The different landscapes, scenery and mountain ranges across Peru has made the country one of the best places to trek in the world. A perfect mixture of ecosystems, cultures and history make up these treks, with there being an option for anyone (with experience or not) who seeks to embark on a one-day or multi-day hike. Here’s our list of the 14 best treks in Peru.
Table of contents:
Easily one of the most beautiful and best treks in Peru. The Salkantay Trek is located in Cusco and is one of the main options to get to Machu Picchu for many travelers. It’s perfect for those looking to connect with nature, as it goes through diverse landscapes and ecosystems, such as lush jungles and mystical snowy mountains.
The trek will take you across many terrains, but most importantly through the Salkantay Pass, which sits below the imposing snow-capped peak of the Salkantay Mountain. It’s a beautiful trek from start to finish. 4 and 5 day options to Machu Picchu are available, both challenging – but can be done by many.
Check out the best Salkantay Trek options!
Peru’s most popular trek, and one of the best in the world, the Inca Trail is the original path walked by the Incas to reach the sacred Machu Picchu. Thousands from all over the world come to Peru to experience the route paved by the Incas, having to book at least 6 months in advance due to the permit limit.
Throughout the 4-day Classic Inca Trail you’ll pass through Andean scenery, mountains, and cloud forests. You’ll also discover settlements, ancient tunnels, and Inca sites that are spread across the path. On the last day, you’ll be the first to reach Machu Picchu at the dawn of day, through the famed Sun Gate (Inti Punku). It’s a truly exciting adventure that’s filled with nature, history and culture, making it one of the the best treks in Peru.
Check out the best Inca Trail options!
Located in Arequipa, with a depth of 3,400 meters, Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world – and is two times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The demanding hike is known for its gorgeous landscapes, waterfalls, pre-Inca ruins, and most importantly, being home to Peru’s national bird, the condor, whose wingspan is over 3 meters long.
Although the 2 day trek is demanding, there are also 3-day treks and 1 and 2 day tours available allowing you to visit at a much easier pace. Make sure to add it to your bucket list, as hiking one of the deepest canyons is not something that you’ll be able to do any other day.
Check out the best Inca Trail options!
One of the most beautiful treks in Peru, the Huayhuash trek also has a reputation for being one of the most challenging hikes. The trek was actually once considered fairly dangerous, but through the years, the Peruvian government has invested in infrastructure and safety measures that have made it accessible to all. Reaching an altitude as high as 5,490m, you’ll be rewarded with stunning mountain peaks and breathtaking glacial lakes. This trek that is still not overrun by tourists, usually takes at least 12 days to complete and is definitely worth every second of it.
Located in Cusco, it’s a lesser known trek that takes you to Choquequirao, Machu Picchu’s “sister”. Also once an Inca citadel, Choquequirao was hidden under dense vegetation until a few decades ago. It’s believed to have been an important center of worship and also served as one of the last holdouts of the Inca empire against the Spanish invasion. The site, which is filled with shrines and temples, is actually believed to only be 30% excavated and bigger than Macchu Picchu.
The hike offers amazing scenery, is fairly easy, and way less crowded than Machu Picchu. The Choquequirao Trek usually takes between 3 to 4 days and is the only way to get to the Inca site, which you’ll more than likely have to yourself.
The dominating and unbelievable presence of the active Misti Volcano in Arequipa can make it seem unreachable, but believe it or not, there are treks all the way up to one of the highest volcanic craters in the world. A challenging trek – you’ll hike up more than 2,000 meters in a span of 2 days, reaching an altitude of 5,825 meters – it requires experience, a good level of fitness and trusty lungs to achieve the hike. If you’re well prepared and have some time in Arequipa, hiking the picture-perfect snow capped volcano is an experience like no other.
If looking to do the trek, make sure to check out our post on conquering El Misti volcano!
The gorgeous, blue lagoon just 10 hours north of Lima. The magical scenery that surrounds the lagoon is breathtaking and will have you mesmerized for days. A stunning contrast of crystal-clear water with a piercing snow-capped peak, Laguna 69 is loved by many and is on travelers list of best treks in Peru.
