While most motorcycle travellers tend to stick to more popular routes and destinations, there’s much more to Peru than the Pan American Highway and Machu Picchu. This country is vast, and it will require some serious mileage to see it all – the Pacific Coast, the Andes, and the Amazon. The main tarmac routes in Peru are exceptionally good quality with plenty of fuel and food options along the way. However, it’s also an off-road riding paradise for those who want to venture off the beaten path: roads like Canyon del Pato, the old mountain trail to Machu Picchu, and the Dakar routes in the South offer unlimited off roading heaven to riders who prefer dirt.
When it comes to traffic, riding motorcycles in Peru may appear a little tricky at first. If you’ve never ridden in South America before, beware that the traffic here is a little different than in the Western world: turn signals don’t always mean turns, and lanes are merely a suggestion rather than a rule. However, Peruvians are courteous drivers, and as long as you ride defensively and stay alert, you’ll figure out the flow of traffic in no time.
On a motorcycle tour in Peru, you will cross the Andes Mountains multiple times, and altitude is something to consider: you may reach elevation of 10-13,000 feet, and for some riders, it takes a little longer to adjust. The same goes for temperatures: while it’s always pleasantly sunny and warm in Lima, it will get chillier at higher altitudes, whereas the climate on the Eastern side of the Andes is hot and humid. Plan for hot weather but pack some thermals for those Andean passes!
Generally, you can ride motorcycles in Peru year-round as the weather here is usually warm and sunny regardless of the seasons. However, we recommend going between May and September – Peruvian winter is the dry season, so while temperatures may not be as hot as in the summertime, you’ll experience less rain. To prepare for a motorcycle tour in Peru, pack both sunscreen and some warmer layers as the weather heats and cools depending on the altitude. Four-season riding gear is ideal here!
From tight hairpins and switchbacks to big, gentle sweepers and fast curves, Peruvian roads are so twisty you’re guaranteed to get your fill of motorcycling bliss. Curves and corners abound on the Andean routes, revealing breath-taking vistas mountain vistas, valleys, and gorges along the way. Even the dirt roads here are all about those twists and turns, so get ready for a rollercoaster ride!
The Andes Mountains stretch all the way from Venezuela and Colombia to Chile and Argentina, but Peru straddles one of the most scenic and remote sections of this majestic mountain chain in South America. Here, you can see the flight of the condors, meet the indigenous shepherds tending to their llama herds on the high plateaus, explore Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, and see the famous Inca terraces – a remnant of a long-gone world carved into the mountain faces of the Andes.
From the stunning Old Towns of Lima, Arequipa, and Cuzco to the small Andean villages in the backcountry, Peru is where the colonial and the indigenous cultures are still mixing and coexisting in one vibrant melting pot. On our Peru motorcycle tour, you’ll ride through regions where the native Quechua is still spoken alongside Spanish, visit ruins predating the Inca Empire, admire the world-famous Machu Picchu, and explore the mysterious lines of Nazca left by a culture that has vanished thousands of years ago.
In Peru, the cuisine varies as much as the climate and the altitude. In the lowlands and the coastal towns near the Pacific Ocean, ceviche is king: a dish of freshly caught seafood and fish marinated in lime juice is often likened to sushi (if you ask us, ceviche is much better), whereas in the Andes, you can sample local delicacies such as alpaca steak or roasted guinea pig. In the Amazon basin, expect delicious, steamed river fish wrapped in banana leaves, and for the truly adventurous, the locals will show you how to snack on termites and beetle larvae (we’re told they taste like almonds!).
When in Lima and Cuzco, you’ll see no shortage of urban culture complete with fibre optics WiFi, Starbucks, and trendy craft beer pubs. The minute you leave the cities, however, you’ll travel across a vast, untamed country of the Andes Mountains, see herds of wild llamas, feast your eyes on landscapes unspoiled by towns or cell towers, and experience a true sense of adventure traversing one of South America’s most beautiful and rugged countries on your motorcycle.