One of the most scenic areas in Peru, the Callejón de Huaylas, in the department of Ancash, features many breath-taking and tough biking trails amongst its canyons and mountain ranges. Most circuits climb up to high altitude (3,500 meters) before dropping down steep slopes.
One of the most popular mountain biking routes in Huaraz runs from the Llanganuco Lakes (3,800 meters) to the town of Yungay. Another links the high mountain pass of Punta Olímpica (4,800 meters) with the town of Carhuaz. Both routes vary from Class A-B, and are best cycled from May to October.
Cyclists who are willing to practice mountain biking in Huaraz should take along plenty of warm clothing and spare bicycle parts, and should take precautions regarding high altitude sickness known locally as soroche.
When practicing mountain biking in Peru you should follow these recommendations:
- Always use a helmet, goggles, elbowpads, kneepads and gloves.
- Cyclists are advised to set out in groups with a minimum of three people. Bring water or rehydrating beverages.
- Equipment should include one or two inner tubes (due to frequent flat tires) and a set of tools.
- When choosing the route, bear in mind physical fitness, and do not overexert cyclists in the group.
- Remember that mountain biking, like all sports, should provide recreation and not injuries.
- On the coast: Visitors should bring plenty of water and sunscreen
In the highlands: Sunscreen is recommended, plus warm clothing. High altitude sickness known locally as soroche can set in at over 2,500 masl. Take precautions by resting the first day, drink plenty of liquids and avoid heavy food and alcohol.
- In the jungle: Never travel without insect repellent, a raincoat and sunscreen. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended to ward off insect bites. A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. There are also vaccinations for malaria, tetanus and Hepatitis A and B, as well as local treatment for leishmaniasis (uta) and malaria.
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