The best hiking trails in Peru
Essential information for the best treks in Peru
All you only need is a backpack and good boots to discover the beautiful landscapes offered by the incredibly varied geography of Peru. The diversity of Peru’s climate means you can choose from a variety of routes -on the coast, in the jungle, or in the mountains- and admire the flora, fauna, and culture of Peru. Below, our Peru travel experts offer some of their best advice for travelers who want to hike in Peru.
Andean culture in the mountains: The Lares valley
The route through the Lares valley offers an excellent alternative for those seeking to explore Andean culture and enjoy the imposing landscapes of the Andes. This route takes 4 days, starting in the city of Cusco and ending at the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu. The route allows you to experience traditional Andean community life, and in terms of fauna, you’re likely to see alpacas, llamas and abundant birdlife, including the famous Andean condor.
For the more experienced walkers: Ausangate
One of the most physically demanding Peruvian hiking routes is the one that encircles snowcapped Mount Ausangate. This multi-day route stands out for the charm of its high Andean landscapes. You will walk among lakes, hot springs, valleys dotted with llamas and vicuñas, and perpetual snows. Before starting this walk, it is advisable to acclimatize for a few days in the city of Cusco, where there’s no shortage of fabulous tourist attractions!
Mount Ausangate is considered a sacred mountain. The villagers of the area practice ritual ceremonies such as offerings to Mother Earth, a rite through which they give thanks for the benevolent forces of nature. In this part of the Cusco region, you can also visit the Mountain of Seven Colors, whose extraordinary pigmentation is the result of the presence of sedimentary minerals.
The true lost city of the Incas: Choquequirao
This option offers a real adventure, far from the groups of tourists who walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. In Quechua, Choquequirao means “cradle of gold”, and this Inca city is located in a remote corner of the Cusco region. It’s a demanding hike, but the reward is incomparable: the high Andean landscapes along the route, the magnificent canyon of the Apurímac River (“the god who speaks”, in Quechua), areas of dense cloud forest, and the mystery of the ruins of the citadel of Choquequirao.