Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > TRAVEL Hints and Tips

TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By cpaulson

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 3 Oct 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 25
Biking to Machu Picchu


just wanted to share the newest info on the unofficial Peruvian version of the Death Road of La Paz - the road from Cuzco to Santa Maria/Hidroelectrica and eventually, Machu Picchu.

First off, the road from Cuzco to Santa Maria (the closest village to Machu Picchu accesible by bike) is tricky all year round: because of landslides, waterfalls, springs and streams from the snow-capped mountains and good old negligence, sometimes the road is blocked. Because Peru is, well, Peru, the police sometimes don´t bother to stop you and inform you there´s a roadblock or a bit of a road that´s actually been destroyd completely; there have been numerous bikers having to turn around mid - way simply because the police officers told them to go back in the middle of the road instead of the very beginning of it due to mis-communication or simple laziness. So once you reach Ollantaytambo, it´s a good idea to check with the local police and make them tell you whether the road is accessible.

If however you still get stuck, there are quite a few villages that have hostels with garages for bikes (especially Santa Teresa) as well as gas stations or locals selling gas.

And finally, as you get to Hidroelectrica (the hydro-electric plant), that´s where the road ends. Literally. The only way to get to Machu Picchu is either taking the ridiculously expensive train (USD 50 one way for a 15 minute ride), or hiking (around 7km, but the views are totally worth it). As you reach the Hidroelectrica, there is a tourist check-point sort of post. Ask for the security guards; they will happily watch your bike for 15-20 soles (around USD 9) a night while you make your Machu Picchu hike.

The other thing is, most people stay the night in Aguas Calientes, or the Pueblo Machu Picchu. This is however a horrible, overpriced, stifling, tourist-packed sort of place. I highly recommend staying the night at Jardines de Mandor - a lovely quiet hostel on km 114 along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. It´s cheap, comfy, quiet, has great food, great trekking if you want to stay a bit longer, the manager speaks good English, and is incredibly helpful. It´s only 2 km from the actual Machu Picchu and around 2,3 km from Aguas Calientes (where you will inevitably have to go just to purchase your Machu Picchu tickets).

Reply With Quote
Old 31 Oct 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 36
I recently did this exact trip and no offense but the previous post almost sounds like it was written buy whoever sells the train tickets from Cusco directly and is basically making it sound horrible. To be honest, riding from Alaska to Chile, taking the "back door route" to Machu Pichu was in fact one of our most favorite roads of all. And we did it two up on a KLR. The other couple we were with were on a KTM 990 and a BMW f600. The ride itself was spectacular. There are MANY places to stay along the way that are beautiful little villages along the river and there was gas a plenty. In fact had we known now what we didn't know then we would have stayed a few nights along the river and not so many nights in Cusco deciding wether to take the train or not. The death road was absolutely stunning, granted I can see how it could be dangerous in heavy rains but other than that it was AMAZING. And the drive through all the villages between Cusco and Agua Caliente were stunning themselves. As well as the roads and huge windy beautifully paved mountain passes between them all. There is even a town where if the rain is to bad and you can't ride on where you can jump in the train from there and continue on. But if you can make it ti Aguas Calientes, there you will find one of the most stunning hot springs in the entire South America. We rhode our bikes down into the canyon and put our tents up and stayed for I believe 5 usd if not free. Then there is a hostal where you can park your bikes indoors for again I believe 5-10 usd a day while heading to Machu Pichu. Cheers and have fun...
Reply With Quote
Old 4 Nov 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Nth Oz
Posts: 24
The Train ride from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Caliente is 50 Soles or about $18 US each way. Not $50!
The train ride is 11 kilometers apparently... I am not sure I didn't measure it... anyway it was easy to walk next to the tracks in 2 hours and quite a lot of people do it.
The last train from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Caliente leaves at 4.30pm.

Aguas Caliente is indeed expensive and full of tourists, which Mirrors the situation for its tourist attraction of Machu Pichu. Tickets were booked out 4 days ahead when I went there, and the online payment system was crap and never worked for me.

There is parking available at Hydroelectrica with some guys that live there. They do this for anyone that needs it - motorbikes, bicycles, 4wds, trucks or whatever you have. I have no affiliation with them but enjoyed their friendly and convenient service. They gave me a flyer they had just made up to let people know where they are

Reply With Quote
Old 28 Nov 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 25

as for my post, I simply wanted to point out a few things that I think are worth knowing.

I absolutely agree that the road is stunning and the views are amazing, but I´m new to motorcycling and had I known the condition of that road and how mental all the collectivo drivers were out there, I probably would have thought twice before doing it.

Now that I´m more confident after my 11 000+ kms on a bike in South America I´d definitely do it again (actually, probably will once im back from Argentina); all I was saying was that it´s worth taking precautions. Especially checking if there are no roadbloacks, having to turn back when you´re halfway there is no fun at all.

Safe travels

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ridng all the way to Machu Picchu Daveed South America 23 26 Sep 2013 02:15
Across Americas - Discovering the New World on a motorcycle AnjinSan Ride Tales 98 29 May 2013 04:17
Peru - Machu Picchu alidudek Bike Friendly, South America 3 1 Jan 2013 20:19
getting to Machu Piccu kito South America 10 24 Oct 2012 12:48
Laos biking adventure Bakeyuk The HUBB PUB 4 22 May 2012 09:27


Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.

Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:14.