Cordillera Blanca to the Carretera Central – Peru’s Great Divide

Conococha – Cajatambo – Oyon – Parquin – Chungar – Marcapomacocha – Casapalca


This fantastic route is an excellent choice for getting from the Cordillera Blanca to the Carretera Central (the main road from Lima to the mountains) on quiet unpaved roads.  The route passes through villages, so it’s never necessary to carry more than a couple of days of food. There is also plenty of water, so you don’t need to carry much of that either, but watch out not to take it from downstream of a mine.

There is almost no traffic on this entire route, apart from a few trucks near Alpamarca and the traffic madness of the Carretera Central.

As with all routes in the Peruvian Andes, we can’t stress highly enough how important it is to go light – there are many high passes to cross and many thousands of metres to climb. Here is a list of kit we took for the ride – around 15kg each.

Check out our blog post for this route on our Pikes on Bikes site, and for a slightly damper version of events, here are Cass and Kurt’s impressions of the route – they were a fortnight behind us.

Total Km Altitude (m) Description
0 4110 Junction in Conococha where paved road leads off to Chiquian. Take the paved road towards Lima.
2.3 4100 Go L onto dirt road. Signed Ocros.
6.6 4230 Junction and pass (Yantahuain). Go L to Ticllos (R is for Ocros).
16.4 4150 Junction. Go straight. L goes to Roca.
26.7 3700 Ticllos. Village with shops.
36.9 3400 Corpanqui. Village with shops.
42.4 3190 Ignore junctions off L to Llaclla. There’s no way from Llaclla to Oyon by road – the old road along the valley floor has been destroyed.
46.3 3080 Junction by Carhuajara (village below road). Go R/up.
51.4 3380 Village.
55.8 3570 Junction by Cajamarquilla. L goes to this village – go R on a track that is briefly unmotorable.
56.6 3620 Go R on motorable road.
63.3 3740 Junction. Go L to Rajan. R is for Ocros.
67.6 3640 Rajan. Village with shops and possible to find accommodation. Huayhuash views.
74.6 3090 Llipa Viejo. No facilities.
80.1 2780 Llipa. Village with shops, possible accommodation. Get water – there’s none except in the main river until at least an hour’s climbing from Cañon.
98.7 1630 Cross bridge over main river.
106.8 1390 Cross bridge over Cajatambo river.
107.1 1390 L on ‘main’ road to Cajatambo.
115.5 1750 Water from side waterfall (if running).
117.5 1800 Tumac. 2 houses, and a very basic shop. Also a junction – L goes to Mangas. Go R.
125.4 2240 Baños Termales de Uñoc. Food, and maybe camping possible.
130.3 2480 Junction – go straight for Cajatambo. Palpas is R.
134.9 2690 Yocchi. Village with shops.
155.5 3450 High point before small descent to Cajatambo.
159.8 3400 Cajatambo. Accommodation, restaurants, shops. No internet or ATM. Start climbing again on road to Oyon.
168.5 3880 Junction – go R for Oyon.
170 3960 Junction – go R for Oyon. L goes to Huayllapa on the Huayhuash Circuit. Stick to main track to the pass.
185.3 4540 Paso Pacomayo.
191.6 4360 Cross bridge at low point.
193 4380 Go L at junction in Pacomayo (R is a far better road, but this leads to Gorgor, not Oyon). Pacomayo is just a few houses, no facilities.
196.4 4450 Junction – go L to Mina Chanca and Oyon. R is to Mallay. Pass Karina’s bodega (basic shop, sometimes open) before the mine.
198.7 4540 Junction by Mina Chanca. Go L, then immediately R at fork.
203.8 4850 Punta Chanca.
