Doesn’t matter if visiting boundless deserts, surfing on one of the thousand dream beaches. If exploring historical cities or engaging with the amicable people of this country. Peru has more to offer than a traveler could ever dream of. But in the heart of Peru, mighty mountain ranges arise as you have never seen them before. An experience you simply can not miss. And because no 10th floor rooftop terrace compares with the views you have from the peaks of the Andes, here is a list of the most captivating hikes this diverse country holds.
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
One of the most known sights of South America, the World Wonder of Machu Picchu is basically a must do. Sure, you could take the train up to the ruins located deeply in the Andes mountains. But a curious explorer should definitely choose to hike his/her way up through the imposing Sacred Valley. This 4 or 5 day trail starts in Cusco and takes you through massive mountain ranges covered in snow, surreal views are guaranteed. From more than 4200 mts./ 13800 ft. you will overlook infinite valleys and the lush, green rainforest that you just made your way through. You are passing mystical ruins while using paths that the Inca nation used themselves hundreds of years ago. And last but definitely not least you will enter Machu Picchu through the Inti Punku Sun Gate to see the sun rise over the Lost City of the Incas. This spectacle is not for nothing one of the most popular hikes of Peru. But see for yourself!
Dramatic mountain ranges of Santa Cruz Trek
The Trek of Santa Cruz starting in Huaraz is surely one of the harder ones and demands will and stamina. But if you decide to grab your boots and start your way up, you may be rewarded with one of the most beautiful hikes on this planet. Make sure to be acclimatized to the altitude since most of the 4-day hike is above 4000 mts/ 13100 ft.. The Punto Union pass is even located at 4750 mts./ 16000 ft., granting you incredible views over the Cordillera Blancas mountain range. Due to the surrounding glaciers you will encounter lagoons bright blue, or turquoise like the Carribean sea. And the beautiful waterfalls are just the icing on the snow-capped mountain peaks. Accomplishing the Santa Cruz Trek guarantees you an amazing experience. And why not reward yourself with one of the various hot springs in the area?
Salkantay Trail through the Sacred Valley
The Salkantay Trail has the same destination as various other hikes: Machu Picchu. But this 5- day adventure takes you away from the crowds, deeper into the Sacred Valley than any of the other paths. You will be closer to the wildlife, pass imposing glaciers and have a taste of Peruvian coffee on plantations. This trek starting in Cusco is almost twice as long as the popular Inca trail, which makes it a physical challenge. At the same time you will spend days in the dense jungle, exploring flora and fauna you have never seen before. And you will enjoy the fantastic landscapes from peaks as high as 4650 mts. /15200 ft.. In a nutshell: The incredible nature of the deep Inca lands will not fail to impress you.
Colorful Rainbow Mountains
It is not a coincidence “Vinicuncu” is better known as the Rainbow Mountains. It’s peaks shine in bright red, orange, turquoise, blue and purple tones, almost seeming like one of Salvadore Dalís surreal paintings. Starting in Cusco, you can visit this stunning sight in only one day. An about seven kilometer hike lead you over the mountain range – its unreal color resulting from minerals in the volcanic zone.
Make sure to be acclimated before you decide to take a tour, since you will be spending most of your day on over 5000 mts./ 16100 ft. in altitude. And don’t forget to take photos!
Hike to stunning Laguna 69
With crystal blue water Laguna 69 awaits you close to the city of Huaraz. Expect an easy hike, but since you reach altitudes of more than 4600 mts./ 15000 ft. the track can still be a challenge. In only a day you can experience the beauty of the Huascaran National Park, passing spectacular cascades and waterfalls. One of the highlights on the way to the Laguna 69 is Llanganuco. The lake has a spectacular turquoise color and is encircled by massive towering rock walls. No less beautiful is Laguna 69, often labeled as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. If you are brave enough have a swim in the ice-cold waters. But bring a towel!
Quarry Trek off the beaten Path
This trek offers you another alternative to the crowded paths leading to Machu Picchu. On your 4-day adventure you will discover unknown but not less impressive ruins of the Incas. While learning more about their ancient empire, you feel a thrill of anticipation getting closer to the lost city of the Inca nation. After four days of spectacular scenery, ice-capped summits and pink granite ruins, you will set foot in the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. Can you feel the presence of the Incas?