Top Treks in Peru

What are the top treks in Peru?

With so many to choose from it is impossible to list them all, and even more impossible to rank them in any kind of order of preference! Although trekking isn’t everyones cup of tea, what is certain for those that enjoy it is that a trek through the mountains of Peru can be the highlight of a Peru holiday.

Here are the best of the most famous and well-known treks in Peru, with a few surprises or lesser known treks thrown in for good measure.

1. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

City of Departure: Cusco

Length: 4 days / 3 nights

Difficulty: Medium

Maximum Altitude: 4100m

The Inca Trail is one of the greatest and most famous hikes in the world. A life-changing journey in all senses of the word – physically, mentally and emotionally.

The highlight of the Inca Trail is the morning of day 4, when an early start leads you to the sun gate to watch the wonderful sight of the sun rising over Machu Picchu ahead of you.

However what many people don’t realise is that there are many other Inca ruins that the route passes, many of which are only reachable on the trek itself.

The trek is completely closed each February for repairs.

2. Santa Cruz Trek

TREK SANTA CRUZ FOTO 3

City of Departure: Huaraz

Length: 4 days / 3 nights

Difficulty: Medium / Advanced

Maximum Altitude: 4750m

One of the harder treks in this list, mainly due to the altitude, this well-known trek near the Huaraz region passes stunning mountain vistas, endless glacial mountain landscapes, and the famous lakes of Jatuncocha and Ichiccocha.

The beauty of this trek, certainly compared to some of the treks near Cusco, is that your group will probably have the route all to themselves so you can soak up the views in peace and quiet.

3. Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

LARES TREK, FOTO 5

City of Departure: Cusco

Length: 4 days / 3 nights

Difficulty: Medium

Maximum Altitude: 4700m

This alternate trek to Machu Picchu is becoming more and more popular each year as people look for alternatives to the more famous Inca Trail.

The main difference to this trek and the rest listed here is that the final night is actually spent in a hotel rather than camping! The evening is normally spent in Aguas Calientes with the trip to Machu Picchu by bus the following morning.

However, aside for this “detour” to standard trekking formalities on the final night, days 1, 2 and 3 of this trek through the Andean valleys near Cusco are actually very interesting, as it passes some very traditional Andean villages where there are opportunities to meet the locals, and it is also occasionally difficult due to the high altitude.

The high point of the trek, Condor Pass, is reached on day 2, and at 4700m offers breath-taking views of Andean vistas.

4. Trek to Choquequirao

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK, FOTO 6

City of Departure: Cusco

Length: 4 days / 3 nights

Difficulty: Medium

A good alternative to the Inca Trail, many actually find this trek to Choquequirao much more enjoyable than the Machu Picchu alternative. This is for a number of reasons: some find the Choquequirao ruin more visually impressive than Machu Picchu (hard to believe, but it certainly gives Machu Picchu a run for its money!), there are far less people walking along the trail so it is less “touristy”, and the trek itself follows a route with stunning views of many of the famous mountains in Peru and in the Cusco region, including Mount Salkantay.

5. Cedros Alpamayo Trek

CEDROS TREK, Portachuelo pass view FOTO 2

City of Departure: Huaraz

Length: 9 days / 8 nights

Difficulty: Advanced

Maximum Altitude: 4860m

By far the most difficult Peru trek option listed here, this lengthy trek through the Huascaran National Park is also probably the most stunning and through the best landscapes. Certainly don’t expect luxury if this is a trek you choose to complete, however the rewards are worth the pain, as you find yourself surrounded by endless mountains, glaciers, turquoise lakes, and astounding Andean scenery.

The journey passes uncountable mountain passes, rural traditional farming communities, ancient Inca terraces, and is, quite simply, stunning.

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