From Colca to Cusco
This trips across the southern Andes will takes us to Cusco, starting from Arequipa city passing by Colca Canyon and following Apurimac River, to Espinar. The main center of this trip is on roads with few people around, quietness, high mountains and some pre Inca ruins. The small amount of info of this area was an issue to solve to prepare the adventure, now is solved in these lines.
Days 1/2: Colca. After leaving Arequipa que drive first to Colca Canyon. Here there are two nice rides to do. The first starts at the top of the Mountain range, downhilling by singletracks to chivay or by the road. Once at the village continue to Lari if you like something a bit tough, or to Yanque following the main paved road.
Second is starting at Sibayo, following the Colca river by an ancient Inca trail that goes by the left side of the river and finish in Chivay.
Day 3. To Yauri. This is a very long day at the car, is a very desertic land in the very high lands of the mountain range. You coud ride it but if you do that must climb a lot and finally spend a night at Cayllona, the ancient capital of the region at 4300mt of altitude. It takes 4 hours reach the pass to Cusco, so leaving at 6am is good. The ride starts at 4600m dowhilling to Machupuente, crossing by Three Canyons, an amazing unique place, passing by Mauqallacta, a pre Inca site on the road.
If you want something easier you may drive 5 hours to Tintaya by a very much smooth road and then take one hour to visit Three Canyons.
Day 4: To Raqchi. We leave Machupuente, cross Yauri, stop a while to visit Kanamarca, another pre Inca site. and then take a detour to climb to Descanso, Once there you may start to ride at the alitude you may be confortable. we started at 4000mt and the high pass is at 4300mt not too difficult after 4 days at the Andes. From there begins the downhill to Four Lakes, and after passing the first village we took a detour cimbing by a rural road that takes us downhilling to Tinta village, 10 km from Raqchi.
Otherwise you may descend to Sicuani following the main road all along by a paved road.
At Raqchi the community offers good beds, shower, food and party.
Day 5: Four Lakes. A little jewel of Cusco. Take a car to Yanaoca village, from here we will start the ride by gravel road and paths to Tungasuca, passing beside each little lake. This ride covers 60Km of an amazing landscape, little towns, shepherds, birds, animals and history. Finally we descend to the highway to go driving to Andahuaylillas.
Day 6. To Sacred Valley. From here you can make the final ride to Sacred Valley to finish the trip. so the option is to use the main road fron Andahuaylillas, passing by San Salvador and finish in Pisac, or starting at San Salvador, passing by Pisac, climb and finish downhilling to Cusco.
If you have more time and want to do a bit of enduro ride, Andahuaylillas has its lines. Fun guaranteed.