217.1 3960 Meet other road on a hairpin. Go R. (L goes north, to the east of the Cordillera Huayhuash – ask locals about the current security situation in that area if you are considering going that way.)
221.8 3650 Hit larger road in a village. Go R to Oyon. L is to Raura.
225.7 3540 Junction. L to Oyon. R is for Lima.
228.5 3630 Oyon, Plaza de Armas. Shops, accommodation, restaurants, internet. ATM didn’t work when we were there. Leave town on road to Cerro de Pasco.
230.2 3640 L on paving which soon ends.
233.1 3640 R – signed Mina Iscaycruz – leaving the main road for a mine road to Rapaz. Mine traffic.
236.7 3870 Stay R (L to mine). No longer any mine traffic after here.
238.5 4020 Straight.
244.1 4420 Straight (L is a shortcut).
245.6 4490 Straight (shortcut rejoins).
245.9 4520 Junction. We went L and the distances to km261.2 reflect this. See comments below though – it now appears you have to go R, signed ‘Rapaz’, over a 4990m pass, and join the description again at km261.2 below.
247.5 4490 Cross bridge.
252.8 4870 High point. Slight descent.
256.9 4940 Abra Rapaz.
261.2 4640 L. Signed Rapaz.
271.3 4020 Jn in Rapaz (shops). Go straight. R goes to the plaza, with a nice old church. Possible to buy nice woven goods – ask around. Also the largest quipu in Peru is apparently here.
280.9 3320 Entrance to the canyon.
282.6 3260 Huancahuasi/Picoy baths. Possible amping.
283.6 3230 Huancahuasi. Shop, accommodation, restaurants.
287.1 3000 Picoy. Go L to Parquin. Going R descends to the Oyon – Huacho (on the coast) road.
294.9 3550 Parquin (well stocked shops). Stay straight – R goes to Jucul.
305.5 4440 First water since Parquin.
307.4 4460 L at junction, just after crossing river.
313 4860 Punta Chucopampa.
321.5 4360 R at jn.
329.6 3710 L on main road to Cerro de Pasco over Abra Antajirca. R goes to Vichaycocha (a few km away downhill).
346.9 4560 R, off main road. Signed Minas de Chungar.
352.6 4760 Abra Mio.
359.1 4460 Chungar. A few houses by the Lago Chungar.
359.3 4450 Go L, under the dam.
364.4 4650 R.
366.6 4760 L.
368 4820 Punta Fierro Cruz.
368.2 Straight/R.
372.2 4640 L.
373.4 4660 Straight.
373.7 4660 R. Follow water channel after a while. Flat!
379.9 4640 R on main Abra La Viuda-Huayllay road (L goes to Bosque de Piedras 43km away, apparently).
382.4 4710 High point and junction. Go straight. L to Chalet/Mina Alpamarca.
384.4 4670 L. R goes to Mina Alpamarca.
389.2 4560 Go L, to Canta. R is to Mina Santander.
390.9 4560 R.
394.9 4710 Abra Alpamarca.
395.8 4680 L to Yantac. R is main route to Canta and Abra la Viuda.
397.2 4560 L.
398.2 4570 Straight.
399.6 4520 R.
405.3 4650 Yantac. Hat statue, shops, restaurant.
407.5 4640 Straight.
410.8 4550 L.
419.8 4440 Marcapomacocha. Accommodation, restaurants, shops.
425.4 4280 Straight, for Casapalca. L goes to Corpacancha. (If you’re headed to La Oroya and want to avoid the Carretera Central, see route update below.)
430.6 4300 Straight. L goes to Sungrar.
433.2 4340 L/Straight. R to Obelisco which marks some battle.
443.2 4710 Go straight. R is for Milloc and Huanza.
447 4880 Abra Antacassa.
459.6 4340 R on the Carretera Central. L goes to La Oroya. Be very careful – the traffic is heavy, the road narrow, and the driving appalling.
462.9 4200 Casapalca. A hole, which has accommodation, shops, restaurants.
472.9 3700 Chicla. There is a hotel before the village, by the main road (but no accommodation in the village). Shops and restaurants in the village.

