Hiking & Trekking
Trekking to Choquequirao - Gihan Tubbeh
With more than 100 mountains, at least a dozen national parks and the Amazon Rainforest that covers more than half of the country, Peru is a veritable playground for hikers and trekkers.
Apart from the most popular Inca Trail treks to Machu Picchu that Peru is famous for, there are many other trails across other mountain ranges in Peru that are sure to please hikers of all levels. As an alternative to the Inca Trail, consider the Lares Trek which begins north of Cusco in the village of Lares. It is a shorter hike than the Inca Trail, but ascends to a higher altitude. Also consider the Choquequirao trek, one of the most popular treks in the Cusco area. The two-day hike leaves from Cachora or Huanapaca.
From the city of Huaraz, consider the Santa Cruz Trek, which takes four or five days and is relatively moderate. This 28-mile hike offers some of Peru’s most breathtaking scenery as it ascends through mountains with snow-capped peaks to crystal-colored lakes. The best times to complete this trek are from May through September.
While you might be cruising Peru’s Amazon on a variety of small ship cruises, there is still plenty for those to explore on land. Visit the 4.4-million-acre Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Eastern Amazon. Chock full of wildlife from birds to tapirs, monkeys and otters, this is a great experience for nature lovers. Descend deep into jungle life, or climb as high as 13,000 feet to stand among the clouds.
Peru has a dozen national parks and 14 nature reserves that span across more than 15 percent of the country. Many require visitor’s permits, which can be purchased for a small fee. Tour operators handle these fees in their packaged prices.
While Manu Biosphere is one of the most popular, the Tambopata National Reserve is more accessible. Inkaterra, a pioneer in conservation and sustainability has a lodge in the area, Reserva Amazonica.
Huascaran National Park is perfect for mountain lovers, as it is home to the 1,313 sq. miles Cordillera Blanca range in the central Andes, in the region Ancash. Trekking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and other outdoor adventures are at their best in this national park. It is also home to the highest peak in Peru, as its mountains max out at 22,205 feet.