To practice hiking or trekking Peru is to travel through beautiful Andean landscapes with fantastic views of snow-capped mountains and lagoons. It is to cross the Qhapaq Ñan, the network of roads that united the Inca Empire; know the culture of the communities; Cross the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash in Ancash or find more than one Cusco to Machu Picchu hike.
Virtually the entire mountain range, including valleys, plateaus and mountain ranges, hosts hiking or trekking Peru circuits of varying degrees of difficulty. Only some of the circuits have been discovered as commercial Trekking Peru routes. The rest remains unexplored.
Andes possess an extraordinary network of pre-Columbian trails and its more than 12,000 lagoons, with the deepest canyons on Earth, glaciers and snow-capped peaks, forests and waterfalls, beautiful villages and, above all, very hospitable people.
The Machu Picchu hike is one of those adventures that nobody wants to miss: deep green gorges, lost citadels and giant peaks that appear and disappear on the horizon wrapped in fog. Climbing these ancient stone staircases following the Andean route that remained hidden from the Spaniards for centuries is undoubtedly a rite of initiation for the great traveler. Throughout the year (except in February, when it rains cats and dogs) groups are organized to tour it, but at present the Inca trail booking demand is overwhelming: it is advisable to reserve a place at least six weeks in advance in the low season and six months to a year between May and early September, even if you opt for the short route (two days).
Fortunately, there are alternatives in the same Andean region and many hiking trails that Peru wants to promote so that they do not convert the classic Inca Trail Peru into the only option for hikers. The main trekking Peru centers are Cuzco and Arequipa, in the south of the Andes, and Huaraz, in the north.
The roads of Peru are ideal for all levels of demand and experience.
Trekking Routes in Peru
When is the best time to practice trekking in Peru?
The best season is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2023 Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes
What is a great place to go trekking hiking in Peru?
In Peru, there are hiking routes for every level of fitness, but they all invite the traveler to enjoy the challenge, promising an adventure that will live forever in the memory.
Throughout the year, thousands of travelers from all over the planet undertake the route of the Machu Picchu hiking trail from Cusco to access the jungle of Peru, and the ancient mysteries that still contain the stones of Machu Picchu.
Along the way there are several archaeological remains of different fortifications in relative good condition, which visually dominate all the valleys.
The hike up Machu Picchu begins in the town of Cori-huayra-china (Quechua: Quri Wayrachina, ‘gold vent’), at kilometer 88 of the Cusco-Quillabamba railway, and takes between three and four days of walking to Machu Picchu. In the crossing, which crosses an impressive altitudinal slope, with climates and ecosystems as varied as the high Andean high plateau and the misty forests, two passes must be overcome at a great height (the largest of them, Huarmihuañusca, of 4,200 meters of altitude) and ends with the entrance to Machu Picchu through Inti Punku or Sun Gate.
While walking the Inca trail, the walker will find a network of carved granite settlements along the way (Huiñay Huayna, Puyupatamarca), immersed in natural settings. As an ideal complement, the tourist will also find an exuberant nature, with unique landscapes, hundreds of species of orchids and multicolored birds.
The Colca canyon trek
If you do not have much and overwhelms the number of trails that cross the spectacular Colca canyon Peru, in the south of the country, you have to choose classic Colca canyon tour, that is, the two-three-day tour that covers the best of the middle part and get off this huge gorge, below the viewpoint of the Cruz del Cóndor and the village of Cabanaconde.
The Colca and Cotahuasi gorges are among the deepest on the planet, a breathtaking landscape that is more accessible than other destinations at higher altitudes. In the rainy season, when other Andean routes are impassable, the Colca appears green and leafy, and invites self-trekking among rural villages. The Cotahuasi canyon, more remote and rugged, should be visited with an experienced local guide and only in the dry season.
Choquequirao is known as the other Machu Picchu. This archaeological site has recently gained a high level of importance and curiosity both tourist and cultural. The trip to Choquequirao is long and strenuous, but certainly unforgettable. Choquequirao trek starts from Cusco by the road that goes to Abancay. At kilometer 154, take the detour to the town of Cachora, the last town before reaching the archaeological complex. From there he goes on horseback or on foot. The road has recently been extended and arranged. To travel through it, it is now more comfortable and safe. Arriving in Choquequirao requires good physical condition and adequate equipment. Starting from Cachora (2,900 m.s.) it is necessary to go down to the Apurímac River (1,530 m.s.) to camp. The second day goes up to 3,085 m.s.n.m. of altitude, where the complex is located. To return, the same path is used.