The trek is difficult. The lagoon sits at 4,600 meters and you start at 3,800 – that’s a steep ascent of 800 meters in a span of 3 hours. But like many treks on this list, it’s not impossible and well-worth the challenge. During those 3 hours you’ll come across spectacular waterfalls, vegetation, snowy mountains and other amazing landscapes.
The Lares Trek is another option in Cusco which provides the perfect Andean experience. This route takes you along some of the best scenery in the region – tropical forests, mountain passes, valleys, waterfalls and even hot springs. It’s much less frequented and easier than its sister treks around the region, but just as beautiful and scenic. Although it doesn’t technically end in Machu Picchu, most trek options include ways to reach Machu Picchu to get the full Inca experience.
The colorful Rainbow Mountain, locally known as Vinicunca, is a place like no other which can be discovered in 1 day. At an altitude of 5,200 meters, the rainbow-like appearance was formed due to years of weathering factors that aligned the 14 different colored minerals throughout the hill. Rainbow Mountain and its surrounding areas are home to local communities and diverse wildlife, making it an even more enjoyable trek. It’s an easy and flat hike to the peak, but the high elevation can cause some difficulties. The day tends to start early, so make sure to get a good rest the night before!
Check out this top-rated Rainbow Mountain tour and the detailed itinerary to know what to expect!
Circling one of the highest mountain peaks in Peru, the 7-day Ausangate Trek has become a favorite of the few travelers who hike it in Cusco. Be ready to pass through sparkling lakes, glaciers and breathtaking mountain views. The trek is considered challenging, mostly due to the altitude, so make sure to be well-prepared. You’ll likely not find many people going on the trek but there are still many safe and reliable tour companies that offer guided Ausangate treks from Cusco.
Located east of Lima, reaching an altitude of 4,000 meters, lies one of the most fascinating and mystical places in Peru, Marcahuasi. Believed to have energy radiating from its grounds, Marcahuasi is famously known for its stone forest and weirdly rock formations resembling human-like
The 4-5 hour trek can be steep at parts making it difficult, but is also mixed with easier sections. You can hike and visit all in one day, although most people prefer to camp at the top for one night. Night skies are clear, beautiful and filled with stars, and the site itself will give you a sensation that’s not easy to describe! Known as “Lima’s Machu Picchu”, Rupac is an archaeological complex with pre-Inca ruins situated at 3,400 meters above sea level that is becoming one of the best trek in Peru, just a few hours away from the capital city. The citadel dating back to 900 AD is still in pristine conditions and is a jaw-dropping view when seen through the clouds that invade the mountains. The trek to the top takes up to 4 hours, where you’ll also reach the campsite and if lucky get to catch the impressive sunset. Once there, you just get your tents ready and enjoy the beautiful skies and mountains surrounding your perfect night. Located between Salkantay Mountain and Humantay Mountain lies this crispy, blue lake with an imposing glacier backdrop. Usually included in the Salkantay Trek, there are also 1-day options to Humantay Lake making it the perfect full day experience from Cusco. The trek is considered easy to moderate difficulty and will take you across stunning landscapes and snowy mountain peaks. The Gocta Falls is a unique 770 meter high waterfall, ranked as one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. The impressive waterfall is surrounded by forest, hidden in the Amazonas province and was only known by locals until 2002! 1 day treks are available to the Gocta Falls starting from Chachapoyas. It’s perfect hike for those looking to discover a beauty of nature in the jungle of Peru. The varying landscapes and environments throughout Peru’s different regions certainly has plenty of hikes to offer. Whether you’re looking for a challenging adventure through snowy peaks or to walk through original Inca paths, theres a different experience for all. Now just start making a list of which of the best treks in Peru you want try and get to planning!
Planning to go to the Colca Canyon Trek? Dare yourself to explore the second deepest canyon in the world on an adventurous trip through the Andes.
Within one of the most popular valleys of Peru, you will find the Colca Canyon. This unique attraction is the perfect spot for taking long walks on nature trails and enjoying incredible views of the Andes. In here, people can have a closer connection with nature, enjoy the fresh air, and experience a unique adventure.
