The Best Hiking in Peru

Treks in Peru through the Andes

Its dramatic landscapes, scenery, Snowy Andes mountain peaks, glaciers, turquoise lakes, profound Inca ruins, and extraordinary fauna and flora make Peru any hiker’s paradise. Although all Peru treks are known for their beauty and difficulty levels, each has unique characteristics. Hiking in Peru, following in the Inca’s footsteps to reach the 7th wonder of the World, Machu Picchu, was one of my most memorable experiences. I’ve compiled this guide with some of the best Hikes Peru, including valuable Peru trek tips to make your Andes trekking an unforgettable experience.

Couple at start of Salkantay trek one of the best hikes Peru
Salkantay Trek: One of the best Hikes in Peru

The 7 Best Hikes in Peru

Hiking to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular hikes, with multiple options.

1. Inca Trail Hike

The Classic Inca Trail, the Short Inca Trail, is believed to be the original route the Incas took to travel to Machu Picchu. That is the reason why Inca trail permits are so costly. Moreover, you must book at least three months to secure your ticket for the Hike Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Information and Inca Trail Distance

  • The 43-kilometre Classic Inca trail for 4 days ascends to 4 200 meters and will take you through Urubamba Valley, tropical jungles, and historical sites before you reach Machu Picchu from the sun gate.
  • Cost of The Shorter Inca Trail Trek, or The Inca Jungle Backpacker Trek tour.
  • Duration: Depends on the trail you opt for; the trail is 4 days and 3 nights,
  • Distance: 43 km
  • Altitude: Highest point 4,250 m,
  • Bookings: at least 3 months in advance.

2. Inca Jungle Trek

One of the most exciting ways to trek Machu Picchu is the Machu Picchu Inca Jungle Trail. The Inca Jungle trek is one of the most affordable treks. Jungle trekking is great fun and includes cycling with up-scale mountain bikes.

During the 3-hour scenic Mountain bike ride, one experiences ancient rural villages before reaching Santa Maria’s town. After that, one el to Pasto Grande for a 4-hour trek through forests, experiencing various orchids and other plants, wild animals, and bird species.

Distance and Other information

  • Duration: 4-days/3 nights,
  • Distance: Jungle Trek Peru is about 41 km,
  • Other highlights: river rafting expedition,
  • Altitude: You will reach the highest altitude at 4,200 m on the second day.

3. Salkantay Trek

Hiking in Peru is an incredible experience, and our 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu was one of our best experiences travelling around Peru. Besides visiting the picturesque Humantay Lake, the Salkantay trek map takes you up Mount Salkantay, passing at 4,600 meters; on this scenic hike, one experiences new excitement every day.

FAQ’s Mountains to Climb in Peru

  • Duration: from 4-5 days
  • Altitude: 4,600 m
  • Why we chose the Salkantay Trek vs Inca trail.
  • Is Salkantay the Trek for you?
  • What to Pack for Peru?
  • The Salkantay trek difficulty and fitness,
  • What is the Salkantay trek distance to Machu Picchu,
  • How to get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu? You can hike up to Machu Picchu entrance gate or take a bus. Hiking up to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes is a relatively steep hike.
  • How long does it take to walk from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu? Depending on your fitness level, it takes about 90 minutes to two hours.
Trekking en Peru
Trekking in Peru

4. Laguna 69 Huaraz

The spectacular Laguna Huaraz is an electric blue glacier in the Cordillera Blanca with snow-covered peaks stretching as far as the eye can see. Nestled in the Huascarán National Park, Lagunas Huaraz is one of Peru’s most iconic hikes. The Authentic city of Huaraz is located in Peru’s northern Callejón de Huaylas valley, at more than 3,000 m above sea level.

Encompassing Peru’s tallest mountain, Huarascan, and the Huarascán National Park, it is also home to famous Andean condors and Jaguars. For more information on Huaraz Climbs, Huaraz Hikes and the Huaraz day hikes, check out Trek Huaraz Hikes. This small guiding company is a local expert who specialises in Hiking in Huaraz Peru’s Cordillera and the Huayhuash Mountain Ranges based in Huaraz. You will experience several waterfalls while climbing the challenging, steep, rolling hills before reaching spectacular Lake Laguna 69 at an incredible 4,500 meters.

