Cycling Through the Valley

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This past weekend, Adrie and I went on an adventure!

A few weeks ago, our friend (who is from Cusco) told us that she had recently been on an amazing bike ride in the Sacred Valley. At first, I was skeptical, as I’ve seen advertisements around town for high-intensity mountain biking excursions. As someone who is somewhat lacking in bicycle confidence, I wasn’t prepared to risk my life hurtling down mountainsides or to burst a lung trying to pedal uphill. However, I was reassured that this was an idyllic, flat bike path along the Urubamba River in the heart of the valley—perfect for casual riders wanting an easy but beautiful day trip.

Having been convinced that it sounded like a fun outing, the next step was to actually make it happen. The first obstacle was the weather. We’re currently in a transition period between dry and wet season where the weather is completely unpredictable. It can be storming one day and beautiful the next, and the weather forecasts are unhelpfully unreliable. We decided we just had to wait and be ready to jump at an opportunity when our availability and the weather both cooperated.

Ready to get dropped off at the start of the bike path.

The next obstacle was finding bikes. After scouring the internet, we couldn’t find any bike rental companies located in the Sacred Valley itself, and we didn’t want to pay for a guided tour or lug bikes out from Cusco. But despite the lack of internet presence of rental companies, our friend assured us that there were places to rent bikes in Urubamba, so we decided we’d just have to trust that bikes would show up when needed.

Most of the bike path follows either the train tracks and the river that runs through the valley.

This past weekend, the stars aligned. A Saturday free of other plans, a sunny morning perfect for adventure, and a chance encounter with a man on a bike in the plaza of Urubamba led us to having one of the most wonderful, gorgeous days I’ve experienced in a long time (the man helped us locate a tiny bike rental shop). The excursion was all I was promised and more—an easy ride with the bike path all to ourselves, incredible scenery beyond compare, and a sense of accomplishment awaiting us at the end.

A fantastic day!

Despite my many doubts at first about the difficulty, the weather, and the bike rentals, it turned out to be a wonderful experience which I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who comes to Cusco. All it takes is a little luck and a sense of adventure!

– Danielle

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