Not only that, but you will also find Andean villages that have preserved their traditions through all this time, making it possible to get in contact with real living cultures. Be part of a one of a kind experience and dare yourself to explore these beautiful lands.
If you are looking to visit the Colca Canyon, there is no better way to go on a trek. Enjoy spectacular views, meet local villages, learn from ancient cultures, and more, while trekking along with a local expert who will guide you through these lands.
We have prepared this post so that you can fully enjoy your journey when visiting Arequipa. Please join us and discover with us all you need to know for your upcoming trip to the famous Colca Canyon.
The best way to do this trek is with a local tour operator. Usually, all treks start very early in the morning from Arequipa city. In here, there are dozens of agencies that offer trekking tours, so you only have to compare and stay with the one that offers you the best price and/or gives you more confidence.
Also, when looking for the best alternative, you will come across two packages.
The 2-day trek is considered a moderate or hard hike. The first day of trekking is approximately 5 or 6 hours (1 hour uphill, 1-hour flat walk, and 4 hours downhill). The second day is approximately 3 or 4 hours of uphill walking. Due to the limited time, and the number of things you need to visit and explore, there is no much time to rest that is why it makes it a bit difficult to accomplish.
This trek has been set for people who have limited time in Arequipa and want to see as much as they can in the canyon. The tour departs every day from Arequipa at around 3:00 am, arriving back in the city on the second day at 6:00 pm approx.
This trek is recommended for people who are looking for a less extreme and demanding adventure. You can easily go on your own pace as the time is more than enough to visit the Canyon. The level of difficulty is intermediate so there is no need to worry about having a great level of fitness, however, note that there is trekking involved.
You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the views of the Andes and can hike at a slow pace, allowing for even more photo opportunities of the breath-taking landscape. On the first day, you will be trekking approx 3 hours and on the second day is about 4 hours. For the last day, there is only a walk of 3 hours downhill arriving in Arequipa at around 6:00 pm.
Note: The information provided can vary depending on the tour operator.
A quick tip: Most tour operators rent hiking sticks, just need to inform them beforehand.
Peru’s Covid-19 cases drop to record lows!
Remember, when traveling around Peru, Peru Hop is the only company offering flexible date changes until 2024 at NO extra cost. No airline, bus company or tour company offers such flexibility, on top of our stringent covid-19 protocols and safety procedures.
Would you like to go on an adventure on wheels in the sacred valley? Take the Moray and salt mines quad bike tour and enjoy spectacular views on a trip full of adrenaline.
Cusco is a beautiful place where people can reconnect with the past as well as find a variety of outdoor activities full of adrenaline and fun. If you are a person who enjoys spectacular views and adventurous journeys, then take a quad bike and explore Cusco differently.
There is no doubt Cusco has lots of things to offer us such as archeological sites, museums, markets, and more. There are so many things to visit that we might be short on time to see them all. Now, one of the most popular attractions in Cusco is the salt mines and the Moray site. No tourist can leave the city without knowing these attractions.
Thinking of you, we want to talk about how you can visit these famous places in a fun and adventurous way. Make your experience something you won’t forget and enjoy every single minute of your visit.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a territory full of incredible landscapes and unique archaeological sites. One of the most visited is the famous Salt mines of Maras. This attraction is made up of 3 thousand small wells dug into the mountainside. Each of the wells has a dimension of 5 square meters and the salt produced is commercialized just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
At the Maras Salt Mines, you can buy ‘natural pink salt’. It gets its beautiful color from the natural elements of the spring water including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and silicon. Another interesting thing about the mines is that you can buy a jar of this salt at the Maras gift store.
Nowadays, thousands of tourists come to visit Maras due to its natural value and its stunning views. Making it the perfect spot to get the best pictures and learn a bit more about the Inca’s history
Only 10 kilometers from the Maras salt mines, you can find the archaeological complex of Moray. This is an agricultural terrace built in gigantic natural holes. These terraces are carefully placed, taking the form of a gigantic amphitheater. The biggest hole has a depth of 150 m and the average height of the platforms is 1.80 meters.
