Ayacucho has a variety of mountain biking routes in the area, mapped out by Peruvian mountain bike champion George Scoffield and available from Warpa Picchu Eco-Aventura (Portal Independencia 65, Plaza de Armas, tel. 066/31-5191, verbist [at] terra [dot] com [dot] pe). There are also river float opportunities on the Río Pampa, although you need your own gear, as well as treks to waterfalls near Cangallo, a village reached by a branch highway on the Wilcashuamán route.
Tour Agencies and Guides
The best agency in Ayacucho is Warpa Picchu Eco-Aventura (Portal Independencia 65, Plaza de Armas, tel. 066/31-5191, verbist [at] terra [dot] com [dot] pe, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat.). Belgian owner Pierre Verbist conducts tours in French, English, and Dutch, and partner Carlos Altamirano is probably Ayacucho’s most knowledgeable guide; he speaks Spanish and Quechua and has a good knowledge of English.
For a group of two, the agency charges US$10 pp for a city tour, US$15 for Huari and Quinua, US$30 for Huari and Quinua plus a Huanta hike, US$33 for the waterfalls around Cangallo, and US$34 for Wilcashuamán. Verbist has also mapped out a series of interesting walks and mountain-biking routes in the area. His new pet project is four-wheel drive adventures in the surrounding hillsides.
Another recommended agency is Perla Tours (Tres Máscaras 200, tel. 066/31-4066, juan_perlacios [at] hotmail [dot] com,). Led by Professor Juan Perlacios, these Spanish-only tours are very well informed and visit the major tourist destinations, like Huari, Quinua, and Wilcashuamán. Juan is the author of the recent book Huamanga: Tierra de Halcones, a complete history of the Ayacucho area.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition