Mountain biking is still in its infancy in Peru, although fat-tire options are growing fast. Colca Valley and Canyon, Huaraz and the Callejón de Huaylas, and the Sacred Valley are the major areas for off-road cycling. The Manu jungle is also good for hard-core biking. Several tour companies in those places rent bikes, and the quality of the equipment is continually being upgraded. If you plan to do a lot of biking and are very attached to your rig, bring your own.
My favorite mountain-biking spots are horse and mountain trails in the spectacular Callejón de Huaylas, which provide the kind of amazing climbing found in the Rockies of the western United States and mountain views that are second to none. Mountain bikers, along with other adventure-sports fans, descend on Huaraz and the valley every June for its celebrated Semana del Andinismo. The Colca Valley is also an outstanding region for hard-core mountain biking, though there are fewer tour outfitters targeting the area. For gentler but also incredibly scenic trail riding, you can't beat the Sacred Valley.
Tour Operators & Outfitters
In Huaraz and the Callejón de Huaylas, the top two agencies for mountain biking are Mountain Bike Adventures (tel. 043/424-259; www.chakinaniperu.com), run by Julio Olaza, and Pony Expeditions (tel. 043/391-642; www.ponyexpeditions.com), run by Alberto Cafferata.
Peru Bike (tel. 01/260-8225; www.perubike.com), based in Lima, has a great schedule of Andes mountain-biking trips across Peru, including Huascarán and Lake Titicaca loops, and cool day trips, on GT bikes. Monttrek (tel. 043/421-124) also offers organized mountain-biking tours. Peru Expeditions (tel. 01/447-2057; www.peru-expeditions.com), based in Lima, is run by a former top cyclist and runs mountain-biking trips in the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.
In Cusco, Peru Discovery, Triunfo (Sunturwasi) 392, Of. 113 (tel. 054/274-541; www.perudiscovery.com/english) is the top specialist, with a half-dozen bike trips that include hard-core excursions. The local outfitters Amazonas Explorer (tel. 084/252-846; www.amazonas-explorer.com), Apumayo Expediciones (tel. 084/9847-66732; www.apumayo.com), Eric Adventures (tel. 084/234-764; www.ericadventures.com), and Instinct Travel (tel. 084/233-451; www.instinct-travel.com) offer 1- to 5-day organized mountain-biking excursions for novices and experienced single-trackers. In the Sacred Valley, Ecomontana (www.ecomontana.com), run by the mountain biker Omar Zarzar, rents good mountain bikes and organizes extended as well as shorter cyclotourism rides around Urubamba, with top equipment. Manu Adventures (tel. 084/261-640; www.manuadventures.com) and Manu Nature Tours (tel. 084/252-721; www.manuperu.com) offer mountain-biking add-ons to lodge stays and jungle treks. In Arequipa, Colca Trek (tel. 054/202-461; www.colcatrek.com) and Peru Trekking (tel. 054/223-404) feature mountain biking in the Colca Canyon.