Treks and Trails: The Best Hiking Routes in Peru

Regarding South America, Peru often takes center stage with its rich history, diverse landscape, and vibrant culture. Hiking in Peru is an experience that combines these elements, offering a range of terrains from misty mountains to arid deserts. But how do you pick the best trail for your adventure? We’ve done the legwork to bring you the top hiking routes to explore in this captivating country.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

1. Classic Inca Trail

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Distance: 26 miles

The Classic Inca Trail is perhaps the most iconic hike in Peru. These 4-day trek traverses stunning scenery ancient ruins, and climaxes at the breathtaking Machu Picchu. The trail often books up months in advance, so planning is essential.

2. Short Inca Trail

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Distance: 11 miles

If you’re short on time but still want the Machu Picchu experience, the Short Inca Trail is a quicker alternative. Although less demanding, it still offers a chance to see some ruins and beautiful vistas.

3. Colca Canyon

  • Duration: 2-3 days
  • Distance: Varies

Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, offering an entirely different hiking experience. It’s less crowded than the Inca Trail, but its steep slopes are challenging. Bird watchers will particularly enjoy spotting the Andean Condor in its natural habitat.

4. Cordillera Blanca

  • Duration: 3-10 days
  • Distance: Varies

Home to HuascarĂ¡n National Park, the Cordillera Blanca range offers treks for every experience level. From the popular Santa Cruz trek to the challenging Alpamayo trek, these snow-capped peaks and azure lakes are truly awe-inspiring.

5. Salkantay Trek

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Distance: 46 miles

The Salkantay Trek is another route leading to Machu Picchu but offers a wilder experience than the Inca Trail. The course takes you through high alpine landscapes and dense cloud forests, making it perfect for adventurers looking for variety.

6. Choquequirao Trek

  • Duration: 4-9 days
  • Distance: 40-50 miles

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, the Choquequirao Trek offers solitude and ancient ruins equal to Machu Picchu but with far fewer crowds. The journey is strenuous, but the reward is well worth it.

Suppose you’re looking to take the hassle out of organizing these treks. In that case, various Peru tour packages offer guided expeditions along these routes, complete with all the essentials for a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a novice eager to explore, Peru offers a diverse range of hiking experiences that promise adventure and awe in equal measure. So, lace up your hiking boots and set your sights on the trail that calls to you the most. After all, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.