Best Treks & Hikes in Peru

By shortinca
March 8, 2023

Peru, it’s a country filled with history, culture, and some really amazing treks, a nation with abundant natural diversity, from coast, to mountains, to jungle and has long attracted lovers of the great outdoors. The Peruvian Andes are the backbone of the country, running down its center and contain mesmerizing variations in landscape that make for some of the best treks in the world. Cloud forests, mountain ranges, the world’s third deepest canyon and the striking remains of ancient civilizations all await you.

Some Peru treks Highlights

  • Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, 43km, one of the best hikes in the world according to many blogs.
  • Arequipa (Colca Canyon), hike one of the deepest canyon in the world and watch the magnificent Andean condors take flight.
  • Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu, hike on the most picturesque and diverse treks in Peru.
  • Santa Cruz trek in Huaraz, enjoy an impressive trek through the Cordillera Blanca, home to the highest peaks in Peru.
  • Choquequirao trek, tackle this arduous yet rewarding trek to the hidden gem that is the massive archeological site of Choquequirao.
  • Rainbow Mountain, a natural marvel that was only discovered in 2015 with its vibrant colors. This day hike takes you to breath stealing heights of 5,200 meters (17,060 ft), in the Vilcanota Mountain Range.
  • Ausengate trek. Every year, pilgrims follow this path in search of divinity and to give thanks to the great Apus of the mountains for giving them life. A spiritual journey that offers uninterrupted beauty and solitude.
  • Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is an off the beaten trek that takes you to most secluded villages in the Andes mountains of Peru. You get to interact with the locals whilst surrounded by stunning views of glacial peaks and lakes.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 or 5 days

The 4-day/ 5-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes you on a 43km / 26.7 miles moderate to difficult hike through the Andes mountains to the foot of the Amazon Jungle. The most prized and highest peak of the trek is Dead Women´s Peak at (4200m/ 13779ft).

The Classic Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is in the top 10 most popular hikes in the word. Its popularity is world renowned and is on people´s bucket lists across the world. Because its such a coveted trek, hiking permits sell-out months in advance and about 500 people embark on this trail every single day. The government only allows 500 people to start the trek each day in order to preserve the trail. This number includes porters, guides and cooks.

You get to walk in the footsteps of the Inca as you discover astonishing ecological diversity and a wealth of archeological treasures. The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary covers 32,952 acres and is home to a network of Inca trails, scores of archeological sites, 10 ecological zones (from glacial peaks to tropical forests), over 450 species of birds and 200 species of orchids, as well as the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu!

More detailed information here!

Rainbow Mountain 1 day in Cusco

Rainbow Mountain is the best tourist attraction to visit in Peru after Machu Picchu. This natural phenomenon stands at a breath stealing 5,200 meters (17,060 ft), in the Vilcanota Mountain Range. This must-see destination only grabbed the world´s attention in 2015. It was discovered when snow melted off the mountain and revealed the vibrant and stunning colors of gold, lavender and red that lay beneath. This natural beauty was formed by weathering conditions and the minerals found in the soil. Its dynamic colors create this marble effect that glows in the sun and a sharp contrast when its laden with snow.

One of the main Apus Mountains of Southern Peru that´s believed to hold spiritual divinity. Join a hike that many pilgrims embark on to give thanks to the spirits within the mountains. This trail begins in Llacto at 4,638m/ 15,216ft and climbs to soaring heights of 5,200 meters (16, 732 ft) above sea level. Trekkers are very likely to suffer from altitude sickness at these extreme heights. So, its imperative to acclimate properly. Best places to acclimate is Cusco city or the Sacred Valley, maybe spending 2 or 3 days. Along the way you can interact with the indigenous Andean people that live here. Also, enjoy the stunning views of the massive snow-covered Ausangate Mountain that accompanies you throughout the trail.

This is a must-do trek, especially during the dry season months of April to October.

Find out the detailed itinerary here!