Duration and other information

  • Is Huaraz worth a visit? Most definitely.
  • How to get to Huaraz? One can travel from Lima to Huaraz by plane, car, taxi, or bus, which takes about 8 hours. By car, It will take about 6.5 hours.
  • Laguna 69 altitude: 4,500 m
  • Distance and duration: The one-day Laguna 69 Peru hike covers about 13 kilometres.
  • Book a Laguna 69 Peru 3-hour Trek with GetYourGuide.
  • Laguna’s 69 tour trek difficulty: Moderately challenging.
  • Altitude Huaraz: Laguna 69 surface elevation at 4600 meters.
Laguna 69 Huaraz trekking
Laguna 69 Huaraz trekking

5. Choquequirao Trek

The demanding Choquequirao trek derives its name from the Cradle of Gold, situated on the Vilcabamba Mountains’ top at 3,050m. Off the beaten 5-day Choquequirao trek to the lost city of the Incas, it promises you an adventure-filled experience up steep slopes through untouched terrain with lush vegetation past snow-capped mountain peaks.

information and Choquequirao Duration

  • Choquequirao trek difficulty: Moderately challenging.
  • Altitude: 3,050 m.
  • Duration: 5 days.

6. Colca Canyon Trek

It is one of Peru’s most popular trekking destinations, nestled in the deepest Canyon in the Andes. Peru’s third most-visited destination by tourists. The 3-day Colca Canyon Trek from Arequipa is an incredible adventure. It would help prepare you for the steep climb in and out of the Canyon, and the altitude makes the Colca Canyon, Peru, even more challenging.

The 2-3 day Colca Canyon tour starts in the small town of Cabanaconde, a 4-hour drive from Arequipa. Colca Canyon is also home to the Andean Condors, a giant flying bird globally. These raptors have the longest wingspan of all raptors worldwide.

Info and Colca Canyon Duration

  • Location: Approximately 160 km Northwest of Arequipa,
  • Dept: The Canyon is 3,270 m and one of the deepest Canyons in the World,
  • Duration and Difficulty: 2-to-3 days, Moderate-to strenuous hike.
  • The Colca Canyon hike is a 19.6-mile trail.
  • Altitude: 4800 m
  • Book a 3-day Colca Canyon Trek,
  • Colca Canyon tickets can’t be bought in advance.

7. Lares Trek

The high altitude two- to three-day Lares trek to Machu Picchu is another off-the-beaten-path trekking experience. Apart from experiencing the majestic Andean mountains and glaciers and spectacular lakes, you get to interact with the Inca culture.

The Lares trek starts in the Lares Valley, situated in the Urubamba mountain range, approximately 40 km north of Cusco. Scrutinizing Machu Picchu after the hike, and spend the last day exploring the charming Aguas Calientes before catching the luxury Vista-dome train back to Cusco.

Quick Information and Lares Trek Duration

  • Duration of the Lares Trek: Depending on the tour, the Lares Trek is a 2-day to 4-day trek.
  • Lares Trek distance: approximately 33 km,
  • Difficulty: The Lares Trek is a relatively easy-moderate hike,
  • Lares Trek Altitude: Lpsaycocha Pass at 4,450m.
  • For a Peru Luxury train experience and LaresTrek, including all transport, camping equipment, food, and an experienced guide. Also included is a Vista-dome train journey back to Cusco.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost), I might earn a commission.

Peru Hiking Tips

When is The Best Time to Hike Peru

Trekking Peru is more enjoyable during the driest months between May and September. We went in May when everything was still relatively green, and the weather was perfect.

How to deal with Altitude Sickness 

For the best tips, go to How to Prevent Altitude Sickness for information on Mountain sickness and valuable Peru travel advice.

Required Vaccinations and FAQs

  • Is it safe to travel to Peru in 2023? Yes, Peru and Machu Picchu are open to tourists.
  • How long before you travel should you get vaccines? At least 6-8 weeks.
  • Confirm with your local Travel clinic and check the Peru Travel Vaccines info.
  • What is the cost of hiking in Peru? Although Peru is not expensive, the prices for hikes in Peru are high, with the Inca trail the most costly.
  • Check out the links below for what to Pack and the best attractions.

Best Travel Insurance for Trekking Peru

World Nomads cover high altitude sickness. Click the link below for a no-obligation Free Quote on Travel insurance in Peru.

What to Pack Peru Travel checklist
Best treks in Peru, #Machu Picchu Holiday

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