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Old 17 Apr 2012
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Penticton, Canada
Posts: 6
Riding Lima Peru (April 28th, 2012) to Bogota

Riding HP2 from Lima to Bogota, plan is to head out April 28 (2012) north , see Cordillera Blanca Canyon area and head up to Bogota by 6th May. Good pace experienced male Canadian, solo rider ( 5 trips in SA to date all roads) seeks riders in area who might be on similar route for strength in numbers. Bogota arrival slightly flexible but possible. Would rather ride view than pavement where possible, not set up for camping but have the gear if necessary. Am flying down from Canada 25th.
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Old 16 May 2012
charapashanperu's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bristol, Maine, USA
Posts: 515
Good Roads!


I have lived and biked for 20 years in Peru, in fact I rode the cordillera area this January on a Honda Transalp 700. I have riden that area all the way north to the Ecuador border and it is FANTASTIC!

DO NOT fall into the black hole that is the Panamericana Highway! I see by your Lima to Bogota timetable that you won't be able to do ANYTHING BUT race up the Panam. I plead with you to take more time and take the roads up the center of Peru where the views are great, the people honest and friendly, and the lodging cheap.

Sorry I won't be there to ride it with you, but I will recommend the best route out of Lima that goes past the Cordillera:

It's natural that you would think to just head up the Panam to Barranca, then turn inland to the Cordillera.... but if you can spare a few extra days, I will show you the BEST way:

East and North out of Lima is dirty and congested... starts your trip off badly. Day 1 will be a leasurely 131km south to Cerro Azul (a surfing hangout, a personal favorite of the Beach Boys). From there head up the Yauyos Valley (paved one lane...shared by both directions!!) which will put you up over the top (turns to gravel on the last 20%) and to Huancayo up in the central plateau. Go a few miles past Huancayo and stay at the "Lomas Verdes" Inn near Concepcion for night # 2.

Stay a day and check out the silver market there and the Santa Rosa convent... or head on for an all paved magestic ride north across the top of the world from Concepcion to Huanuco. Ever seen Pink Flamingoes at 14,000 feet??

From Huanuco you will ride thru the "back door" of the Cordillera to Huaraz. There are 2 routes to the town of La Union.. one gravel and one paved. the gravel one is more fun but can be confusing and is not exactly like it shows on any map or GPS. not that you will get very lost, but you could be leaving the best part of the days ride for too late in the day if you do lose time. from La Union the pavement turns west. At the high point turn right off on to the gravel road that takes you past the Pastoruri Glacier and thru the national park. It will be well worth it and drop you off on the pavement just 20 or so km south of your destination of Huaraz.

You are now in Huaraz, your destination of yourpersumed first day. Spens at least one day in the area!

The next travel day just leasurely wind your way up the road to Caraz and spend the night. There is a reason not to push on. Unless you are heading down to the boring coast, you will not make anywhere to overnight if you push on. The next push will be some fantastic scenery of 2 days ride north to Huamachuco via the Canyon del Pato (overnight first night in Cabana or Pallasca. From Huamachuco (don't miss the ruins there or the fried trout breakfast at the lake just after you exit the city going north) it is a comfortable day to Cajamarca, the other seat of the Inca Empire that is often overlooked. Spend at least one day in Cajamarca...

Now comes the most fantastic day of riding! You can do it all the way from Cajamarca to Chachapoyas (80% gravel) in one day, but I would recommend going only as far as Celendin the first day. Stay at the Orange B&B there with the Dutch/Peruvian couple that runs it and a great childre's outreach. You will climb out of Celendin going east, round the ridge and see the most amazing view! (I plan to be living right there within 2 years). Remember that spot because 5 hours later you will be able to look back and see where you were!

Over the Barro Negro pass then down past Leymebamba and on to Chachapoyas. I send you to Chachapoyas because it will be the best ride of your whole SA expeience... but also because you cannot miss visiting the fortress of Kuelap (it rivals Machu Picchu) and the Gocta waterfall (3rd highest in the world), both within shouting distance of Chachapoyas.

From Chachapoyas it is all pavement north and back east to Jaen, then a hop skip and a jump (with a day of gravel) to Ecuador...

Feel fre to ask any specifics. Sorry if I seem pushy. there is SO much NOT to miss!

Toby (charapa)
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Old 16 May 2012
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Penticton, Canada
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Thanks for the great intel

Toby I was unable to make the trip. My bikes entry permit expired on May 4th and it was a mad race to get the bikes out of the country. Much work, many barriers and lots of $. I am going to return and will rent a bike in Peru to ride the roads you have described. I am back in Canada now and if there is any way I can help you here please ask.


Paul Gardner
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Old 12 May 2013
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cairns, Australia
Posts: 73
Will be in the Chachapoyas area within a week. Thinking about the continuation on to Ecuador through San Ignacio but concerned about the road quality. I can do dirt roads but generally steer clear of the single track and muddy stuff.
Any updates on the condition of this road up to Loja?

Mark and Carlie - a three year jaunt around the third rock.
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