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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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Ollyantatambo to Santa Teresa/Machu Pichu?

I plan to ride two up from Cusco to Machu Pichu on the route from Ollyontatambo to Santa Theresa/Machu Pichu. Any one have current info on time required from Cusco to Santa Theresa? I was planning on one full day. Is that too much to expect riding two up? I've read the bulk of it is new pavement, the rest dirt. Anyone have up to date info, would be much appreciated.
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Old 22 Oct 2009
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I rode that, on a motorbike so I split it into two days to give me time to see the valley of the incas on the way over.
It was April last, wet season and there were a lot of landslides

The return trip took only a long day.
Granted I was on a hired xl 250 and it was only my 5th time riding a motorbike so I was taking it easy. The dirt roads from santa maria to santa theresa are a real adventure but the rest is paved.
Just after ollayantambo there is a mountain pass of some 3700m so I overnighted in ollayantambo so as not to be up on the mountain late

here's the full text

Paul and Ronan´s Adventures in South America: Motorbiking to Machiu Pichu

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Old 22 Oct 2009
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We did this route 2up last year in a day (1100gs). We left Cuzco at about 8:00am and were in Aguas Calientes by about 5:30 pm after having walked 2 hours along the tracks. We were not going particularly fast and took a few breaks along the way (but these breaks were short). You will sleep well the night you arrive.

Some notes I took a few days after the ride...

From Cusco make you way to the village of Ollantaytambo (a 2 hour drive on paved roads)
From Ollantaytambo go to the village of Santa Maria (a 2 hour drive that brings you up to over 4000 meters then drops you back down into a valley, this road is paved for the first part then turns to gravel)
From Santa Maria you make your way to Santa Theresa (a 2 hour drive on gravel, some stretches are dangerous but not technically difficult)
In Santa Theresa find parking for your vehicle (lots of small hotels do this) and take a cab to the hydro station (a 45 minute ride)
From the hydro station you walk along train tracks to the village of Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu (2 hour walk)

Hope this helps

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Old 22 Oct 2009
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Many thanks

Thank you both for you help. Between your two reports, I feel comforable in the route with my daughter. I will plan one day each way, with one day in the middle for Machu Pichu. Last time I was there back in 1976, we did not hire a guide, but I think I will this time.

We appreciate your input and experience, THANKS.

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Old 1 Aug 2012
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We took the bikes up to Machu Picchu last week and by way of an update we though we would share with you our findings.

We stopped in hostell Estrallita in Cuzco which we found on the HUBB, great big courtyard for the bikes and there were a total of 9 bikes here during our stay.

Hostal Estrellita
Av. Tullumayo 445
13 31.112 S, 71 58 434 W (if you're using a GPS)

Before we arrived, we decided we wanted to ride to Machu Picchu (or as close as possible) but struggled to make sense of all the names being thrown around the HUBB. And its almost impossible to find a map with Santa MAria and Santa Theresa on it. Others in the hostel found the same problem so we have sketched out a little map so others can visualise the trip before they arrive in PERU / CUZCO.

A high res copy of the map above can be downloaded by clicking HERE

Brian and Marie posted an concise list of directions (above) following their visit, and I will update this given our recent experience;

From Cusco make you way to the village of Ollantaytambo (a 2 hour drive on paved roads) - West / Clockwise
Leave Cuzco in an ANTI-CLOCKWISE direction for Pisac and tick off a few ruins on your way to Ollantaytambo (all paved). We did this and were still in Olly. for 3pm.

From Ollantaytambo go to the village of Santa Maria, a 2.5 hour drive that brings you up to over 4300 meters pass Abra Malaga, then drops you back down into a valley, this road is now paved other than small spots damaged by landslides.

From Santa Maria you make your way to Santa Theresa (a 45min ride on gravel)

We stopped in ST for the night and returned to ST for a night after MP. Leaving our bikes overnight in the same hostel while we were away.

In Santa Theresa find parking for your vehicle and/or a hostel (see map for our hostel

ps - there are fantastic thermal baths 5 mins outside ST, perfect to relax in after a days riding or walking MP!

From ST take a cab (we dont recommend walking its a very dusty track!) to the hydroelectric station (a 45 minute ride) There are mixed messages on the HUBB about places to leave your bike at Hydroelectrica and we weren't aware of anywhere when passing through.

From the hydrolectric station you walk along train tracks to the village of Aguas Calientes, (lots of accomodation) at the base of Machu Picchu (2 hour walk).

A high res copy of the map above can be downloaded by clicking HERE

We hope this all makes sense.

Chris & Chloe
BUENOS AIRES to VANCOUVER | Chris, Chloe & two motorbikes across South, Central & North America
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