Details
Distance (of which paved) 473km (16km)
Time taken 8 days
Amount climbed 11,200m
Traffic Very little, except for the few kms on the Carretera Central which is very busy.
Best time to cycle May – September
When we cycled Early October 2013.
Difficulty 4
How much we had to push on this route Not at all

[map maptype=satellit gpx=”http://andesbybike.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Conococha%20-%20Carretera%20Central.gpx” style=”width:610px; height:610px; border:1px solid gray;”]

Huaraz-Rio Blanco

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19 Responses to “Cordillera Blanca to the Carretera Central – Peru’s Great Divide”

  1. Robin & Daina 07/08/2014 at 18:17 # Reply

    We had to get back to the main Huanuco-la Oroya road (3N), which could certainly be done via Casapalca and on along the Carretera Central to la Oroya….but then there\’s lots of traffic.

    The long stretch on the Carretera Central can be avoided by taking the rather flat, but rewarding and unpaved backroad to La Oroya (JU910 on the MTC Junin map). It leads via the villages of Corpacancha and Malpaso to the Puente Antahuaro near Paccha, on the 3N. From there it\’s only 10 paved kilometers of mild traffic to la Oroya.

    To get to it take the first left along the lake at the fork on leaving Marcapomacocha towards Casapalca (just before the last building, which seems to be thermal bath and laundry facility). About 50m later the road forks again – go right (short climb). From there it\’s one road (about 70km) all the way to the 3N. In terms of food, there\’s a small shop in Corpacancha, as well as a shop selling their (the whole village is a factory) cheese and yoghurt.

    Hope this might help some people stay off the Carretera Central. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Robin & Daina

  2. Marion and Virgile 13/08/2014 at 16:01 # Reply

    Hi everybody,
    at kms 252.8 at the hight point just before Rapaz pass there is now a big mine with lots of mine trafic almost until the top. You have to be careful with the trucks !

    • Marion and Virgile 13/08/2014 at 16:06 # Reply

      also at km 382.4 at the” high point and junction. Go straight. L to Chalet/Mina Alpamarca.” there is know since 3 month a small restaurant where you can eat a menu del dia for 5 soles and a very basic shop (galletas, soda and sweets !)

      enjoy the ride !
      Marion and Virgile (France)

  3. Alberto and Lucy 16/09/2014 at 22:30 # Reply

    Hi All,

    We´ve just completed this amazing route and have a few updates to the facilities en route:

    – 26.7 km at Ticllos there´s at least one hospedaje (ask in town), and some pre-incan archeological ruins still to be uncovered (also ask the locals, great views from there of the Huayhuash Cordillera). Also an small tienda preparing food in advance.
    – 80.1 km at Llipa there´s a tienda on the main street that prepares food in advance
    – 117.5 km at Tumac the tienda was closed in the middle of the day, we wouldn´t rely on it
    – 134.9 km at Yocchi there is public toilets and a cold shower available for free
    – 159.8 km at Cajatambo there is now at least two (very slow) internet cabins plus the hospedaje Huayhuash in the main plaza has wifi in the afternoon/evening only
    – 228.5 km at Oyón there´s an small bike/motorbike shop selling basic stuff (like 26inch tubes and patches) just across from the grifo near the football stadium

    Many thanks for the amazing route and also to Marion and Virgil for the info about the Gimena´s bodega at km 382.4

    Enjoy

    Alberto y Lucy

    PS Some other junctions not in the route notes: (dists are approx):
    – 152km straight
    – 201.6km, 4670m junction straight, ignore road L/up
    – 326km, 3970m left at T junction
    – 387km, 4610m go R
    – 404.2km, 4645m straight (L)

  4. Alvaro, the biciclown 07/10/2014 at 19:11 # Reply

    Hi guys. Wonderful to write and give some tips about this route. Great job by the way.
    In my website there is the story of my ride. It took me 14 days and I did it late in September. My bicycle was 60 kgs weight, that explains the long ride. http://www.biciclown.com/index.php?mmod=diari&file=details&iN=490
    So, here is my advice:
    – Baños Uñoc, dirty and not apealling for use them. It costs 4 soles.
    – Baños Picoy, are only 3 soles. I found a good place to sleep there.
    -Vichaycocha. If you go down to the village for food, you do not need to come back (uphill) to get back to the road and climb Abra Mio. Just keep going down after Vichaycocha and you will see a turn and a bridge (yellow cover and very new) that goes to the left uphill). Follow that (steep) road. The first 4 kms are 400 m uphill. Then is not that bad. You will have the river on your left side, and climbing after 6 kms you will reach a Electrical company. Keep going and you will reach the same lake that you will see coming down from Abra Mio. Is not that you save a big climb, but the advantage is that you get food in Vichaycocha.
    -Marcapomacocha, ask for Doña Rosita, nice cook

    I had a terrible experience climbing Paso Chucopampa because the mud on top is very, very sticky. If it is raining it will block your wheels´s bike.

