Our experience was one of the most memorable of my life and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique adventure. The opportunity to ride through a remote region of the Andes, a place seldom travelled by other cyclists, still exists. There aren't too many places you can ride a bike to 16,000 feet!
" Julio Olaza makes the Andes a must for any mountain biker who is passionate about their sport . Infinite miles of trails , the widest range of challenges - descents that go for hours, all in the heart of the most beautiful mountain range in the world . "
The area around Huaraz is packed with al kinds of tracks. Some are easy to bike, some are very steep. For a visitor it´s hard to decide where to go because the choices are many. Julio Olaza, mountainbike expert in Huaraz, knows exactly where you can go. He offers good advice and knows the area by heart. So...check him out".
Pieter Geluk (From Holland)
An adventure not to be missed, no where in the world can one mountain bike amongst 20,000 foot mountains and feel if you could almost touch their summits. The bicycling in the Cordillera Blanca is fantastic, a challenge for every ability. Julio was a fantastic guide and made sure that every member of the trip was able to ride at a level that was comfortable for them. Peru, a country full of color, history and wonderful people.
Worldchampion Ecochallenge 1998
My ride with Julio in the Cordillera Negra was a great way to end my adventure in Peru. Beautiful vistas of Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca, plenty of opportunity to challenge myself on the bike, or to just take it easy. Julio's kind and enthusiastic company was certainly a highpoint of my travels in Peru.
Thanks a lot for being an absolutely fantastic mountain bike guide and friend. Ron and I, who are both very well traveled, had our 4 best days of mountain biking ever! We enjoyed every little bit form the 1200m climbs on the narrow gravel roads, the fast technical single track downhills through the villages, the intense single track riding just below the glaziers and the night we spent at Lazy Dog Inn (3700m) with you Diana & Wayne. Everything that we did with you was worlds beyond our expectations. We get to ride top of the line Specialized dual suspension bikes. We get a responsible, but incredibly humorous guide that that speaks perfect English from his wild days enjoying Greatful Dead in California. We get a guide that absolutely trashed us up the hills despite us both being sub 11 hour Ironmen and among the best adventure racers in Texas. And as there are no maps, how in the world could we have found the tracks/roads that you showed us. It would have been impossible to do without a guide with your level of knowledge of the area. We are coming back next year for sure!
Arild Jakobsen - USA
I have been visiting Julio twice and each time has been a great experience. Biking in the Negra and the Blanca are probably the best way to experience what mountainbiking should be. Riding wheel to wheel with Julio, a great man with a great sense of humor, is one of those things you should do before you die. The tracks are fantastic; tons of miles with excellent downhill, through remote villages where you can experience the everydaylife of the people living there, and all the time you have great panoramic view to the big mountains in the Cordillera Blanca.
So, what can I say? Chakinani Peru is the best!
Kjetil Oedegardstuen, Norway
"During our fantastic three-day mountain bike tour of Huascaran National Park, Julio and Robin helped us to navigate the myriad of switchbacks and burro paths. The scenery was more splendid each day. On our third day, we began at a high mountain pass with a stunning panorama of ancient, snow-capped mountains surrounding us. We had an exhilarating descent down a road lined with exuberant magenta and violet lupine bushes, which perfectly framed the twin Llanganuco Lakes far below. Later in the day, we exited the park and had a fun, somewhat more technical ride on a deactivated road through farmland. Dusty and hot at the end of the road, we eagerly piled into the awaiting van, and headed off to sample some of the area's best ice-cream, available in a rainbow of fresh fruit flavours. I couldn't have dreamt up a better holiday!"
Dr. Louise Allaye-Chan
General Physician - Canada
"Julio provided a great off-the-beaten-track view of the Huaraz area for my wife and I. The tour was the highlight of our trip in South America. We cycled through farms and saw people who were working the land. Julio and his staff are flexible. They were able to accommodate people who wanted to go hard and hit the single-track or just take it easy and enjoy the sights. Julio is a good cook and provided nutritious snacks along the way."
As we crossed the Punta Olympica pass any doubts that this trip might be easy vanished from our minds. Riding in the UK doesn't prepare you for riding at 5,000 meters and even completing the Swiss mountain bike race the 'Grand Raid' a month previous didnt prepare us. The tour of Huascaran is mountain biking in the truest sense. Starting at 2,500 metres in the heat of the valley you feel you are on holiday. The first day's riding up to the camp below the highest 'road' pass in Peru is spectacular. You pass through several communities and eventually emerge into the Ulta valley above. The ride might be only 40km or so but being steadily up hill all day, you feel like you deserve the fantastic meal served by Julio's support crew. The second day starts with a 25km hill climb up to the top of the pass above the snow line. The support vehicle is on hand but we were determined to make it under our own steam. The shouts of encouragement from the team were appreciated though, as was the chocolate! A long downhill run took us down the eastern side of the Andes and small villages rarely seen by the western traveller. The hospitality is amazing. An 'easy' day and then we were headed up again towards the second pass. On day 4 we started to climb, thinking it might be easier now that we were more acclimatised. Easier, yes but no less spectacular. overnight at Yanama and we began to climb again heading for a high camp just below the second pass at 4,850m. You spend the night among the high peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and wake to fantastic views all around. Nowhere is the gradient steep but the climbs are long and we felt it at the end of the day. The cook made sure we ate well enough, producing some amazing food at high altitude. Julio is a good host and a fantastic guide and his support guys are great. He is a true adventurer and will make sure you will find what you are looking for from a mountain bike trip. This trip is not for lightweights nor is it beyond anyone who enjoys a challenge. We had two acclimatisation days where julio showed us some fantastic singletrack around Huaraz. The riding is equal to the best in the world and you will not be disappointed. On the main tour the riding is not technical but the altitude and hill climbs will challenge you whatever your ability and the views are out of this world. DO THIS TOUR !
Sarah and Derek Fuller (UK)