Folks, we get questions about motorcycle travel like these all the time, so it just seems best to post our direct responses to some customers so that you can see for yourself! One particular group (who is currently enduring a record rainy season in Peru) had questions just like you might, so here's what we talked about:
Q: For our side trip into the Amazon, the maps are showing that there will be lots of off-road riding. Is this true?
A: As always, please don't trust what the map indicators are, as we have more current information. For your ride into Puerto Maldonado before going up to the Eco Amazonian lodge, only a couple of sections of less than a mile or so will be non-paved as they're doing road construction. This is pretty easy gravel, and if taken slowly, no experienced motorcycle rider should have a problem making it through little stretches like that.
Q: Do we get train tickets to Machu Picchu that will get us up there for the early sunrise?
A: Actually, a bus will take you to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, and yes, if you're in line for the very first few buses, you should arrive at the gates to Machu Picchu by 7am. The line for the buses actually starts forming down in Aguas Calientes around 4am because only the 1st 400 people at the gates to enter Machu Picchu earn the "right" to climb Wayna Picchu, (the steep mountain you see behind the ruins.) All the tickets, times, instructions for this, etc. will be waiting for you at your hotel in Cusco.
Q: Do we really need to be in line at 4am to get acccess to Wayna Picchu, and do you know if March will be busy?
A: March should be one of the slowest months, and you'll have no problem catching a bus in the morning. The only reason to get in line at 4am is because then you're sure to get on the first few buses and be part of the first 400 people that walk into the gates at Machu Picchu. (Only those first 400 are guaranteed a "stamp" which then gives you access to climb Wayna Picchu.) -- That being said, it might not be necessary to be so early, as in the off-season, you might not even have 400 people that want to climb Wayna Picchu on your day. There's no absolute way of predicting this.
That climb to the top of Huayna/Wayna Picchu is truly incredible, but potentially dangerous as well. The lack of handrails and the very unforgiving pathway are not easy. All 4 pictures attached are from the Huayna/Wayna Picchu Hike. I highly recommend it if you're in good shape.
Q: What if we don't want to take the bus to Machu Picchu, but hike instead? The bus ride looks dangerous.
A: We know what you mean, the bus looks a bit shaky! It always looks worse on TV though....(and it beats what would be around 3.5 hours of uphill climbing!) Those are really the 2 primary options to get to the base of Machu Picchu, and everyone will have to decide for themselves if they're ready to do such hiking. Generally speaking, if you're going to be walking the grounds of Machu Picchu most of the day AND making the trek to the top of Wayna Picchu, you probably don't want to start your day at 4 am with such a long, constantly uphill hike.
As always, please feel free to ask questions or post comments below, or Contact Us if you'd rather ask in private. Take a look at your motorcycle rentals in Peru, and keep in mind, you might prefer an actual guided motorcycle tour in Peru instead! We're here to help any way we can.