    Enjoy the challenge and Thanks Pikes on bikes for this route.

    Alvaro the biciclown, 10 years on a (single) World Tour. 136.233 kms

    • Neil 08/10/2014 at 08:18 # Reply

      Impressed you did it with so much weight! I still think encomiendas is the way to go…
      Cheers for the update about Vichaycocha – I did wonder where that road from the lake went, so now I know.
      Yeah, we found Paso Chucopampa tough too because of the mud – were pretty tired at the top!

  5. Lee Vilinsky 11/11/2014 at 22:31 # Reply

    First off, I’d like to say that this route (and Part 2, from Chicla to Huancavelica) made Peru for me. I have never cycled anything so physically and visually rewarding. It has been the number one highlight of my trip from Canada down South. It has made me one with my bike. It has made me one with the universe.

    If you’re looking strictly for my experience of it, here is the link to my blog:

    https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=Sh&page_id=389360&v=GI

    I rode this route with good friend Thomas van Luijn in September of 2014. We had great weather the whole time. We kept meaning to write a collaborative comment here together but never found the time. Maybe some day he will give his take on it…

    I was riding a Surly LHT with 26 x 2.25″ Marathon XRs, and I thought it was sufficient. HOWEVER…that’s not to say front suspension wouldn’t help. Thomas had a standard mountain bike and was able to descend every pass much faster than I could.

    Take the Pikes’ advice about going lightweight seriously. They stress it. I stress it. Every other comment here stresses it. This route is no joke.

    So, random bits and things, roughly in order going N to S…

    -Ticllos has a Molto Grosso church with very friendly people. They offered us our own room and fed us the whole time we were there. (Note: I didn’t ask if I can advertise this, so don’t EXPECT this treatment…but I’ve heard of many other cyclists getting similar treatment through other blogs)

    -Corpanqui DOES have internet in the municipal building…but it wasn’t working when we were there.

    -We asked in Carjuahara about the road to Llaclla continuing on. As of Sept 2014, the bridge is still down.

    -Thomas avoided the climb to Rajan by taking a donkey trail that cuts straight across the valley from Cajamarquilla to Llipa. I remember him saying he’d recommend a proper mountain bike and decent single-track skills if you were to do this.

    -In Yocchi, there are free bathrooms (with cold shower) across the street from one of the bigger tiendas in town, owned by a very friendly lady who made us lunch

    -Cajatambo now has an internet cafe. “Hostal Huayhuash” on the main square also has wifi.

    -In Rapaz, we had some villagers come up to us and demand to take our passports and information, claiming “gringos malos” had visited the area. We tried to explain we were just passing through. Thomas was a bit rebellious and they weren’t too happy. Not sure if anyone else had this experience in Rapaz.

    -On the main road to Huayllay, we went left toward Abra Antajirca and the Bosque de Piedras. The Bosque was fantastic and is only 1 sol entry. “Hiking Path Number 3” is more or less possible as a hike and bike. Watch out for thorns if you do bike it! (Note…at Abra Antajirca, there is a sign saying the Bosque de Piedras is 37 km…but it was really 27 km). This avoids Abra Mio and the Minas de Chungar. You pass the junction you would have taken at the 379.9km marker on the Pikes’ notes.

    -In Chicla, the hotel has wifi, though I couldn’t get it to work.

    -A general comment about food. There were “restaurants” in nearly every village…the trick is finding the old lady who will prepare you something. Ask around, and you can usually either have what the locals have (usually a soup and then a main with potatoes and some meat) or someone can prepare you rice and eggs for cheap. Most shops had some kind of fruit of veg. We were never stuck eating biscuits, cookies, or crackers for more than a few hours.