This infrastructure allowed the growth of more than 250 plant species. Plus, it was used as an Inca agricultural laboratory to experiment with their crops. Moray contains a great history and a unique scenic beauty, becoming a very popular attraction among others.
If you are thinking of visiting these places, we highly recommend taking a quad bike tour. Not only for the adventure but the beautiful scenarios you will witness; are going to make your visit way worth it. There is no need to worry about being an expert driver as all vehicles are automatic or semi-automatic making it possible for almost everyone to drive them.
If you do not feel comfortable driving alone, there is also an option to go on a shared ATV. Just choose a friend to go with you on this adventure and enjoy the ride while admiring the landscapes. This tour has been designed for families, groups, friends, and solo travelers. You can even meet people along the way and there will always be a professional guide with you who will assist you in everything you need.
The journey is completely safe as all tour operators are fully prepared to guarantee the best experience. Of course, always look for the best option as not all of them will provide a good service.
Usually, when looking to do this tour, you will find lots of packages to the sacred valley. The most common itinerary includes Moray along with Maras Salt mines in a half-day. This is due to the proximity and easy access to the zones. Note that the following itinerary might vary depending on each tour operator:
The tour begins with the pick up from your hotel or hostel in Cusco city. Then the whole group heads to the town of Cruzpata, where you will be able to practice for some minutes until all of you are ready to depart.
Everyone will start the quad ride to Moray, once in here, you will be able to drive around or visit the archaeological site for at least 20 minutes. Then you will go to the town of Maras where you will be able to see the Urubamba mountain and the snowy mountains of Veronica and Chicon.
You will go to the salt mines known as “Salineras” where you can take some pictures or maybe buy some souvenirs at the gift store. After some minutes, the guide will be waiting for you to start the return trip to Cusco city.
Planning to visit Piura and do not know where to start? Get know the best things you can do in Piura Peru this 2020.
Piura is a gorgeous city located in northwest Peru and It’s known for having the most beautiful tropical beaches in the country. Nowadays, Piura is a perfect place to relax and get to visit archeological sites as it’s full of these attractions. In this post, we will show you the 8 things you can do in Piura this 2020 for not missing out on a great experience.
This is an old square that stands out for its beauty, colonial-style, and variety of flowers and plants. In the middle, there is a monument of “La Pola”, the oldest in the region, and the Cathedral of Piura, built in colonial times. If you are exploring the city, this is a must-visit place definitely.
Catacaos is an old town built with small houses of cane and is unique in many ways, however, the handicraft market is the highlight of the place. It displays products typical of the region; among them are straw hats and gold and silver filigree jewelry.
The artisan work is made by the peasants and most of the material comes from Cajamarca. Today, many visitors come to buy these products as they have a huge cultural value.
The Aypate Archaeological Complex is located in the rural community of Tacalpo-Ayabaca. It is a high mountain formation at 2,900 meters above sea level. The complex is made up of a group of buildings distributed throughout the area and presents architectural diversity.
For this reason, is considered one of the most important architectural works of the zone. If you are into having ancient cultural experiences, this place will be for you. There are some tour operators that can take you here on a full-day tour as well.
Mancora is one of the top attractions to visit in Peru and therefore receives a large number of tourists every year. Its tropical waters and sunny climate make it ideal to relax at the beach and have a good time. You can also find good waves which make it perfect for practicing surf and other sports.
Also, the nightlife is great here as there are many bars and party hostels all over the place. Making Mancora an attraction mainly visited by young people nowadays.
These lagoons are very famous by the locals for having medicinal properties. Many travelers arrive out of curiosity and others looking for solutions to their illnesses and even love. There are rituals of bathing in the waters of the lagoons performed by the locals who believe in the great power of this natural resource. If you love nature, Las Huarungas Lagoons are the perfect spot with no doubt. It’s a natural destination in Piura worth visiting.
If you are looking to relax by the sea, then you have to visit these beaches. Since Piura has a tropical climate, the beaches here are very famous throughout the country. Due to their crystal waters and a large amount of marine life, people come here to do some outdoor activities and relax.
