One of the best ways to experience all that Peru has to offer is through trekking. The country offers a variety of trekking routes that vary in difficulty and duration, from day hikes to multi-day expeditions. The country’s diverse landscapes offer trekkers a unique opportunity to explore ancient ruins, snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and vast deserts. In this blog, we will introduce you to seven of the most popular trekking routes in Peru.
Peru is one of the world’s most popular destinations for adventure travel and trekking. Its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts who want to experience the beauty of the Andes Mountains and the ancient sites of the Inca Society. One of the highlights of trekking in Peru is the opportunity to discover remote Andean villages and connect with the local communities. Trekkers will often stay in basic lodges or camp along the route, and meals are usually cooked by local chefs using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Peru’s trekking routes vary in difficulty, from the challenging Ausangate Trek to the more accessible Lares Trek. Most treks require a certain level of fitness and acclimatization to the high altitude, so it is important to take your time and acclimate properly to avoid altitude sickness.
The Inca Trail in Peru is one of the most famous and iconic trekking routes in the world. It is a 4-day trek that leads to the historic ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The trail itself follows the ancient Incan road system that was built over 500 years ago, and it is a testament to the impressive engineering skills of the Inca civilization.
The trail starts at an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) in the Sacred Valley, and winds its way up through mountain passes, lush cloud forests, and Inca sites, before descending to the final destination of Machu Picchu at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,972 feet).
The trek is challenging, with steep climbs and descents, but the stunning scenery along the way makes it all worthwhile. Trekkers will pass through a variety of ecosystems, from high-altitude grasslands to humid rainforests, and will encounter a range of flora and fauna, including orchids, hummingbirds, and, if lucky, even the elusive spectacled bear.
The Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge. It is a truly unforgettable adventure for anyone who loves trekking and history.
The Salkantay Trek is another popular trekking route that offers a challenging and rewarding experience. This trek takes you through the stunning Salkantay Mountain range, which is one of the highest and most impressive in Peru. The trek is named after the Salkantay Mountain, which stands at 6,271 meters (20,574 feet) of elevation.
The trek starts in the town of Mollepata, and takes you through a variety of landscapes, from high-altitude mountain passes to lush cloud forests. Along the way, you will encounter a range of flora and fauna, including Andean condors and llamas.
One of the highlights of the Salkantay Trek is the stunning scenery, which includes snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and deep valleys. The trek takes you over the Salkantay Pass, which is the highest point of the trek at an elevation of 4,600 meters (15,092 feet). From here, you will have breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The trek also offers the opportunity to connect with the local communities and learn about their culture and way of life. You will stay in basic lodges or camp along the way, and meals will be prepared by local chefs using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
The Salkantay Trek is a challenging trek that requires a certain level of fitness and acclimatization to the high altitude. However, it is a truly unforgettable experience that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge.
This challenging trek takes you around the impressive Ausangate Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the country, standing at an elevation of 6,384 meters (20,945 feet). The trek is named after this mountain and is considered one of the most challenging and rewarding treks in Cusco.
The trek starts in the town of Tinqui, and takes you through a variety of landscapes, from high-altitude mountain passes to hot springs and turquoise lakes. Along the way, you will encounter a range of flora and fauna, including llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas.
One of the highlights of the Ausangate Trek is the stunning scenery, which includes snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and colorful hillsides. The trek takes you over several high-altitude passes, including the Palomani Pass, which stands at an elevation of 5,200 meters (17,060 feet). From here, you will have breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The trek also offers the opportunity to connect with the local communities and learn about their culture and way of life. The Ausangate Trek is a challenging trek that requires a high level of fitness and acclimatization to the high altitude. However, it is a truly unforgettable experience that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge. It is a great option for those who are looking for a less crowded alternative to the more popular Inca Trail.
The Choquequirao Trek is a multi-day hiking adventure in Peru that takes travelers through remote and rugged terrain to explore the ancient Incan site of Choquequirao. This trek is often considered a more challenging and less-crowded alternative to the famous Inca Trail, offering a more authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience.
The trek typically takes between 4-5 days to complete, covering a distance of around 60 kilometers (37 miles) round trip. The trail is often steep, rocky, and requires a good level of physical fitness and endurance. Along the way, hikers will pass through stunning Andean landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and winding rivers.
At Choquequirao, hikers will have the opportunity to explore the impressive Incan Sites, which are believed to have been constructed in the late 15th century. The place features terraced fields, ceremonial platforms, and a series of impressive stone structures, including a temple and palace. Overall, the Choquequirao Trek is an unforgettable adventure that offers a unique glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of Peru.
The Huayhuash Trek is a challenging multi-day hiking route located in the Peruvian Andes, renowned for its stunning mountain scenery and high-altitude terrain. The trek is named after the Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range, which is located in the region of Ancash in northern Peru.
The Huayhuash Trek covers a distance of approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) and takes around 10-12 days to complete, depending on the specific itinerary and hiking pace. The route is characterized by high mountain passes, glaciers, alpine lakes, and panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, including the iconic Siula Grande, made famous by the book and movie “Touching the Void.”
This popular destination is for experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who are seeking a true wilderness adventure in one of the most spectacular natural settings in South America. It is recommended to hire a professional guide or join a guided tour, as the terrain can be challenging and the weather conditions can be unpredictable.
The Lares Trek is considered to be moderately challenging, with altitudes reaching up to 4,800 meters (15,750 feet). However, it is not as difficult as some of the other treks in the region, making it a great option for those who want to experience the Andean culture and scenery, without the intense physical demands of some of the other treks.
The Lares Trek is a popular alternative to the Inca Trail for those who want to experience the Andean culture and scenery, while avoiding the crowds. It is a 3-4 day trek that starts in the small village of Lares. During this trek, visitors hike through stunning Andean landscapes, including snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and traditional Quechua communities. Along the way, hikers have the opportunity to learn about the local culture and way of life, as they pass through small villages and interact with the friendly locals.
One of the highlights of the Lares Trek is a visit to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where visitors can see the local weaving cooperatives and even purchase handmade textiles. The trek also includes a visit to the Ollantaytambo site, one of the last remaining Inca towns, before taking a train to Machu Picchu.
The trek is generally considered to be moderately challenging, with some steep ascents and descents. However, it is also suitable for hikers of all levels of experience, as long as they are in good physical condition. It is recommended to acclimatize to the high altitude before embarking on the trek, as some parts of the trail reach heights of over 4,900 meters (16,000 feet).
The Colca Canyon Trek is a popular hiking trail located in the Arequipa region. It is named after the Colca River, which flows through the canyon, and is considered one of the deepest canyons in the world, with a depth of approximately 3,400 meters (11,150 feet).
The trek usually takes two to three days, and covers a distance of approximately 36 kilometers (22 miles), starting from the town of Chivay and ending at the oasis town of Sangalle. The trail passes through beautiful Andean landscapes, including rugged mountains, terraced hillsides, and remote villages. Hikers will have the opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna, including llamas, alpacas, and condors.
Peru is a trekker’s paradise, with some of the most stunning and challenging trekking routes in the world. Whether you’re looking to hike to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail, explore the lesser-known sites of Choquequirao, or trek around the towering Ausangate mountain, Peru has something to offer every type of trekker. So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the land of the Incas.