Peru:Motorcycle the Incas (Santa Teresa to Machu Picchu)

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016
Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

Just don’t look down! *looks down*

Motorcycle the Incas

Day 2: Santa Teresa to Machu Picchu

For a small settlement, Santa Teresa is one hell of a noisy town. Screaming kids and barking dogs, the train-crossing bell ringing constantly and what seemed like people everywhere-way too many people for the number of dwellings that appeared to make up this bustling village-all just running amok. Peruvians definitely love a good fiesta!

santa teresa, Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

The crazy town of Santa Teresa

Surrounded by mountains that appear to stretch into the heavens, the Santa Teresa route is somewhat of a “back entrance” to Machu Picchu. Popular with motorcyclists and backpackers alike because of the incredible scenery and challenging roads that meander through the mountains and at every turn one false move could lead you down into the abyss, probably never to return. With these sheer drop-offs into ravines, rivers and dense jungle, it’s a ride of a lifetime and if you visit Peru without getting your ass on a motorcycle, you are definitely missing out on a real adventure.

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

The ride from Santa Teresa to Hydrolectrica is totally worth it.

Unfortunately, there are no roads into Machu Picchu, so you have to lock your bike up at either Santa Teresa or at the Hidroelectrica plant, just before the train station and then hike about two hours along the train tracks until you reach the town called Aguas Calientes, which sits at the bottom of the Machu Picchu ruins. (It’s way better than catching a train from Cusco with all those fat and gluttonous touristy-types)

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

Be prepared for a lot of dust and insane traffic-they generally WILL NOT stop for you!

I loaded up my motorcycle and took off into the crisp morning air and hit the dusty and twisty, perilous roads en-route to the Hydrolectrica station. Buses and taxis tore through the mountain passes, a suicidal game of chicken (where I was the chicken) that left me more often than not, pushed nearly to the edge into the ravine or covered in a thick layer of Peruvian dust. Usually a combination of both. The drivers here are just totally insane.

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

Montana Picchu can be seen in the distance…

Parking my bike at a small sentry point just before the Hydroelectric, I gathered up my pack and hiked off into the wilderness. The sound of the roaring river and wildlife set amongst the dizzying peaks and jungle, are an amazing spectacle to behold as you take the 2 hour trek into Agua Calientes. It’s definitely a must if you’re keen for an adventure. You will meet many like-minded souls along the way and there was a steady stream of people who were heading in both directions, locals and tourists alike.

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

When you see this place, stop and ask for directions! (where to leave your bike etc)

There is also a train that runs on these tracks apparently, and its expensive or totally booked so no one seems to bother with it. Along the way you will find a few locals selling refreshments and there are two restaurants along the way as well. It’s a very relaxing and fun way to arrive into Agua Calientes.

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

Sometimes ya just gotta suck it up and walk.

Passing exhausted backpackers and skinny-dipping hippies, I finally made it into town. It’s easy to see why this place was hidden from the outside world for so long, it’s just so incredibly inaccessible. Huge mountains all around keep this little place all snug away from the freezing winds and there is the constant sound of the rushing Urumbamba river, that soothes the senses and adds a wonderful ambience to this place.

It's an absolutely fantastic two hour hike through awesome scenery.

It’s an absolutely fantastic two-hour hike through some awesome scenery.

By now I was exhausted, dirty, covered in insect bites and starving so I headed for my hotel and then went out for pizza and beer Everything is expensive here, it’s just the cost of getting everything transported here I guess, plus the added ‘gringo tax’ that exists everywhere in the Americas.

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

The bustling town that is ‘Agua Calientes’

There are many shops, restaurants and bars and you will find good company quite easily in this bustling small hub of a town. I ate, got myself drunk and then fell asleep, dreaming of the crazy mountain adventure that I was to have at Machu Picchu, the next day.

Dags

  • Kilometres travelled- 25 900
  • Flat tyres- 13 and a 1/2
  • Incarcerations- 0
  • Q) Are backpackers smelly? A) Yes. Now I know why.
Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys, agua calientes

Agua Calientes

Step One- Santa Teresa to Hidrolectrica train station

Peru, inca, ruins, machu picchu, motorcycle peru, cusco, mountains, hiking, adventure, wanderlust, dagsvstheworld, rtw, travel, sacred valley, dirtbike, adventurebike, incan ruins, mountains, twistys

Step Two- Hidrolectica to Agua Calientes

Get to the Hidrolectrica train station and follow the tracks all the way to Agua Clients!

Get to the Hidrolectrica train station and follow the tracks all the way to Agua Calientes!

…..And check here for all your waypoints!!

5 Comments

  1. Stuart
    August 14, 2016

    Hey Dags. Great write up and thanks for the google maps. Really handy for me one day if I make it that far.
    Question… How do you navigate??? Google maps? Navman? Paper map?

    I’ve been following your progress for a few weeks now and am really enjoying your journey.

    Keep it up man!

    Reply
    • dags
      August 14, 2016

      Howdy Stuart!
      Thanks for following the trip mate! I have been using my iPhone 5C(about 3 years old) with a downloadable app called “Pocket Earth”(costs about $5). I downloaded the whole world maps and it has regular updates as well. So far, after a year of travel it has been pretty good! I have paper maps when I can get hold of them, but generally I have just been using my iPhone in a tough waterproof motorcycle attachment case charged with a USB charger wired to the battery. I take this off and put it on all my bikes. Very handy. I bought my phone motorcycle case of EBAY and also my USB charger too. On my next trip I shall be looking to buy a Garmin model to save wrecking my phone(i have gone through two!) I think they have a decent model for around $200 bucks which should do me just fine. A lot of information I also get from http://www.horizonsunlimited.com a great motorcycle site.
      Once again, thanks for following the trip! Next stop- Chile!
      dags

      Reply
      • Stuart
        August 15, 2016

        Thanks Dags,
        Just downloaded Pocket Maps and it is awesome!
        Thanks for the tip.

        Stu

        Reply
  2. Ainsleigh
    September 28, 2016

    Hey Dags,

    Fantastic detailed write up, exactly what we need. We are at Puerto Maldonado with our next stop being Cusco/Macchu Picchu.
    Where are you now?

    Reply
  3. Ainsleigh
    September 28, 2016

    I should have mentioned my husband and I are also travelling around on Motorbikes. Have you heard of the apps Maps.me and iOverlander? Maps.me we use as our navigation.

    Cheers,
    Ainsleigh and Ben
    The Two Teners

    Reply

Leave a Reply