There are a lot of hotels and restaurants as the zone has developed tourism in the last years. Unlike Mancora, this place is mostly visited by families.
They are a group of at least 240 petroglyphs that are engraved in different stones of different sizes. It is believed that they are between 2,000 and 1,000 years old on average and their origin is related to the culture of the Ayahuancas who settled in the area around that time.
In this place you will enjoy a more cultural experience learning from an ancestral culture that lived hundreds of years ago.
Piura’s cuisine is delicious, part of its tradition, and recognized for its mix of Andean, Spanish, and seafood products, especially the use of fish. There is no doubt Piura has one of the most delicious food throughout the country so do not hesitate to taste as much as you can.
Among the most representative dishes are the ceviche, cabrito a la norteña, Sudado de mariscos, and Seco de Chavelo. Please do not leave Piura without having tried any of these dishes, you will not regret it.
Peru’s Covid-19 cases drop to record lows!
Updated information regarding coronavirus in Peru. Some positive things have come out throughout the last few weeks. Stay informed on the recent events and prepare for your upcoming trip to Peru.
Peru has been one of the countries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Even though president Martín Vizcarra has taken strict measures to stop the spread of the virus. It seems that it’s not enough to control the situation. By now, all international borders of the country remain close and tourism can not emerge.
However not everything is bad news, in the last few weeks, the Peruvian government has announced new measures to reactivate the economy of the country. This is a good sign that we are following the right track.
The Peruvian government has already announced free transit through the country. Even so, there are still regions blocked out due to the high rate of coronavirus cases. This includes Arequipa, Junín, Ica, San Martín, Huánuco, Madre de Dios and Áncash.
As a consequence, air and ground transport companies have begun operations within the country. But things are not that easy, they need to follow strict protocols in order to provide a safe service to all their users. This includes less capacity, a better ventilation system, use of mask and face protectors, and more.
Many Peruvians who were stuck have returned with their families. Despite this fact, authorities have not specified whether or not traveling for touristic porpuses is allowed.
Cusco is one of the regions that live clearly from tourism. For this reason, the Cusco regional government has proposed reopening the border as citizens depend on this activity. They expect to resume tourism gradually and start attending local visitors. Later on, allow international travel for some countries in Latin America and so on.
Until proper protocols get established, Cusco won’t be able to receive tourists. Recovering from such a big economic impact will be hard indeed. Authorities only hope the virus can be controlled shortly.
Protocols as social distancing, use of masks, and even face covering are still mandatory. However, the quarantine has finished a few weeks ago. People can freely transit as long as they respect all protocols given by the ministry of health.
It’s important to note that the state of emergency will continue throughout the whole year. Public health authorities will put all their effort to prevent the spread of the virus and try to minimize the impact.
Restaurants can attend public as long as they follow all the protocols established by the Ministry of Health. Delivery service continues to be the favorite among Peruvians. However, people can now enjoy eating out along with their friends or family. Thanks to these measures the food industry has faith in overcoming the situation.
The employment rate is growing each day and the economy seems to be recovering little by little. Hopefully, more activities can join the reactivation, and perhaps tourism can emerge soon.
Months ago, the hotels only provided their facilities to quarantine people who arrive in the country via repatriation flights. Now then, since phase 2 of the resumption of economic activities began, the hotels have gradually recovered their functions.
Although hotels can work, there are several strict protocols they need to follow. This involves taking the temperature to all their visitors and disinfect constantly all the spaces. On the other side, the capacity of the establishments has been reduced. Apart from that, all the services offered must respect all the measures indicated by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health.
Thankfully, the government is compromised to support the tourist sector. There is still hope tourism can emerge and people don’t miss the opportunity to visit Peru. The COVID-19 pandemic has hitten the country pretty hard indeed, however, It doesn’t mean we can not fully recover.
Many measures have been applied in the last few weeks. Some industries had the chance to recover and move on so not everything is lost. Maybe in a not distant future, a large number of travelers can come to visit Peru as it was in the past.