One of the days while in Cusco was spent quad biking in Sacred Valley, and it was a very exhilarating adventure!
“I am the type of person that doesn’t bike nor drive. I am terrified of roller coasters. I once failed a quad biking test drive in Cambodia, but here I am in Peru, have managed to drive for 5 hrs. with slopes up and down, wrong turns and forgetting to step on the break. I’m blessed to survive without a scratch.”Cindy Wong
From Cusco, we drove 40 minutes to Chinchero – a very scenic drive. Here, we were met by Juan who gave us a quick driving lesson in preparation for the 55-kilometer route.
The first visit was the Moray Ruins (UNESCO), an Inca ruin of circular terraces standing at 3,500 m so we found it already hard to breathe as we walked to the site. It is believed that the Incas used this for their crops. They are continuously restoring the site as damages are inevitable because of the area’s climate. Walking back to the parking lot, the majestic snow-capped mountains have emerged from the clouds.
After a continuous driving of 8 kilometers going through small villages and farms, we have reached the Salt Mines of Maras. But first, lunch! We were starving and cold. We found Inkasal which is probably the best restaurant in the area where we get to try Peruvian soup. I ordered chicken with coriander and carrots which I managed to finish even if I am not a fan of coriander. That’s how hungry I was. At least, I had ice cream for dessert that washed the herb taste right away.
Maras has been known for its salt which they export to the rest of the country. It also helps the economy by attracting tourists in the area.
The cloud finally cleared up as we drove out of the salt pans passing through the villages once again. Our guide pointed out the first church in Sacred Valley. It looked beautiful with the blue sky and clouds’ shadows reflecting in the mountain in the backdrop.
It had been drizzling in the morning and noon. The afternoon got into a very dreamy state. The sky was almost like a painting, that I dared to slow down and took more photos. But we were running out of time, the usual tour finished at 4 pm. We finished at around 5:30 pm – perhaps because we drove too slow.
I can’t promise that I will ever do quad biking again. It was fun, but men, I was exhausted in the end! The operator Peru Moto Tours also offered shorter programs but this is the only routing which includes visiting the ruins and the salt pans. For a shorter and leisurely fun ride, they also offer 4-hour programs.
It was challenging because I kept on forgetting the breaks! My motor skills are the level of a “below beginner”, so yeah, never let me drive. Still, it made me feel like a total kick-ass, people were taking the bus or private cars here, and here I am, using a quad bike. The advantage of using a quad bike is that you will be able to access small villages in the middle of the valley which is not usually accessible to the public and bigger transportation, and its surroundings were serene – one of a kind! It made my trip to Peru unforgettable.
Originally published on the travel blog 23 Nov 2015