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Great Outdoors
Sacred Rides Invites Mountain Bikers To Explore Peru's Incan Culture By Foot And Bike From Andes To Amazon Rainforest

Sacred Rides
, the company that helped pioneer single track mountain bike tours in 13 remote and exotic destinations internationally and in Canada, announces a new-for-2014 10-day whirlwind exploration of Incan culture by foot and mountain bike.

A scheduled May 31, 2014, departure travels from the foothills of the Andes to Machu Picchu and then into the Amazon lowlands, enroute experiencing remote villages and Inca sites that are virtually untouched by most tourists. Custom departures may be scheduled from May through August with as few as four riders.

The per person double rate for Cusco to Amazon trip is $3,195 CAD per person, including roundtrip Lima-Cusco flights, nine nights accommodation (one night camping), breakfasts, lunches and snacks, four dinners in the jungle, airport transfers, entrance to national parks, a boat ride to Pantiacolta Lodge, and two local English-speaking guides. A portion of the trip fee assists local community projects. (Not included are entrance fees for Machu Picchu.)

"This itinerary serves up a heaping portion of history, culture and outdoor adventure away from the tourist hordes and into a side of Peru little known to travelers," says Mike Brcic, founder of Sacred Rides He suggests that prospective travelers for this trip be avid hikers with some mountain biking experience. Guests should be comfortable riding dirt roads and relatively easy single-track for up to four hours or 40km a day.

Traveling through remote villages visitors will hear Quechua (the language of the Incas) spoken, visit historic sites along an Inca trail network that makes for what he calls "the ultimate mountain biking and hiking adventure, crisscrossing some seriously spectacular scenery along the way."

One of the national parks on the itinerary is Manu National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with some of earth's most remarkable biodiversity. The other parks are Moray and Maras.

The journey begins in Cusco with a bike climb to the Inca site of Saqsayhuaman before continuing to climb and passing other lesser-known sites, riding mostly dirt roads and easy single-track. Another day explores Chinchero, one of the most important Inca sites near the Sacred Valley, located at an altitude of 3,700m (12,139 ft.) From here, it's possible to see the entire plateau of Maras and the Vilcanota's Mountain Range with its +5,000 meter glaciers like Chicon and Veronica. Crossing agricultural fields bordering Lake Huaypo, guests reach the Inca site of Moray at an altitude of 3,600m (11,811 ft.), followed by a ride on an Inca trail to the town of Maras and its Inca Salt Mines. From Ollantaytambo guests have the option (costs not included in the rate) to divert for a day in Machu Picchu.

Riders transfer by van to the mountain pass that divides the Sacred Valley the eastern slope of the Andes and ultimately, the Amazon. A bike ride here begins at an altitude of 3,700m (12,139ft.) descending to the small town of Paucartambo at 2,900m (9,514ft.). A bus transports bikes and riders to Manu National Park and Tres Cruces (altitude 3,630m (11,909ft.) for a camping overnight before a spectacular sunrise and a ride into the Amazon jungle and a hike to find Cock of the Rocks, Peru's national bird. The next day the humidity mounts while traversing the jungle to the village of Atalaya and a boat ride to Pantiacolla Lodge. Enroute will be wildlife sightings while cruising down the Alto Madre de Dios River. One morning is a trail hike for spotting monkeys, frogs, tapirs and capybaras, among others.