Top 10 hikes in Peru

Each region of Peru has incredible terrain that’s worth a good hike. In the highlands of the Andes you can see elaborate fortresses and agricultural terraces left behind by the Inca. Go to southern Peru to see ruins left behind by ancient cultures, and see the very beginnings of civilization in South America. Peru also has Amazon reserves, where you can hike through the jungle along the Amazon River to incredibly remote and ecologically diverse parts of the forest.

No matter where you go in Peru, you’ll find a landscape unlike any other.

1. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

This is one of the longest treks you can take to Machu Picchu — 5 days of hiking and 4 nights camping. The Salkantay trek tends to be a little less crowded than the more popular Inca Trail, and you’ll see spectacular ruins along the way, as well as the peak of the Salkantay Mountain and steamy hot springs. The highest point on the trek is 13,800 feet (4,1,81 m) above sea level.

Mollepata Salkantay

Just like the Inca Trail, this hike eventually leads to the ruins of Machu Picchu, and you’ll get to see this sprawling site from a distance during your hike.

Machu Picchu

2. Huayna Picchu

Huanya Picchu is a mountain that allows you to have a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. It’s a steep hike to the top, but there are some cable railings to help you reach the summit.  On the descent you can pass by the Inca Temple of the Moon.

Huayna Picchu

3. Moray and the Salt Mines of Maras

In the midst of the Sacred Valley you’ll come to Moray, one of the most interesting agricultural designs that the Inca left behind. Moray is a series of concentric circles that form a shallow pit. Historians believe that the Inca used this depression to conduct agricultural experiments to determine which elevation works best for which crops. You can walk on stone steps from one level to the next.

Moray

Continue on the path to the salt mines of Maras to see an old-fashioned method for harvesting salt. You’ll see rectangles of white set on the rippling slopes of a mountain, filled with salt that has dried in the sun. The Inca first engineered the streams of saltwater from a nearby spring to flow into these terraces, and the modern-day salt miners use the same method.

Salt Mines of Moras

4. Pisac Ruins

You can climb from the town of Pisac up a hill for 2.5 miles (4 km) to see the Inca ruins that give the town its name. This is an elaborate site that overlooks the Urubamba Valley. Many of the site’s temples are still intact. As you explore the site you’ll pass ceremonial baths and a hills with tombs carved into its side.

Pisac Ruins

While you’re in Pisac you should also make sure to stop at the town’s incredible open-air marketplace. This is one of the most interesting markets in Peru, and locals gather her to sell handmade crafts and colorful, woven textiles.

5. Kuélap

To get to Kuélap you’ll hike through a dense forest with a guide – the terrain here is too rugged and overgrown to navigate on your own. Eventually you’ll reach the fortress of Kuélap, where indigenous people managed to defend their lofty perch from the Inca for many years.

Kuelap

6. Ollantaytambo

The ruins of Ollantaytambo have an elaborate ceremonial center. This site is perched on a slope overlooking the Sacred Valley, and from here you’ll also be able to see the Patacancha and Urubamba rivers. You’re also supposed to be able to see the shape of a man’s face in the peaks of the surrounding mountains.

Ollantaytambo

7. National Huascarán National Park

National Huascarán National Park covers 840,158 acres (340,000 ha) in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Its tropical forest has the highest elevation of anywhere in the world, and the highest mountain peach reaches 22,135 feet (6,747 m). Glaciers and turquoise lakes make this park an especially enchanting place to go for a hike.  If you want to spend 4 to 5 days hiking in the park, consider signing up for a guided hike called the Santa Cruz Trek.

Huascaran

8. Chaparri National Park

In Chaparri National Park you can see a dry forest and the imposing Chaparri Mountain. This 84,000-acre (34,000-ha) national park provides a habitat for several endangered animals, including the spectacled bear and the Andean condor.

Chaparri

9. Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is an incredibly deep canyon with a river running through it. You can hike along the edge of the canyon for a breathtaking view, and go to a lookout spot to survey the sky for rare Andean condors. Near the canyon you can also find traditional villages that you can visit as part of your hike.

Colca Canyon

10. Tambopata National Reserve

Tambopata National Reserve covers a whopping 678,773 acres (274,690 ha) of Amazon rainforest. More than 600 species of bird and over 1,000 species of butterfly live here. Explore this area by hiking to the edge of Lake Sandoval and continuing your tour by boat.

Tambopata

One of the most popular places to hike to in this reserve is the Colpa Colarado salt lick. Here you can see colorful macaw parrots gathering to lick the salty clay.

Zach Smith is CEO of Anywhere.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rekha says:

    Peru is an emerging travel destination in the past few years. It is the home of one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.

    Your post reveals that it is the paradise for hikers.

  2. Those are some amazing hikes! The scenery is just incredible. I wish I could get those around St. Louis :)

  3. Katherine says:

    Yes, some great hiking to be had in Peru apart from the Inca Trail. The lodge to lodge Salkantay experience is also a great one for clients looking for a luxury walking holiday as you stay in mountain lodges instead of tents.

  4. Ciara Reilly says:

    Colca Caynon is an amazing experience. Did the 2 night, 3 day trek staying in very basic accommodation and it was wonderful. You don’t get to experience any of this by just doing a bus tour to the area, highly recommend it!

  5. Elena says:

    Yes, some great hiking to be had in Peru apart from the Inca Trail. The lodge to lodge Salkantay experience is also a great one for clients looking for a luxury walking holiday as you stay in mountain lodges instead of tents.

Leave a Reply



Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published





Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Links are not allowed here - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…