    Again, thank you Pikes for the incredible, memorable route.

  6. paul g 23/11/2014 at 23:00 # Reply

    Nice one Pikes, classic route, mid-Nov probably was a bit late to try it though…

    We took a different route for the first part, crossing through Huayhuash via hiking trails and dirt roads, before then dropping into the Divide at Oyon. A tough but rewarding few days, although probably only recommended for the lightweight crowd/masochists. Full info and GPX here: http://theridesouth.com/2014/11/08/back-in-the-thick-of-it/

    Cheers

    Paul

  7. Bike2reality (Ricard and Alba) 19/06/2015 at 16:04 # Reply

    Thanks a lot for sharing these amazing routes! We already cycled some of your routes in Argentina and Chile, which were also great, as Pircas Negras, San Francisco, Paso Sico… (always from South to North)
    We enjoyed very much this section. Hard but rewarding. We did it on the opposite way. We had good weather except for some hail storms in the late afternoons. We cycled it a week ago.
    We would like to add a few notes:
    – Marcapomacocha: 2 hospedajes, Hotel turístico was closed, nobody around and Hospedaje comunal, very basic, in the square (8 soles per person)
    – Bodega Gimena, now the menu is 7 soles. They offered us to stay there on the floor, but it was too early for us
    – We didn’t cycle Abra Rapaz. We went through the other pass. It is very nice although you see all the mines destruction. Same kms than Abra Rapaz.
    – Rajan, nice and new hospedaje in Municipalidad (ask for Bailón) with nice Huayhuash views. 10 soles per person

    If you feel like checking our website (in Catalan though) and Tripline:
    http://www.bike2reality.wordpress.com

    Ricard and Alba

  8. Laurent & Elise 18/07/2015 at 04:05 # Reply

    HI everybody,

    We rode this route in June 2015.

    Just an update:
    Just after km 252,8, there is now a fence with a sign which says that access is forbidden (the mine extended its area). Like we didn’t want to come back down, we just opened the fence (it wasn’t locked) and went forward. The mine security caught us and escorted us until the end of the mine area (which is km 261,2). Fortunately they didn’t ask us to leave the mine by the same way we came.

    If you are unlucky (for exemple if the fence is locked or if the security ask you to come back by where you came), you will need to come back until km 245,9 and take at you left).

    So, if you want to be sure to not climb for nothing, I really advise you to take the right at km 245,9 (there is a sign at this intersectio which says that Rapaz is right but no sign which says that it’s close at the top on the left).

    After talking with the mine security, it seems this fence was set up 6 months ago (beginning of 2015).

    Many thanks for this great route.

    Laurent & Elise

  9. Fatcycling 04/08/2015 at 19:00 # Reply

    Hey Pikes!

    Thanks for the fantastic information on a lovely route. I don’t have many updates to share but have a recommendation for anyone looking for an extra bit of fun! We rode over pastoruri and from there you can do a nice bikepack through Huayuash, either via Huallanca or Yamac. You can merge off the Huayuash Circuit at the aguas termales and ride a beautiful pass which brings you out into Oyon. From there you can carry on the divide route!

    For anyone interested, here is the blog. Not very informative about route direction etc but get in touch if you want any info!

    https://fatcycling.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/constant-awe-huaraz-to-oyon/

    Thanks again for the great information, sharing is caring!

    Fatcycling

  10. Julia and Hannes 16/09/2015 at 00:52 # Reply

    Oyon to Rapaz, go right at junction, we also ended up on the felt in front of the fence. Talked to the minepeople and they took us trough on a pick up. not sure if they re keen on doing it more often…

    Encomienda only possible from Huaraz to Cusco , all the villages just have service to Lima

    Thanks for the great route!

    • Julia 02/10/2015 at 15:32 # Reply

      Casapalca has an ATM on the “plaza” which is below the road. there are stairs going down. From the Plaza goes a paved road back downhill to the carretera central. Going that way you’ll also save 1 or 2 km of the cc.

