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Top 5 treks in Peru – Travel guide

Peru is a paradise for walkers. Trekking in the Andean country is traversing mystical landscapes surrounded by snowy mountains, turquoise lagoons, or paths among the huge vegetation of the jungle. On this way, we have elaborated a list with the Top 5 treks in Peru.

Trekking in Peru is also to visit the Qhapaq Ñan, the extensive network of roads that covered the entire Inca Empire. It is to cross the volcanoes of the deepest Canyon of the world or to find the Machu Picchu at dawn after a long road of several days.

In all these places, we will cross villages with it’s villagers, whom are the warmest and most hospitable people you can ever meet.

We only need one thing: to be in perfect physical shape and have a great desire to enter into some places that have no comparison in the world. There are trekkings for all levels of experience and requirement. Below we summarize a small list with:

Best treks in Peru

1. Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the most demanded and spectacular trekking that exists in Peru. Mixing challenge and adventure, this 39 km trekking of camping that crosses mountain passes and Inca ruins, to descend later in the jungle Amazon is a must.

The longest road starts at Piscacucho (Km 82) from the train line that goes to Machu Picchu. From this route also begins a circuit to Salkantay (6271 mosl).

It is obligatory to contact an official tourism agency or guide, as the Peruvian government has limited the number of visitors to avoid erosion of the Inca Trail (500 people per day, including porters, guides and tourists). This choice Inca Trail takes 4 days, although if you do not consider to be in physical shape or do not have the time, there is a choice of 2 days.

It is recommended to book in advance for at least 5 months, because in high season the quotas usually complete very quickly. In February the Inca Trail is closed for cleaning and maintenance work.

2. Salkantay Trek

There are some other alternatives treks in Peru to the Inca Trail. In case you missed out on your Inca Trail booking, you can trek to Umantay (5917 mosl) and Salkantay (6271 mosl), the most important Apu (sacred god of the Incas) of the area.

This trekking can be started in Mollepata, next to the Apurímac river to finish in Chilca, on the river Vilcanota (Km 76 of the line). From there it’s possible to take a trip from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

This Trekking is considered one of the 25 best in the world by the well-known National Geopraphic Adventure Magazine. For this trekking you will need 4 days and a good physical shape. For altitude sickness there are some pharmaceutical remedies like the sorojchi pills

3. Canyon and Cotahuasi Valley

Located 200 km northwest of Arequipa (about 9 hours by car), this canyon has twice the depth of the Grand Canyon of Colorado and is accessed through the population of Cotahuasi, at 2620 mosl.

For trekking to the Canyon and Cotahuasi Valley, a minimum of 3 days is recommended, although some tours can last a week. The best dates are from May to September, where the weather is milder.

After 45 minutes of ascension we will see the cataract of Sipia, and villages like Chaupo, Velinga where we can taste its wines and piscos. In the surroundings of the canyon we will have the breathtaking views of the snowy mountains of Coropuna and Solimana. Really, this is one the better treks in Peru.

4. Santa Cruz Trek

This 62 km trekking offers an encounter with nature through the Cordillera Blanca. It begins in Cashapampa (35 km north of Caraz), Department of Áncash, continues through the Santa Cruz gorge and continues its ascent to the camp of Llamacorral, in Taullipamapa.

A positive point about this trekking is that it does not require being in a great physical shape. The route to the base of the Alpamayo passes through the Quebrada Cedros that crosses Punta Unión (4750 mosl), by the Huaripampa gorge and ends in Vaquería. From May to September is the best time to do this trek, which takes 3 days.

It can be reached by land about 400 km from Lima. The bus ride takes about 8 hours. By airplane we will have to travel to Anta and from there take bus about 25 minutes to Huaraz.

5. Choquequirao Trek

Choquequirao is also known as the younger brother of Machu Picchu because of the similarity in its architecture and is another excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. This citadel is located in the Apurímac valley, on the eastern slope of the Andes mountain range and five hours driving from Cusco. It was the last Inca redoubt that resisted the Spanish conquest of Francisco Pizarro.

Currently a cable car is being built to reach the ruins, which are still being excavated by archaeologists, but the trekking we propose crosses the jungle for 4 days, finding all kinds of hidden treasures.

Although our previous recommendation did not require much effort, for the trekking of Choquequirao it is highly recommended to have a good physical shape due to its constant ascents and descents and by the altitude in which it is.

If you have any doubts or need more information about the routes that we indicate, do not hesitate to contact us.

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