Photo Story: Unique Lines on Ancient Andean Trails in Cuzco, Peru

May 8, 2020
by Diego del Rio  
Solitarie enjoyment in a pristine area is a unique experience. Alejandro Paz
Solitarie enjoyment in a pristine area is a unique experience.


I ride raw trails on a daily basis. Here in Cuzco, where I ride, the trails were made centuries ago, and now, while respecting and honoring the most important and notorious ones (usually well-maintained Inca Trails), I enjoy them over my Enduro bike accompanied with my Canon camera. Being a mountain biker since I was 8 years old, and an outdoors photographer for the last 12 years (IG: @delriosudiego), I thought it would be crazy not to document the amazing and unique mountain bike experiences around here. My neighbors are my closest mountainbike friends and partners. They run a mountain bike lodge and tourism agency called Peruvian Mountain Rides (@PeruvianMountainRides).

Mountains and trails here in Cuzco are natural so we don’t really ride in handmade bike-parks. Around here the trails that we do are raw, technical, with surprises around each corner, soil-broken and 5-class gnarly trails. With the support of Columbia Sportswear, Giant Bicycles and Troy Lee Designs, we can say that exploring is our main activity and we really enjoy it.

All around Peru there are mountains (we are known as the heart of the Andes) that rest between the Pacific coastline and the Amazon rainforest. This amazing region is a very complex geographical area, but it hides the most unknown and incredible trails around. Across the Andes there are many local villages that are connected to each other by a vast trail network, which we keep discovering. Through these pictures, I want to share some of these incredible trails, the amazing scenery and the culture that surrounds all of these. From the highest navigable lake in the world (Lake Titicaca), to the most pristine valleys and gorges, we really enjoy Peru, our lifestyle and mountain biking…. Let’s go raw!


There will always be surprises along the way riding raw trails. You can t risk being distracted and eating dirt.
There will always be surprises along the way riding raw trails. You can't risk being distracted and eating dirt.

Diana enjoying a technical line at the Rainbow Temple close to Cusco City. Diana Samardzich
Diana, enjoying a technical line at the Rainbow Temple close to Cusco City.

Community trails at Amantani island. Perfect solid lines. Nicolas Chirinos
Community trails at Amantani island. Perfect solid lines.

Being creative at Amantani Island. Nicolas enjoying the different type of grip. Nicolas Chirinos
Being creative at Amantani Island. Nicolas enjoying the different type of grip.

Riding at longest island in the highest navigable lake in the world Lake Titicaca. We went to explore the trail of the Amantani island epic conditions and technical trails. Nicolas Chirinos
Riding at longest island in the highest navigable lake in the world: Lake Titicaca. We went to explore the trail of the Amantani island, epic conditions and technical trails.

The young promise of the region Mateo Negri 14 years old is the master of his local trails. Here enjoying the speed of the forest.
The young promise of the region, Mateo Negri (14 years old) is the master of his local trails. Here enjoying the speed of the forest.

Traversing the Andes from valley to valley from mountain to mountain ... Vicente Chirinos
Traversing the Andes, from valley to valley, from mountain to mountain ...

Smooth at 4500 masl. Gabriel Benoit
Smooth at 4500 m.

Riding along rural little towns. Vicente Chirinos Gabriel Benoit Nicolas Chirinos
Riding between rural little towns.

Impossible to be closer to the sky. Here at 4500 masl you can really be consfused because of the lack of oxygen trying to get where the real sky is up or down. Daniel Gordillo Vicente Chirinos
Impossible to be closer to the sky. Here at 4500 m, you can really be consfused (because of the lack of oxygen) trying to get where the real sky is, up or down.

Old trails from the Huama community above Lamay. Impressive line. Nicolas Chirinos Gabriel Benoit Vicente Chirinos
Old trails from the Huama community above Lamay. Impressive line.

Huge Eucalyptus Trees looks like many Giants trying to catch Wayo Stein who rides as fast as he can to avoid them. Wayo Stein
Huge Eucalyptus Trees looks like many giants trying to catch Wayo Stein, who rides as fast as he can to avoid them.

Went to document this journey with Holly Trails another tourism agency that also explores the deep routes of Peru. Christian Escobar Juancho Saracco
Went to document this journey with Holly Trails, another tourism agency that also explores the deep routes of Peru.

Via Lactea. On the right hand of the picture and deep down is Cusco Cit. On the left hand Alejandro Paz enjoying the lack of oxygen at 4500 masl. Alejandro Paz
Via Lactea. On the right hand of the picture and deep down is Cusco Cit. On the left hand, Alejandro Paz enjoying the lack of oxygen at 4500 m.

Close to Cusco City finishing the riding day being inspired by the afternoon sky. Nicolas Prudencio
Close to Cusco City, finishing the riding day being inspired by the afternoon sky.

Puerto Inca as well. Color contrast on the moon. Sebastian Reategui
Puerto Inca as well. Color contrast on the moon.

Typical arid and desert terrain on the Peruvian coast. Puerto Inca has some epic routes. It is a spot where the mountains are very close to the coast resulting in many fast technical trails at sea level. Derek Dyer
Typical arid and desert terrain on the Peruvian coast. Puerto Inca has some epic routes. It is a spot where the mountains are very close to the coast, resulting in many fast, technical trails at sea level.