  11. Danny and Tamara 09/10/2015 at 17:24 # Reply

    We followed Dan´s route for the first part (see fatcycling´s comment above), enjoying some of the Huayhuash circuit before linking up with this route in Oyon. Our blog post has some information about following that route as well as some really beautiful alternates that stick to roads, i.e. no trails, no pushing or carrying. See ¨Route notes¨ at the bottom of this post: http://bikesandbackpacks.blogspot.com/2015/09/bike-trekking-huayhuash-september-5th.html

    The post after that one details our experience on this amazing route. Some notes:

    – Picoy, km 287, has accommodation, a one-room hospedaje. We also found the shop to be decently well-stocked (for a tiny rural town).

    – Parquin, km 295, had no bread in the whole town. Apparently it is made in the afternoon, so if you´re passing through in the morning and stocking up for a few days, like we were, plan accordingly. There are always crackers.

    – In Marcapomacocha, km 420, the Hotel de la Turista is open (someone mentioned that it was closed). It´s the huge ugly green building just outside of town, the last photo in the Pikes´ collage. The reception is very unresponsive, but ask around a bunch and you´ll find someone.

    Thank you, Pikes, for pioneering this route!
    Danny and Tam

  12. Antonie 01/12/2015 at 00:47 # Reply

    Followed this route in early October 2015 from Huaraz to Huayllay. Some notes:

    Km 125.4 the lady running the tienda will prepare you a meal if you arrive around lunchtime.
    Km 159.8 Cajatambo has several internetcafes, but they only start up their business after darkness.
    Km 228.5 Oyon. Hostal Los Andes had the fastest WiFi I encountered in all of Peru for only 15 soles. Also the bicycle shop only had Schraeder in stock when I was there.
    Km 245.9 the official height of the pass is 4961 meter.
    Km 313: read Biciclown’s comment. That mud is no joke!
    Km 329.6: Vichaycocha has accommodation, a basic one near the river and apparently also a ‘proper’ one on the plaza, 50-100 meter higher. I was told there is also an internetcafe and restaurants on the plaza, but I cannot confirm this, since that plaza is up a steep hill.

    I ride a ‘normal’ biketouring setup, with 20-25 kg of luggage, and honestly, I did not find this route particularly difficult for a fullyloaded cyclist. The only challenging climb is Chucopampa, every other climb never exceeds 5% gradients for more than a couple of kilometers. I think every fullyloaded cyclist who took the mountainous route through Northern Peru or rode Cusco-Ayacucho should be able to ride this stretch without problems.
    I understand Part 2 is a lot more challenging than Part 1, but for what concerns Part 1, there is IMO no reason why anyone would have to resort to ‘encomienda practices’.

  13. Renato Perim 22/09/2016 at 02:18 # Reply

    Thank you Pikes for the great, remarkable route! I am from Brazil and I just this route in September 2015. I was solo.

    I only had 2 weeks, so first I stayed 2 days in Huaraz to acclimated. I think this period was enough, at least for me.
    About security, I can say that countryside of Peru is safe. People in general are really kind, some of them just gave me (good) food and shelter without charging anything. Smiles are everywhere.

    However, I was not well prepared for the weather. Above 4.000 is even colder than I imagined and the nigths reached -7º Celsius. So, if you wish to do wild camp, its good to care about a good sleeping bag and a nice tend. In my case, after some nights frozen the option was to find the hospedages in the villages, what, somedays, forced me to ride a bit more or less than I wanted.

    I can tell this is a hard path to do, because the hard climbs. Not only Chucopampa (wich is really the worse), but also the others Paso’s. I reached some of them really tired.

    The landscape is gorgeous. Simply amazing! I have cycled in Alps, Norway, Brazil, but I had never seen nothing so Splendid as the Andes Mountain. I really recommend it.

    I made it in 08 days, but as I dont wanted to ride in Carreteira, I finished at Marcapomacocha, where I took a bus to Lima. In fact, from Marcapom to Lima I had to take 04 minibus and the trip lasted about 08 hours. I regret not to have done it by bike, at least as far as the Carreteira, it would be faster and the path is really beatifull.

