Top 10 mejores treks en Perú

The spectacular Peruvian geography is the perfect setting for hiking trails. Most take place in the immense mountains of the Andes Mountains. Some of these adventures even end in nothing less than the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Learn about the 10 best hiking trails in the country, their prices, tourist attractions and more details.

Treks Peru
Trek in the Huayhuash mountain range


1) Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca trail
Inca trail – Machu Picchu

The Classic Inca Trail is one of the best hiking trails on the planet. It crosses trails built by the Incas themselves. These roads were built to link Machu Picchu with Cusco, the Inca capital.

Currently the tourist route begins at kilometer 82 of the railway that connects Ollantaytambo with Aguas Calientes. From there, tourists climb high mountains and then descend through the high jungle landscapes of Cusco. Finally, after visiting other Inca archaeological sites (such as Patallacta or Wiñayhuayna), you will arrive at Machu Picchu just as the Incas did.

Due to high demand, this tour must be purchased from an authorized tour agency. It must be purchased 6 or 7 months in advance, otherwise, you will not find availability.


2) Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay trek is considered the second best hiking route in Cusco, only after the Inca Trail. It owes its name to the fact that it runs along the slopes of the immense Salkantay snow-capped mountain. Throughout the 5-day route, it crosses 70 kilometers of incredible landscapes. Finally, after a very arduous walk, you reach Machu Picchu from the town of Aguas Calientes.

In addition to Machu Picchu, during the walk you will visit other tourist attractions such as the formidable Humantay lagoon or the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. The first days are cold and intense. Then you descend through the beautiful high jungle roads of Cusco. Although it is possible to do this route on your own, it is best to choose a tour. These must be purchased online or with a Cusco tourism agency. The tour can be purchased a few days or weeks in advance.


3) Ausangate trek

Ausangate Trek
Hike through Ausangate

The Ausangate is a hiking route in Cusco that offers amazing mountainous landscapes. It owes its name to the fact that it crosses the slopes of the famous Ausangate mountain (6,384 meters above sea level), the highest in Cusco. In addition, during the walk, you visit the mountain of the 7 colors (Vinicunca), the second most visited tourist attraction in Cusco (only after Machu Picchu).

The route begins in Cusco, from where you travel by tourist transport to the town of Pajchanta, where you can enjoy relaxing thermal baths. There begins the walk that in the following days will cross Andean towns with a lot of tradition. Also snowy peaks where llamas and vicuñas graze freely. Tours can be obtained in the city of Cusco or online.


4) Trek to the Huayhuash mountain range

This route, as its name suggests, crosses the immense landscapes of the Huayhuash mountain range in Ancash. In its 30 kilometers of route you will see lagoons, mountains and snow-capped mountains. Although there are options of more than 10 days, the preferred option for tourists is 4 days.

During the walk, visitors will appreciate mountains such as: Ninashanca, Siula, Jirishanca, Rasac and Yerupajá (6,634 masl), the second highest in Peru. Likewise, they will enjoy charming lagoons such as Jahuacocha and Solterococha.

Tours can be obtained in the city of Huaraz or in tourist agencies online. It is recommended to wear warm clothes. The best time to go is from April to December. January, February and March are rainy seasons that cause difficulties for walkers.


5) Trek to the Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon – Arequipa

The Colca Canyon is the main tourist attraction of Arequipa. Most get there via a 1 or 2 day journey from the ‘White City’. However, some visitors decide to do it on foot through a moderate hiking trail of only 25 kilometers. This adventure goes through the main towns of the Colca. It stands out for the beautiful landscapes that it runs through.

The walking time per day is only 3 hours. In addition to the famous Condor viewpoint, it goes through towns such as Chivay, Cabanaconde, Yanque, San Juan de Chuccho, Cosñirhua and more. Also the beautiful places of Sangalle, the viewpoint of Antahuilque and more. Some tours already include the entrance ticket to Colca while others do not. It is recommended to buy a serious tour that includes everything, either in the city of Arequipa or online.


6) Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu

This adventure tour is one of the preferred options for young people who want a bit of adrenaline on the trip to Machu Picchu. During the route, there are mainly hikes. However, cycling, canoeing (optional) and zip-lining (optional) are also practiced in certain parts. There is also a separate afternoon to enjoy the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, the best in Cusco.

On the penultimate day you will arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night in a local lodging. So the next day is dedicated to getting to know Machu Picchu and returning to Cusco by train. There is a 5-day version and a 3-day version. However, the official adventure lasts 4 days. The only way to do this route is with a tourism agency. You can get the service with a Cusco tourism agency or in its version online.


7) Choquequirao trek

Choquequirao
Trek Choquequirao

Choquequirao is known as ‘The sacred sister of Machu Picchu’ because it has similarities architectural and landscape with the ‘Inca City’. Due to its rugged geography, the only way to get there is on foot. The route begins in the town of Cachora from where you walk for 26 kilometers through the difficult Apurímac canyon.

The tour stands out for spending a night camping next to Choquequirao. Also because there are very few visitors who will visit the archaeological site. The return path follows the same route as the outward journey. There are other versions of the 3-day and 5-day tour. However, the most requested version lasts 4 days. Although you can go on your own, it is best to hire a tour. The service is contracted in the city of Cusco or online.


8) Lares trek to Machu Picchu

This hiking route is known as ‘the cultural route to Machu Picchu’. The reason is that it passes through Andean towns full of traditions. It owes its name to the fact that the walk begins in the town of Lares where visitors will enjoy the thermal baths of the place. In the next two days, visitors ascend on foot through imposing mountains, snow-capped mountains and lagoons. In the afternoon of the third day they arrive by train to the town of Aguas Calientes.

The last day is dedicated to touring Machu Picchu and returning to Cusco by train. This tour is not as demanding compared to other similar routes such as the Inca Trail or the Salkantay trek. The same precautions should be taken because the nights are cold. You must bring a coat and the necessary personal utensils. Although going on your own is possible, it is best to choose a tour. These include everything.


9) Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu

Huchuy Qosqo
Trek Huchuy Qosqo

This tour is so named because it goes through the archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is the easiest hiking route to Machu Picchu. It travels only 12 kilometers because in certain parts there are sections by bus and train. Due to its accessibility, it is recommended for children and older adults.

The only hike on the tour is the section that connects Tambomachay with the archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo. There tourists will camp to visit this historic place. The second day we travel by bus and train to Aguas Calientes. The last day we visit Machu Picchu and return to Cusco. Tours can be booked with a tourism agency, either online or in the city of Cusco.


10) Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has its short version of only 2 days. This adventure is special because it allows you to travel the last stretch of the historic trails built by the Incas until you arrive at the ‘Inca City’. It begins at kilometer 104 of the railway that connects Ollantaytambo with Aguas Calientes. There you walk uphill for about 12 kilometers until you arrive at Machu Picchu. However, that night the tourists will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes where they will spend the night. The second and last day is dedicated to getting to know Machu Picchu and returning to Cusco by train.

The short Inca Trail is a good option for tourists who did not get availability on the 4-day version of the tour. Tours must be purchased 2-3 weeks in advance. Both the classic version and the short version remain closed in February (due to heavy rains). As they are routes protected by the State of Peru; It is only possible to travel these routes with a tour from an authorized tourism agency.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, November 10, 2021


More guides that can help you

How to get to Machupicchu?

Machu Picchu is one of the most visited destinations in the world. It is located in the Andean region in Cusco in Peru. Getting there depends on the country where you are. Lima airport (capital of the country) has direct connections with some cities in Europe, the United States and all of South America. Then a short trip to Cusco must be made. This city was the capital of the Inca empire. From there to Machupicchu you must make a trip of almost 4 hours by train and bus.

How to get to Machupicchu?

5 free and incredible treks in Cusco

Cusco is one of the favorite tourist destinations for lovers of hiking trails. The most famous route is definitely the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. However, this 4-day trek can only be done with a tour whose cost ranges from approximately $ 600. For tourists on a lower budget there are other walks. Some of them also end in Machupicchu. Here are five free hiking routes in Cusco.

5 free and incredible treks in Cusco