that your money paid in advance is protected.
    • Access to GlobeBusters Team pre-departure to request individual face to face meeting or Skype session about preparing for the trip.
    • Motorcycle Tour Travel Pack, including Tour Specific Guidance Handbook, SD Card with mapping, downloadable GPS Route, Daily Route Notes with riding and safety tips, information about the hotels, the route and the sights.

    En Route

    • Hotel bed and breakfast accommodation on a shared basis (unless Single Room booked) for 15 nights.
    • Standard of accommodation is 9 nights in 4* hotels, 5 nights in 3* hotels, 1 night riverside cabin.
    • Two evening meals; your Welcome & Farewell Meal.
    • Local overnight hotel parking charges.
    • Day visit to Machu Picchu, on Vistadome Train with English speaking guide and entrance to Machu Picchu included.
    • Half day visit by boat to the floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca.
    • Airport Transfers at the start and the end of the Tour, provided you arrive on the official start date and leave on the official end date.

    Support Crew

    • GlobeBusters Motorcycle Tour Leader on a motorcycle to accompany the group
    • Local Support Driver and Vehicle, equipped with satellite phone, spare fuel, water, tools, selected spare parts and emergency first aid kit, acting as a sweeper vehicle

    Motorcycle Hire

    Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised us with the local motorcycle rental provider.   Your rental fee includes:

    • 15 days hire of the model of motorcycle as chosen by you (or equivalent model)
    • Side cases / panniers.
    • International third party motorcycle insurance in Peru & Bolivia

    We act as agent for the local rental agency and on arrival you will be required to sign the local motorcycle rental contract and provide your credit card details as a guarantee against damages.

    If you require any other motorcycle accessories (tank bag, top box, GPS mount, GPS unit etc), please request these on booking and an additional charge may be applicable.

    Not Included

    • Return passenger airline flights or any other travel costs to get to the start and from the finish point for the tour.
    • Personal travel, accident and medical insurance
    • Motorcycle insurance or motorcycle breakdown recovery insurance
    • Entrance fees to sights and parks, optional excursions or activities, (except where stated)
    • Lunches, snacks or evening meals (except where stated). Any meals whilst on board ferries.
    • Personal spending money, tips, souvenirs or other extras.
    • Personal documentation (eg visas, passport), vaccinations, personal taxes, border crossing fees.
    • Fuel, oil & other motorcycle consumables, toll road fees, traffic fines.
    • Cost of parts, labour or other indirect costs relating to the repair of any damage to your motorcycle or a rental motorcycle
    • We do not supply riding gear; you must bring your own helmet, jacket, trousers and gloves.
    • Any other item not specifically stated as included in the price.

    Flights

    For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights.  It is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination.  Once we have confirmed a guaranteed departure, you need to book an outward flight to our start point, Arica to arrive no later than around 3pm on 16 September 2019.  The earliest leave date is any time on 1 October 2019 from Arica.

    Should you wish to arrive before the official date date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.

    Please also refer to our terms and conditions.
  • When you book a tour with us, we provide you with Tour Specific Guidance Notes that give you detailed information about what you need to know to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on tour. Here are some of the questions that we often get asked before a rider makes a booking:

    What riding experience do I need?
    This route is primarily a paved road route, with some dirt / gravel roads in the Andes, but mainly twisting tarmac mountain roads and across the high altitude Altiplano.  Generally road conditions are good and once out of town, roads are traffic free.  You do need to watch out for slow moving trucks in blind bends and skittish wildlife.  The larger cities of Cusco and Arequipa are busy and a little chaotic. You will be riding at altitude, including some passes over 4,500m high and some nights are at altitudes of 3,300 – 3,800m.  This tour is suitable for a good road rider, preferably with previous experience of touring.  It is also suitable for experienced two-up couples.

    Do I have to ride in a group?
    No!  We do not make you ride in convoy.  We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride.  We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates, a highlighted map and hotel information.  You can use this to self-navigate.  If you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Tour Leader, then you can do this.

    What is the average group size?
    Our groups are normally between 8 – 12 riders (some riders will have passengers).

    Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
    We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger.  Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer.

    Is there a support vehicle?
    Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver.  The support vehicle will carry a maximum of one piece of luggage per person, up to a maximum of 60 litres each.  Your luggage should be dustproof and waterproof and we recommend soft bags such as Ortlieb.  Hard suitcases or baggage with wheels are not recommended.

    Tell me about motorcycle rental
    Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised by us with the local motorcycle rental provider in Chile.   Your rental fee includes:

    • 15 days of motorcycle rental of the model as chosen by you (or equivalent model)
    • Motorcycle is supplied with side cases / panniers.
    • International third party motorcycle insurance in Peru, Bolivia and Chile

    Riders must be age 21 years and older, with a valid, full motorcycle licence.  We work with the local motorcycle rental provider that is BMW Approved.  Motorcycles are provided with side panniers.  We act as an agent for the local provider.  You will need to sign the local terms and conditions of rental (a copy of which you may request from us in advance) and provide a valid credit card as a guarantee in case of damage – please ensure that you have credit limit to cover up to US$5,000 .  Bikes are provided with International Third Party Cover.  Additional insurance may be purchased to cover damage or loss of the bike, with an excess of between US$2,500 and US$5,000 depending on the model of motorcycle.  On collection, we advise you to check your rental motorcycle carefully and to take photographs of it, as proof of its condition.

    Please note that on rare occasions we may need to substitute your choice of motorcycle for something similar.

    If you require any other motorcycle accessories (tank bag, top box, GPS mount, GPS unit etc), please request these on booking and an additional charge may be applicable.

    What documents do I need?
    You will need your original documents as follows:  Passport, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit.

    What about flights?
    You must book your own passenger flights to and from.  The normal route is to fly to the international airport in Santiago, Chile and then transfer to domestic airlines to fly direct to and from Arica, Chile.  When you book a flight, please make sure that it arrives in Arica after 3pm on the first official day and you can fly home any time on the final official day.  We will pick you up from the airport, provided you arrive on the official start date.  We drop you off at the airport, provided you leave on the official end day.

    What will the weather be like?
    We are travelling at the end of the dry season in the Andes, so we would expect some rain showers.  It is also very chilly at high altitudes, especially in the evening.   We can also experience deep blue skies and sunshine, but remember at altitude the sun can be very strong, so make sure you have sun cream.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather
    http://www.worldclimate.com/

    Do I need visas for travel?
    At time of writing, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most EU Citizens do not need any visas in advance for travel.  US Citizens require a visa for Bolivia. This information is provided in good faith.  It is your responsibility to have the correct visas in place prior to travel.  Please check what requirements are necessary for your nationality.

    http://www.thevisamachine.com/

    What about my health when I am abroad?
    It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel / medical insurance to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation if you suffer any illness or injury when on the expedition, including any injury sustained from riding or being a passenger on a large capacity motorcycle.

    Before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP or a specialised travel clinic to get advice on the recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures needed for the countries on this trip. As background, the websites listed below may prove useful.

    http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/
    http://www.masta-travel-health.com/

    Please note that many countries on this route do not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to the country of your residence.  In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times.  The above factors mean that injuries or illnesses that may be recoverable, if you were in your home country, may have serious or fatal consequences.  This is a risk that you accept on booking.

    What about local currency?
    The base currency for this trip is the US Dollar. The US Dollar is readily exchangeable for the local currencies. When you bring US Dollars, it must be in MINT condition or locals will not readily exchange the notes.  The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.

    http://www.oanda.com/
    http://www.travelex.co.uk/