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days

Of all the treks leading up to the world-famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is the most challenging and the most beautiful. You’ll take an ancient footpath through both subtropical jungle and high-altitude mountains (including the trek’s namesake of Salkantay, the highest peak of the region). On the way, you’ll pass through the famous Humantay Lake, varied ecosystems, diverse wildlife and some lesser-known Inca ruins, ultimately arriving at the incomparable Machu Picchu after a few days of trekking. This is the ultimate trek for nature lovers, looking for a taste of adventure.

Check out the Salkantay Trek options here!

Santa Cruz & Laguna 69 in Huaraz

Located in the Cordillera Blanca range near the city of Huaraz in northern Peru, the Santa Cruz trek is one of the most beautiful mountain treks in Peru. You’ll see native Andean wildlife in its natural habitat and incredibly beautiful alpine scenery, including the famous Laguna 69. Located just 10 hours from Lima by bus, it’s both accessible and remote at the same time. Well worth the detour north from the capital.

Peru Treks

Colca Canyon trek in Arequipa.

More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the famous Colca Canyon is the second deepest in the world and a must-see for many visitors to Peru. This strenuous trek will reward you with gorgeous waterfalls, colorful flowers, majestic birds, and interesting pre-Inca ruins as you descend deep into the canyon. The canyon is home to the largest bird of prey in the world, with it´s wingspan averaging an astronomical 329cm(10ft 8in).

Colca Hot Springs
Peru Treks

See all our tour in Arequipa here!

Ausangate Trek in Cusco

The classic Ausangate route is a beast of a trek, with many miles to cover, at very high altitudes. Besides the challenge and the thrill of an epic hike, you can look forward to some of the most stunning landscapes on this side of the Americas. Every year, pilgrims follow this path in search of divinity and to gave thanks to the great Apus of the mountains for giving them life. A spiritual journey that offers uninterrupted beauty and solitude. This path has been central to the spiritual and religious beliefs of the Andean people of the mountains.

Along the trek you explore the Rainbow mountain, Red Valley and 7 lakes trek.

Choquequirao Trek in Cusco

This is one of the most challenging and highly satisfying treks in Cusco. A hidden gem in the dense jungle of Southeastern Peru. Choquequirao has always played second fiddle to its “sister ruins” Machu Picchu. It only welcomes a handful of visitors annually and does not get as much financial backing from the government. However, this archeological site could arguably have more to offer than Machu Picchu. Firstly, it´s 3 times bigger than Machu Picchu. Additionally, the trail in itself is a magical walk through cloud forest that looks like it´s straight out of a fairytale. The ruins are also the most authentic, with very little human interference and with the majority of the archeological site still covered by the dense jungle.

The terrain is undulating and there are no rest days during the hike. We recommend being in good shape before embarking on this trail. The altitude also presents a challenge, whereby you go as low as 500m above sea level before gaining about 2000m to 3000m in elevation. This hike is not for the faint heart, but the ultimate challenge for the avid hikers.

It´s isolation is the main reason why this trek is one of our favorites. We cannot emphasis this enough, the trail and archeological site are highly rewarding. You get to be part of history as its unveiled.

Check out Choquequirao Treks here!

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu in Cusco.

Best scenic and cultural trekking route, that goes COMPLETELY OFF THE BEATEN PATH. You pass through the most isolated indigenous communities still keeping the Inca culture alive. You will have the privilege to interact with these communities, learning ancient ways and maybe picking up a phrase or two in Quechua (the indigenous language of Peru). The unique route is incredibly picturesque, with majestic ice glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas…

Check the #1 Operator for this unique trek here!

Huayhuash Circuit in Huaraz

This trekking route was made famous by two mountaineers Simon Yates and Joe Simpson. The world- renowned book In Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival, talks about a treacherous journey through the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit. The trek takes 12-days and is one of the most difficult treks in all of Peru. It traverses the entire Cordillera Huayhuash, crossing passes between 4600m and 5000m. Camp sites are located near stunning turquoise lakes, under spectacular glacial peaks. It’s a difficult trek, passing high altitudes and rocky terrain, but those who choose to undertake it will be rewarded with pristine glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains and close encounters with native communities.

You Might also Like