Peru is famed for Machu Picchu, vibrant cultural festivities, and its delicious cuisine. If biking is not on your to-do list, it should be!
This edition of #SensePeru puts biking in Peru in the limelight. Our team at Peru for Less looked at local biking culture, caught up with industry professionals, and did our homework to find you exciting riding routes.
Peru is paving the way to safer streets for bikers.
In 2010, the government issued new country-wide policy to improve biking conditions and promote cycling as a means of sustainable transportation.
Here are the highlights of Law 29593.
+ Local government encourages the use of bicycles at all levels, provide safe road conditions for public transport, and report on annual implementation of the law.
+ The State promotes the building of infrastructure to facilitate the use bikes as as alternative means of transport.
+ Public and private establishments and educational institutions promote bicycle use.
Read more about Peru’s Law 29593.
Hola! I’m Mr. Bici and I enjoy long cruises on the beach.
As a bike, I’m no stranger to the paved roads of Lima. One of my favorite routes begins in the heart of Miraflores at Parque Kennedy and continues along the oceanview promenade called the Malecon.
I’ve described the various points of interest along the ride in the vertical timeline below.
VILLENA BRIDGE spans a deep ravine along Lima’s coast. The “Intihuatana” statue created by Fernando de Szyszlo is on one side of the bridge, and Parque Amor on the other. Down below the Rosa Nautica restaurant is built on a pier the stems from the pebble-filled beach circuit of Lima.
The centerpiece of PARQUE DEL AMOR is a large sculpture by the celebrated Peruvian artist Victor Delfin. Titled “El Beso,” it depicts two lovers sharing a kiss. A long, low wall encircles the small park and is adorned with brightly colored tiles representing hearts, flowers, and birds.
PARAGLIDERS congregate on this patch of grass along the Malecon when the weather conditions in Lima are just right. Professional paragliders take flight from the slopes of this park area, using the thermal drifts that come in from the Pacific to loft their winged parachutes over the cliff’s edge and above the high-rises that border the coast.
PARQUE DE LOS NINOS is a great place to go, especially if you are with young kids. There is a low fence enclosed playset as well as a larger play area featuring a boat.
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BUENAVISTA CAFE boasts epic ocean views and outdoor seating. If you’re hungry, lock up your bike at the entrance and enjoy a cup of coffee with sandwich, empanada, or salad to eat. Check out the Buena Vista Cafe Facebook page for daily hours. The cafe is closed on Monday.
Welcome to the SKATE & BIKE PARK! The dirt track at this park is dedicated to BMX, or bicycle motocross. Skaters of all expertise levels practice their moves on the concrete ramps, slopes, and bowl. There are public restrooms next to the park.
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Known around Lima as NAZCA PARK, Parque Maria Reiche has spacious plots of grass and unique checkered walkways. The park bears the name of the German mathematician, Dr. Maria Reiche, who dedicated her life to the study of the enigmatic Nazca Lines. Some of the iconic lines have been recreated at the park using rows of flowers to outline each shape.
Last weekend our web content designer, Clement, joined Lima Bici for their Urban Tour. Clem hails from Belgium and moved to Lima a few months ago. Biking is his main source of transport and he welcomed the opportunity to explore new bike-friendly territory of this sprawling city.
The bike adventure began in Miraflores at the Lima Bici office on Avenida Jose Larco. Pro bike leader Giordano made introductions with the group - two Irish ladies and Clem - and shared a “how to ride safe in Lima” briefing with everyone. With helmets securely fastened, they pedaled to the first tour stop at 10am.
This bustling local market is jam packed with new sights, sounds, and smells.
“The guide shows and explains the different veggies we saw and in what specific Peruvian dish you can find them,” says Clem.“At the end of the market visit we drank a fresh fruit juice. Sitting with the locals and enjoying this beverage makes you feel closer to Peru and its rich culture.”
Next, Giordano lead the group along bike lanes, or ciclovias, and less busy streets to in the center of San Isidro.
Bosque El Olivar is a historic olive grove spread out over 87,000 square meters and filled with more than 1,700 olive trees. The first trees were shipped from Seville, planted during the mid-15th century, and have fruitfully multiplied over the subsequent centuries. Thus, El Olivar represents not just a valuable green space where families spend free time, but also a veritable national treasure that evoke Lima’s earliest history.
The archaeological site Huaca Pucllana is among the oldest in Lima. Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, it served as an important ceremonial and administrative center of the ancient Lima Culture.
Everyone locked up their bikes and spent an hour exploring Huaca Pucllana on foot. A guide showed them around the site’s central pyramid and the complex of adobe walls. The onsite museum displays objects found during excavation as well as model recreations of what life might have been like for the Lima Culture.
The tour concludes at Buena Vista Cafe in Miraflores.
“Your LimaBici guide will treat everyone on the tour to an afternoon cup of coffee,” says Clem. “It was a great way to end the three-hour bike tour, and the ocean view from the cafe wasn’t bad either!”
Attention surfers in Peru! Improve your commute to the beach with this make-it-yourself bike surf rack. This DIY Surfboard Bike Rack - Surf Sufficient video is presented by KorduroyTV.
Lima’s San Isidro district offers regular workshops to help you repair your own bike. Check out the San Isidro Municipalidad website for updated information about upcoming bike workshops and activities.
Explore a verdant region of the Sacred Valley and visit the sites of Maras and Moray, famed for their Incan engineering and ingenuity. Following a pick-up from your Cusco hotel, a private transfer will take you through beautiful mountain scenery to the small town of Cruzpata where the mountain bike route begins.
Here’s where the tough but rewarding journey begins - first, your guide will direct your group on bike to the mysterious circular terraces of Moray, where you’ll appreciate the still well-preserved unique landscape architecture and learn how the Incas likely used the site for agricultural research. The tour continues onwards to the ancient Maras Salt Mines constructed along a steep mountain side. Still active today, you’ll get a firsthand look as to how the mines are maintained by the local community.
When you need an escape from the urban jungle that is Lima but can’t squeeze in a mini-break to the Andes, just 30km south of the city lies the incredible archaeological site of Pachacamac. Often referred to as the Machu Picchu of the pre-Colombian coastal civilizations, Pachacamac once served as a hub of culture, pilgrimage and trade for many ancient civilizations of Peru, including the Incas of course.
Following a transfer from your hotel to the starting point, your guide will take you across the arid coastal terrain of the valley to the remarkable structures, including the well-preserved Temple of the Sun that overlooks the Pacific Ocean as well as several other uncovered pyramids. Other key sites include a grave site and an original multicolored fresco of fish. Tours can be organized throughout the year for 3 levels - basic (15-20 km), intermediate (25-40 km), and expert (25-35+ km), depending on your experience and physical condition.