Salcantay located in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, department of Cusco, rises to 6271 meters above sea level. The Salkantay is the Apu and tutelary mountain of Cusco.
To get to Salkantay route, you will cross beautiful Andean landscapes, open to 5,000 meters. and the possibility of observing Condors and Alpacas in their natural habitat. You can take baths in natural hot springs from the depths of the earth, different fruit plants and a variety of orchids.
Hike through the Valley of Lares
The Lares trek Peru is a good way to discover the Andean culture and enjoy the impressive landscapes of the mountains such as the mountain ranges of the Qhapaqsaya and Pumawanka Andes, or the lagoon of Lalacay. This route of 33 kilometers, is done in 4 days, starting in the city of Cusco and ending in the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu.
The tour allows you to get up close to traditional pre-Columbian villages, where there are many eucalyptus, kiswar and queuña trees. As for the fauna, it is likely to find alpacas, llamas, horses, cows, pigs and guinea pigs. With good luck, it is possible to spot pumas, foxes and native birds such as Huallatas and Andean condors, the latter in danger of extinction for years.
Other Amazing Trekking Routes in Peru
Ausangate is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, with its 6384 meters of height, located in the district of Pitumarca, province of Canchis, Cusco region, in southern Peru; Ausangate is considered the most important mountain of the Andean cosmovision.
Climate change has discovered the multicolored beauty of these mountains located in the Vilcanota, Vinicunca or Winicunca mountain range, also called the Mountain of seven colors, rainbow mountain or mountain of colors (the settlers call it Cerro Colorado) is a mountain in Peru with a altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level and owes its incredible coloration to the mineral wealth that houses its soil, the Winikunka mountains are behind the imposing Ausangate snow cap.
A Rainbow Mountain hike is a very special experience, combining the fact of being at such heights with the enjoyment of an outdoor activity and the contemplation of a visual wonder.
On an extension of 250 hectares are the wide and colorful landscapes of Tinajani 3953 masl. The canyon is formed by a set of anthropomorphic stone figures, with narrow ravines and small rivers that run through its territory. The place also has funerary chullpas from ancient altiplanic cultures. In Ayaviri and Pucará, basic tourist services are available.
It starts in the town of Cotahuasi, following the ancient roads of the deepest canyon in the world (3 535 m). There are various options of travel with varied geographical scenarios, such as the snow-capped Solimana and Sara Sara and the waterfalls of Sipia.
Return to Alpamayo
The 80 km trekking Peru is one of the longest that the Huascarán National Park offers, it crosses deep ravines and elevated portholes, as well as a great variety of heights and climates. During the tour, you can appreciate the rich flora and fauna of the Andes, various glaciers and lagoons, picturesque villages and archaeological remains such as Hualcayán and yaino. It will also be possible to take a close look at the imposing Alpamayo mountain (5,947 meters above sea level), considered the most beautiful in the world.
Quebrada Santa Cruz Llanganuco
The 62 km circuit begins in Cashapampa (35 km north of Caraz), continues along the Santa Cruz creek, ascends to the Llamacorral camp, Taullipamapa. The route to the base of the Alpamayo is through Quebrada Cedros crosses Punta Union (4 750 masl), passes through the Huaripampa stream and ends in Vaqueria. Beautiful views of lagoons, snow-capped mountains and Andean landscapes.
The Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve offers the possibility of a walk between landscapes surrounded by nature, rivers, waterfalls (Hualhuas) and walking at the foot of the snow-capped mountains of the Western Cordillera, in the surroundings of Huancaya villages (3 500 masl) and Vilcas (3 650 masl)
Hiking tours to Machu Picchu
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.
- Salkantay Trekto Machu Picchu 5 days
- 5 Day Inca Trail
- Inca Quarry Trail4 Days
- 2 Day Inca Trail Tour
- 2 Day Inca Trail with Camping
- 3 Day Inca Trail
- Vilcabamba Hike to Machu Picchu 6 days
- Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu 9 days
- Ausangate trek 7 days
If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.