Peru is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise with trails winding through an array of land formations, rivers, jungles and climates. If you are seeking a vacation far from the norm and have a hankering for history and culture with a dash of adventure thrown in, then the hiking treks of Peru are perfect for you.
Most trails will offer a spectacular close-up view of the soaring Andes Mountains, and there are a variety of hiking trails which cater to all, from novices to skilled trekkers.
Before embarking on any trek, make sure you have the best hiking gear you can afford. For example, you’ll need to organize hiking boots (remember to wear them in before you go), backpacks, tents and consider clothing options tailored for women and men, such as compression tights for women or trunks for men.
Once you have your gear ready, take your pick from these top five hiking trails in Peru.
The Greatest Hiking Treks in Peru
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Retrace the ancient trails made by the Incas, on one of the most popular treks in the world. The challenging Inca Trail lives up to its hype and you are guaranteed to have a grand time exploring ancient tunnels, settlements and Inca ruins.
You can take four or five days to follow the trail as it passes through incredible Andean scenery before descending into the Amazon Jungle. To enjoy this wonder of the Andes, make sure you book your permit early enough. Machu Picchu is your reward at the end.
Read More: Hiking the Inca Trail With Claudia Tavani
Santa Cruz Trek
If you’re looking for an experience far from the Inca Trail, this is the trek for you. Catch a flight or take an eight to ten-hour bus ride from Lima to the town of Huaraz to begin one of the best alpine treks in the world.
If you’re feeling ambitious, choose the 11-day Huayhuash Circuit to get splendid views of the white Peruvian Peaks. The best time to go on this trek is from April to September, when the weather is at its best. If looking for sleeping bag recommendations see more here.
Read More: Hiking the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru
This 3-day trek starts outside Cusco, to the east of Machu Picchu and will take you close to some of the Andean farmlands and indigenous Quechua people.
It winds though the illustrious town of Ollantaytambo and you can make your way through the Lares Valley on a path that reaches 15,583ft (4,750m), which is higher than the Inca Trail. Keep an eye out for condors and alpacas on this trail. If looking for recommendations on hiking backpack check more tips here.
Read More: Peru’s Lares Trek: Head For the Clouds
This trail is famous for magnificent flora and fauna. Starting at Sacred Valley and topping out at 13,779ft, it takes you along ancient footpaths where you can delight in the glorious views of one of the most spectacular peaks in Peru.
The Salkantay trek is quite demanding and requires you to be in good physical condition.
Read More: What to Expect on the Salkantay Trek in Peru
This is the ultimate trek if you are an altitude junkie with a love of history. It will take you through archaeological structures and ruins that have only been partially excavated. This is a demanding trek that can take four to five days to hike, winding though the Willkapampa mountain range and ending at Aguas Calientes.
Next time you are stumped for a holiday destination, why not dust off your hiking boots and book the next flight to Peru? With the fantastic treks described above, you won’t be disappointed.
Read More: Hiking the Choquequirao Trek Peru
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