Exploring Lima highlands we went to a archaeological site called Rupaq. Andres Bellido
Exploring Lima highlands we went to a archaeological site called Rupaq.

This is one of the first pictures I took when I moved to Cusco. In wet season the rain flows to this flat area creating this little pond. Nicolas Chirinos Vicente Chirinos
This is one of the first pictures I took when I moved to Cusco. In wet season the rain flows to this flat area creating this little pond.

Exploring off-the-beaten-path highland lakes almost at 4200 masl. Vicente Chirinos Gabriel Benoit Nicolas Chirinos
Exploring off-the-beaten-path highland lakes, almost at 4200 m.

This is me always riding with my camera in the back ready to shoot the amazing things that a rider can enjoy
This is me, always riding with my camera in the back, ready to shoot the amazing things that a rider can enjoy!


Regions in Article
Cuzco Region


42 Comments

  • 6 0
 Wow that was stunningly beautiful, Peru should host host an EWS event there. You have everything there it seems, the terrain, tourist destination, etc. I think that destination will kill it, thank you for sharing
  • 2 0
 soon!!! its part of our dream!!! We even have already the trails for the race! cheers!
  • 2 11
flag Madfella (May 9, 2020 at 18:44) (Below Threshold)
 Why does everything hsve to be killed always? Please show a little more sensitivity at this time.
  • 7 0
 Highlighting exotic foreign riding destinations with exciting high res pictures and brief concise captions... brilliant! What a pleasure to view these!! Thanks for sharing!
  • 6 0
 5th picture ? has this been edited or am I not seeing the trail ! :O
  • 4 0
 And the 3rd one? Where does the trail come from? It’s like an Escher drawing puzzle photo - very cool!
  • 5 0
 Hi Robert, you are not seeing it, it goes besides that pointed rock. I´m am the rider Smile
  • 3 0
 The trail goes behind the huge rock!!! it was one of the most crippy sections of the trail!
  • 2 0
 @PeruvianMountainRides: looks super scary dude! great pics
  • 3 1
 What's it like to ride and exert yourself at this elevation? or higher? 4500m is around 14,800' I travel to Colorado to go ride from the Midwest and do pretty well after a day or 2 of acclimation, I've hiked a few 14teeners and have ridden plenty of singletrack, and most of the bike parks.
  • 3 0
 Thanks to write! We live at 3000 masl (9800 ft), so yes, first its necessary to do a proper acclimatization and then its necessary to know your body and its limits!! Starting slow until the body reacts well, and then is almost like riding at sea level! cheers!!
  • 1 3
 And?
  • 3 0
 You just start breathing heavy faster. When i first got to Cuzco going up 1 floor of stairs felt like 6. After 3 or 4 days it wasn't so bad though. My wife got altitude sickness at the 6 day mark and was messed for a couple days. Talking to other travelers it seemed to be the same.
  • 4 0
 Time for some SAN PEDRO my dude!
  • 2 0
 Of course!!! full medicine!!
  • 1 0
 great pictures but at the same time makes me sad. Our trip In September back to Peru with Wayo Stein has been put on the back burner due to the worlds current situation. I am itching so bad. Let’s hope for May.
  • 2 0
 pictures are truly beautifully captured. Respect. Peru has always been a lustworthy destination
  • 1 0
 thanks bro! the trail are waiting for you! contact these guys @PeruvianMountainRides , cheers!
  • 1 0
 @delriosudiego: ya mon same in return if we ever fly again!
  • 1 0
 Shout out to Micky, Russo, and Javier...my wife and I rode with you all for our homeymoon in 2014!
  • 1 0
 I will tell them!! cheers!
  • 2 0
 Checked your Instagram, nice photos!
  • 1 0
 Thank you very much! living in the Sacred Valley its an amazing spot for outdoors photography!! cheers!
  • 1 0
 Cuando fuí en bus hasta Machi Picchu estuve pegao a la ventanilla del bus mirando senderos...
  • 1 0
 si!! cuantas veces he estado a punto de tener accidentes de trafico por estar viendo senderos nuevos! saludos!
  • 1 0
 Whoa, awesome photos! Would love to ride Peru, looks like some natural flow and tech that would rival anywhere else.
  • 1 0
 Much enjoyed reading and photos. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Thanks to you!!! cheers!
  • 1 0
 PERU, top 10 world destination to ride your bike!
  • 1 0
 Yes it is!!!!
  • 1 0
 This is where I first lebe to love mountain biking. Beautiful place.
  • 1 0
 grande Dieguito!!! Fotones viejo. Sigue gozando!!
  • 1 0
 Incredible Pictures & Scenery! Thank You
  • 1 0
 bucketList.append( &Cuzo );
  • 1 0
 Vamos Peru!
  • 1 0
 YEAAAAAHHH!!!
  • 1 0
 Buenazo Diego!!!
  • 2 0
 Buena Calulo!! gracias!!
  • 1 0
 Fotones!
  • 1 0
 chevere!!
  • 1 0
 Beautiful!!
  • 1 0
 Amazing!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv81 0.012116
Mobile Version of Website