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RIDE Adventures Blog

Motorcycling the Jungle: Riding from Cusco to the Cloud Forest

Posted by Eric Lange on September 5, 2013
Eric Lange
Since riding his KTM 950 Adventure down to South America in 2008 and launching RIDE Adventures in 2010, Eric now resides in Oregon for most of each year. Riding is still a regular part of his work though, in that guiding tours is a passion he'll always have, and researching new routes and regions allows RIDE Adventures to continue growing and providing reliable travel services to adventure minded riders and travelers from around the world.
motorcycling PeruHands down, the highlight of most every Peruvian adventure is a journey to the mystical heights of Macchu Picchu. However, to reach its summit requires travel measures largely excluding motorcycle routes. So aside from motorcycling the jungle, a backwoods tour from Cusco to the end of Manu National Park might be just what adventure riding enthusiasts are looking for.
MOTORCYCLE RENTALS HERE IN PERU Click Here to See the Motorcycles and Prices We Have
Leaving Cusco, begin your journey just northeast of the city and ride along the fabled Sacred Valley. These winding back-valley dirt roads encompass ancient Incan ruins and rural Quechua villages. Outside these clusters, you will glimpse farmers wearing traditional clothing as they work the terraced Farmers in Perugreen fields just outside their hut homes. Be sure to visit the Moray Complex on your way around the valley. Archeologists believe these ruins to be an ancient Inca experimental agriculture site.

The route wrapping around the Sacred Valley climbs through the mountains to Puacartambo. These steep roads can be challenging, but their sheer drops and sharp turns make for an exciting route. Eventually opening to an unobstructed view of beautiful Peruvian landscapes, complete with the snowy peaks of the Andes and unique southern highland vegetation.

From the colonial town of Puacartambo, it is a short ride to the Acjanaco Pass and the entrance of Manu National Park. Here, you will have your first view over the Andes' eastern slopes and into the rich canopies of the Amazon Rainforest.

Manu National Park PeruOne of the more remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, Manu National Park covers over 15,000 km2. The biological diversity found within this park exceeds that of any other place on earth. Its area is packed with over 800 identified bird species, 200 mammal species, 12 species of reptiles, and 77 species of amphibian wildlife. The park's unique biological and geographical diversity has earned it a designation as a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site.

While, where accessible, Manu National Park offers mostly hiking paths, a motorcycle route can be made from Tres Cruces to Pillcopata. The journey along this small road includes the impressive biodiversity and landscapes that make Manu so sought-after. Beginning with a sunrise over the Amazon jungle basin, you will descend through the fauna and flora of the altiplano to Manu National Park's Cloud Forest. Here, you will ride under a canopy of evergreen trees whose limbs are blanketed with thick coatings of orchids, lichens, mosses, and ferns. Flitting throughout the trees are legions of hummingbirds and the brilliant state bird of Peru, the fire red Cock-of-the-Rock.

Consider spending the night at the park's spacious Manu Cloud Forest Lodge and the morning searching the hiking paths for glimpses of the rare spectated bear and the region's many species of chattering monkeys. From here, you can either continue on journeying through this spectacular landscape and onto the Bolivian border, or you can turn and enjoy the ascent back through the wilderness, the Andes Mountains, and the return to the civilization of Cusco.
MOTORCYCLE RENTALS HERE IN PERU Click Here to See the Motorcycles and Prices We Have
With RIDE Adventures and our local partners, the choice is up to you. We agree that for motorcycle travelers, the best way to see a new country is on the back of a bike; but we also know the hassles inherent in attempting to ship your own. Instead of shipping, our company and partners will provide you with a motorcycle rental at your city of choice in Peru. You can either choose to participate in one of our established tours led by a local, professional guide, or you can opt to create your own, self-guided motorcycle tour. No matter how you want to RIDE Peru, we are here to help!
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