Punta Olimpica East Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

11.2
FIETS
11.9 mi
DISTANCE
3,961 ft
GAINED
6.3 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Every bit as epic as it's counterpart, Punta Olimpica (which we rate as the second most epic climb in the world)

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Roadway & Traffic:
This is a well maintained national park road and the surface is excellent. Traffic is mainly tourists driving around the park and very light.

Parking:
There's a small rural town where you can park at the start of the climb, and a scenic overlook at the lake at the finish (probably the better place to park).  We used a SAG who drove along with us and didn't have to park (which we recommend). 
Gear:
As you can assume from the altitude, these climbs can get very, very cold at the top. When riding this high in the mountains, rain and snow storms can formulate and appear at a moments notice. Make sure you bring sufficient cold gear and an emergency rain jacket, even if it's warm and sunny when you start!

Provisions:
This climb is unsupported.  You pass dozens of streams, which we drank out of as the water is 'probably' safe... pure, Andean glacier water! 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
We stayed in Huaraz, a 90 minute drive away from the start of the climb. We highly recommend where we stayed at La Casa de Zarela, an excellent bed and breakfast with great food and extremely warm and friendly hosts.

If doing this climb again, we'd probably choose to stay in Carhuaz right at the start of Punta Olimpica, so we could easily combine the two routes.  This is a very hard climb to get to, but will be without a doubt the highlight of your Peruvian cycling trip should you make the journey.

Unfortunately, all of the climbs in central Peru will require a good amount of driving to get to, regardless of where you're staying.

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ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - panoramic view shows the roadway snaking up the mountainside, bright green glacial lake on right of picture below snow-capped mountain peaks

Cycling Punta Olimpica East

Ride 19 kilometers gaining 1,207 meters at 6.3% to 4,736 meters (15,538’). 

This beautiful bike climb begins in the tiny village of Huallin, Peru (population ~250).  The final kilometers of the climb are up to extremely high altitude, towards and past stunning snow-capped mountains, a glacier, three glacially formed lakes, and through a great set of hairpins.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage, extremely tall and thin waterfall down mountainside, goats grazing on side of mountain, one PJAMM Cyclist gives another a helpful push on the back

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclists on first set of hairpins

First set of upper hairpins from kilometer 9.9 to 10.1 at 5.3%.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclists riding past a glacier above Laguna Yanarraju

Glacier just above Laguna Yanarraju, as seen at kilometer 10.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, aerial views show hairpins snaking up the mountainside, bright blue glacial lake 

17 upper hairpins begin a kilometer 11.6 - you’ll ride 7.3 km at 6%.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - aerial view of bright blue glacial lake, Laguna Huallcococha

Laguna Huallcococha.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage shows multiple views of glacially formed lakes, Beluande and Cancaraga; bright blue lakes with the roadway leading up and past them

We ride between glacially formed lakes Belaunde (right) and Cancaraga (left) at km 18.5.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage shows views of the upper hairpins on the climb; PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Riding the upper hairpins.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage, views along upper portion of climb, including views of tree-filled valleys, snow capped mountains

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - photo collage shows Laguna Belaunde, a bright blue glacially formed lake, alongside the sharp hairpin in the road that leads up to it

Laguna Belaunde

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - a mountain dwelling black and white cow with small horns and a red tag in its ear poses for the camera in front of stunning snow covered rock formations

This is an open range ride.

Cycling Punta Olimpica East, Peru - climb finish at the Punta Olimpica Tunnel

Finish at the tunnel.

Do not attempt to ride through this tunnel -- it is long, narrow and dark.

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