    Some informations, I think are relevant:

    – In Ticllos I had good food for free in the church. They are really nice and offered me hospedage (but it was early)
    – In km 51.4, nice spot to camp. The small village (only 04 people) has a really kind people, specially Maximos.
    – Read the comment from Laurent & Elise, about the fence in km 252. When I was there, the fence was locked, I passed by and the mine’s guard ask me to go back. I said no (because it was a really hard climb to get there) and after a long time of conversation (I was almost begging at the end) he allowed me to continue. Inside the mine there are 2 options, to pass by a tunnel or to follow the old road (GPS trail). I did the last, the road is a bit modified in some parts, but, after an hour in the mine trying to find my way, I could get ready of it. So, I recommend not to follow to the mine and take rigth at km 245. I heard the way is longer but its Worth it.
    – Oyon is the largest city of the way (not expect a big city, about 10 thousand people maybe). In there, thats a transportation to Lima and I sent some stuffes I was not using and I picked it in there (for 5 soles only – 03 kgs of clothes, etc).
    – In Oyon I had a problem whit the panniers support (it broke) and Edi, the manager of the “Mineiro Hotel” was able to fix it. He has some knowledge in bikes mechanics too.
    – Karina Bodega, km 196, was closed. I had free hospedage in the Mina Chanca, just in front of it (no bed, only the room).
    – Its a good option to spend a night in Parquin (km 294) before climb to Chucopampa (km 313). The climb to Parquin from Picoy is not steep, but the 18 kms from Parquin to Chucopampa are hard.
    – In Vichaycocha, the main square is 50/100 m above the rest of the village and I do not recommend to go there. There are hospedage in the lowest part, close to the river.
    – From Vichaycocha to Yantac is the longest distance without food and hospedage, 70 km. Also, there are a lot of lakes on the way and good spots to camp.
    – The big (and ugly) hotel in Marcapomacocha is still open. But there is no front desk clerk. So you have to ride to the village and ask people where are the person with the Keys, etc. I stayed there, but I do not recommend, because the walls are made of glass and the room is really cold. There are hospedages in the village, less expensive and warmer.

    If anyone wants further information, feel free to contact me in fcb ore mail renato@perimfrizon.com.br

    Again, thank you the PIKES for the amazing route!

    Renato Perim

  14. renato 28/09/2016 at 00:28 # Reply

    Thank you Pikes for the great, remarkable route! I am from Brazil and I just this route in September 2016. I was solo.
    I only had 2 weeks, so first I stayed 2 days in Huaraz to acclimated. I think this period was enough, at least for me.

    About security, I can say that countryside of Peru is safe. People in general are really kind, some of them just gave me (good) food and shelter without charging anything. Smiles are everywhere. However, I was not well prepared for the weather. Above 4.000 is even colder than I imagined and the nigths reached -7º Celsius. So, if you wish to do wild camp, its good to care about a good sleeping bag and a nice tend. In my case, after some nights frozen the option was to find the hospedages in the villages, what, somedays, forced me to ride a bit more or less than I wanted.

    I can tell this is a hard path to do, because the hard climbs. Not only Chucopampa (wich is really the worse), but also the others Paso’s. I reached some of them really tired.

    The landscape is gorgeous. Simply amazing! I have cycled in Alps, Norway, Brazil, but I had never seen nothing so Splendid as the Andes Mountain. I really recommend it.

    I made it in 08 days, but as I didnt want to ride in Carreteira, I finished at Marcapomacocha, where I took a bus to Lima. In fact, from Marcapom to Lima I had to take 04 minibus and the trip lasted about 08 hours. I regret not to have done it by bike, at least as far as the Carreteira, it would be faster and the path is really beatifull.

    Some informations, I think are relevant:

    – In Ticllos I had good food for free in the church. They are really nice and offered me hospedage (but it was early)
    – In km 51.4, nice spot to camp. The small village (only 04 people) has a really kind people, specially Maximos.
    – Read the comment from Laurent & Elise, about the fence in km 252. When I was there, the fence was locked, I passed by and the mine’s guard ask me to go back. I said no (because it was a really hard climb to get there) and after a long time of conversation (I was almost begging at the end) he allowed me to continue. Inside the mine there are 2 options, to pass by a tunnel or to follow the old road (GPS trail). I did the last, the road is a bit modified in some parts, but, after an hour in the mine trying to find my way, I could get ready of it. So, I recommend not to follow to the mine and take rigth at km 245. I heard the way is longer but its Worth it.
    – Oyon is the largest city of the way (not expect a big city, about 10 thousand people maybe). In there, thats a transportation to Lima and I sent some stuffes I was not using and I picked it in there (for 5 soles only – 03 kgs of clothes, etc).
    – In Oyon I had a problem whit the panniers support (it broke) and Edi, the manager of the “Mineiro Hotel” was able to fix it. He has some knowledge in bikes mechanics too.
    – Karina Bodega, km 196, was closed. I had free hospedage in the Mina Chanca, just in front of it (no bed, only the room).
    – Its a good option to spend a night in Parquin (km 294) before climb to Chucopampa (km 313). The climb to Parquin from Picoy is not steep, but the 18 kms from Parquin to Chucopampa are hard.
    – In Vichaycocha, the main square is 50/100 m above the rest of the village and I do not recommend to go there. There are hospedage in the lowest part, close to the river.
    – From Vichaycocha to Yantac is the longest distance without food and hospedage, 70 km. Also, there are a lot of lakes on the way and good spots to camp.
    – The big (and ugly) hotel in Marcapomacocha is still open. But there is no front desk clerk. So you have to ride to the village and ask people where are the person with the Keys, etc. I stayed there, but I do not recommend, because the walls are made of glass and the room is really cold. There are hospedages in the village, less expensive and warmer.

    If anyone wants further information, feel free to contact me in fcb ore mail renato@perimfrizon.com.br

    Again, thank you the PIKES for the amazing route!

    Renato Perim

  15. Rafa & Eneida 09/10/2016 at 12:46 # Reply

    Thank you Pikes for sharing this amazing route and the precise information!

    We would like to confirm the turn right at 245.9 km. The signs on the road are also confusing so we turned left and found the closed fence of the mine at 256.9 km. There was nobody there so we were forced to descend and went back to the junction.

  16. Retief Joubert 11/03/2017 at 12:36 # Reply

    A couple of months ago I finished riding just over 2000km’s of the Peru Divide and 1200km’s of the following trails in Bolivia. This was part of my 25000km continuous tour down the spine on the Americas, i.e. the Rockies and Andes. I started out doing the iconic Great Divide Mountain Bike trail from Banff, Canada down to the Mexican border and then kept going south. In short, I know a thing or two about riding in the mountains.

    I simply cannot praise the efforts of the Pikes enough. These trails made my entire trip. The Great Divide was somewhat disappointing as I believe it delivered short of the hype. Still a great section, but it has NOTHING on the Peru Divide.

    Whilst on the trail I had to wonder about some of the comments on here, the emphasis of where to find wifi, or a plate of rice.

    A turn missed on the narrative.

    Fair enough, practically useful and technically correct, but there was so little mention about the serenity and awe that compresses your inflated sense of self into the inconsequential speck of fleeting dust that it is, the jaw dropping views, unimaginable variety, the guaranteed euphoria. They omitted the fact that within these trials lies the pure essence, the undiluted elixir of what mountain touring is all about. I had almost lost hope. I’d cycled 20000km and 10 months and it eluded me. And it was on these trails that I could crest a pass, traverse a lake, race alongside a raging turquoise river and exalt “THIS IS IT!!”

    So for the love of all things represented by touring, get out there, and get on with it. You’ll thank me later. And whatever you do, don’t have the nerve, the callousness of coming on here afterwards and leaving a comment along the lines of “nice trail pikes”. Or something as banal as the weight of your bike. Because that is sacrilege.

    Retief

    PS mine was 35kg’s dry.

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