The best Treks and Trails in Peru
Peru has quickly become a country known to outdoor enthusiasts and backpackers as one of the best places for adventure trekking in the world.
In Peru, you can find everything from unique and diverse natural beauty to mysterious archaeological sites and interesting local culture. Read on to learn about our selection of the best hiking and trekking trails in Peru and how to visit them.
Our list of the 7 best treks in Peru:
7. Vilcabamba Trail
One of the most challenging Treks and Trails in Peru on this list, the Vilcabamba Trail takes you through the Amazon jungle to the site of Espiritu Pampa, believed to be the legendary last Inca stronghold of Vilcabamba.
In Peru you will have this hike that is out of the ordinary – only a few hundred visitors reach the site each year – so only try it if you have a great sense of adventure.
6. Santa Cruz and Laguna 69
This hike is located in the Cordillera Blanca, near the city of Huaraz, in northern Peru, the Santa Cruz trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Peru. You will see native Andean wildlife in its natural habitat and an incredibly beautiful alpine landscape, including the famous Laguna 69.
Located only 10 hours from Lima by bus, it is accessible and remote at the same time, and well worth the detour north of the capital. Go to the Laguna 69 Treks page to book a tour or for more information.
5. The Impressive Colca Canyon
More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, the famous Colca Canyon is the second deepest in the world and a must-see for many visitors to Peru.
This beautiful hike will reward you with magnificent waterfalls, colorful flowers, majestic birds, and interesting pre-Inca ruins as you descend into the depths of the canyon.
4. Ausangate Trek
This 7 day trek (there are also more variations according to the number of days you can visit) will take you on a hike around Ausangate Mountain in the heart of the Andes.
Treks and Trails in Peru
You will ascend from the lowest valleys to a maximum altitude of 5,200 meters, passing magnificent glaciers, lakes, and mountain views along the way.
While it is true that this hike is considered somewhat difficult due to the altitude and remoteness of the area, the whole trek is impressive and well worth the effort required.
3. Choquequirao Trek
If you plan to visit Peru, you will most often visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, but not many people take the time to visit Machu Picchu’s “little sister”, called Choquequirao.
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The Inca city of Choquequirao is very similar to Machu Picchu, with beautiful stone buildings hidden deep in the Andes with the jungle at their feet.
The difference is that the hike to Choquequirao takes three to four days to reach, so you are much less likely to encounter other tourists.
2. Huayhuash Circuit
The Huayhuash Circuit, once considered a dangerous route due to dangerous trails and Shining Path guerrilla activity in the region, is becoming increasingly popular with hikers with the installation of better infrastructure and security measures by the Peruvian government in recent years.
This route is ideal for travelers: it is well known enough to be safe, but not well known enough to be overrun by tourists; you are likely to see only one or two groups of hikers on the entire trip.
1. Salkantay Hike
Of all the Treks and Trails in Peru leading to the world-famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the Salkantay hike is the most challenging and the most beautiful.
Located in the same region as the more popular Inca Trail, you hike an ancient trail through both subtropical jungle and high-altitude mountains (including Salkantay, the highest peak in the region).
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Along the way, you will pass incredibly diverse wildlife and some lesser-known Inca ruins, finally arriving at the incomparable Machu Picchu after several days.
See Salkantay Trek options for a list of quality tour providers.
This concludes our list of the best hiking and trekking routes in Peru. If you have a favorite that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments below. happy trekking! To see the best way to get to all these treks and to get around Peru safely, check out our guide to getting around Peru.