The Best Hikes In Peru

There are many incredible hikes in Peru.

With some of the best archeological sites in the world, beautiful cities and varied landscape, Peru is one of the best tourist destinations in South America. Peru is also famous for being one of the Andes country – it’s highest peak, Huascaran, reaches a whopping 6768 meters: that’s more than 22000 feet!

It only goes without saying that there are some incredible hikes in Peru. Having been to the country twice myself, I have had the pleasure to go hiking in Peru a bunch of times. But with so many trails, I haven’t been able to cover them all. So I thought I’d ask my blogger friends about their favorite hikes in Peru, and put together a selection of the best hikes in the country.

Continue reading to decide where to go hiking in Peru!

DISCLAIMER: For all the hikes in Peru mentioned in this post, I point out the walking distance, the overall walking time and the difficulty. Keep in mind that the walking time depends on your pace, and that difficulty is subjective.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

18 Great Hikes In Peru

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 25 miles (40 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 4 days
STARTING POINT: Piscacucho, 2,792 meters / 9,300 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: Dead Woman’s Pass, 4,215 meters / 13,828 feet

Easily the best hike in Peru, and the most rewarding one. You will be visiting many inca sites that are otherwise not accessible to the general public, and the cherry on the cake will be seeing the sunrise over the site, from the Inti Punku – the sun gate. Of the many trails that go to Machu Picchu, this is actually the only one during which you see that – whereas alternative treks take you all the way to Aguas Calientes, from where you walk up or take the bus to the entrance of the site – which opens at 6:00 am.

The hike is generally moderate, save for the second day during which you will be walking a steady uphill. In order to walk the Inca Trail you need permits which must be purchased by a certified agency well in advance and which are tied to your name and passport number. All treks to Machu Picchu are guided. Only 500 people per day are allowed on the trail, and that includes the guides and the porters.

Should you want to walk the Inca Trail, these are the best options that can be booked online:

For a full guide to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, click here.

Machu Picchu from Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu Trek

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate to difficult
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 3.1 miles (5 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: +/- 3 hours
STARTING POINT: Machu Picchu, 2,430 meters / 7,972 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 2,693 meters / 8,835 feet

The one to Huayna Picchu is one of the most expensive hikes in Peru, but also one of the most rewarding. The easy-to-follow trail will take you to a peak from where you can get the most impressive views of Machu Picchu ruins. The first part of the hike is a steep uphill that will take you around two hours, and that can be challenging in points as you will be climbing over large boulders. You will walk down on the same trail.

Hiking to Huayna Picchu requires a separate permit / ticket additional to the one you purchase for visiting Machu Picchu and costing an extra $15 for same day visits (so a total of $80 USD for Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu tickets). Entrance is timed and there are two slots: at 7:00 am and at 10:30 am. No more than 400 visitors are allowed in a day. You can get your Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu tickets here.

Inti Punku

Machu Picchu Mountain Hike

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Easy to moderate.
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 1.2 miles (2 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 3 hours
STARTING POINT: Machu Picchu, 2,430 meters / 7,972 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 3,082 meters / 10,111 feet

If you fancy getting incredible views of Machu Picchu but can’t quite fathom the challenges of the hike to Huayna Picchu, you can consider hiking Machu Picchu Mountain. It’s a short hike, whose main difficulty is the altitude, and there are some bits where you will be waking on a narrow trail.

Once you get to the top, the views are absolutely stunning.

Hiking Montana Machu Picchu requires a separate permit / ticket additional to the one for Machu Picchu. They cost an extra $15 for same day visits (so a total of $80 USD for Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain tickets). Entrance is timed and there are two slots: at 7:00 am and at 8:00 am. No more than 800 visitors are allowed in a day.

Pumamarca

Pumamarca Archaeological Park

Submitted by Megan of Packing up the Pieces

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: Under 8.5 miles roundtrip (13.6 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: +/- 4 hours
STARTING POINT: The village of Ollantaytambo in Peru’s Sacred Valley, 2,792 meters / 9,300 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 3,398 meters / 11,150 feet

Nestled in the hillside above the adorable village of Ollantaytambo, are the little visited Pumamarca ruins. These fascinating remnants are a mixture of both Pre-Inca and Inca construction, and resemble the shape of the sacred animal of the puma.

The hike itself is absolutely stunning and is easy to reach from Ollantaytambo. Head out of town along a scenic river. The gradual uphill ascent begins, but the forest covered path winds past Inca terraces and water canals with some breathtaking viewpoints.

The path is fairly well marked, so it’s possible to hike without a guide. The ascent is gradual, so the hike itself is quite enjoyable. Upon arrival at Pumamarca Archaeological Park, pay the enthusiastic gatekeeper S/ 20 for admission, which helps support the local communities. Explore the ruins, take pictures with the llamas, and head back on the same path to Ollantaytambo.

Admission to Pumamarca is 20 Peruvian Soles.

hikes in Peru

Waqrapukara Archaeological Park

Submitted by Megan of Packing up the Pieces

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate +
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 14 Miles (22.5 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 2 days (+/- 10 Hours)
STARTING POINT: The tiny village of Sangarará (3,749 meters / 12,300 feet), which can be reached via bus from Cusco
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 3,939 meters / 14,925 feet

Waqrapukara Archaeological Park may just be Peru’s best kept secret and most impressive Inca site. Also known as the “horned fortress,” this peculiar shaped rock is surrounded and covered in Inca ruins.

One of the biggest challenges of this intrepid hike is the altitude. The ruins of Waqrapukara sit at 13,450 feet, almost double the height of Machu Picchu, so proper acclimation is essential. This hiking adventure can be completed without a guide, but proper camping gear is essential.

The site of Waqrapukara is free to enter and there’s a simple campsite with basic facilities and access to running water. To feel the magic of this place, spend the night. In the morning, follow the route to the village of Huayqui, which passes by towering and impressive cliffs.

hiking in Peru

Maras and Moray Trek

Submitted by Vicki Franz from Vicki Viaja

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Medium
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 10.5 miles (17 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: Half-day
STARTING POINT: Casita Media Luna, 2,800 meters / 9,500 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 3,514 meters /11,530 feet

There are several ways to visit the popular attractions Maras and Moray in Sacred Valley. One of the most memorable ways is to do a hike (no guide is needed).

To begin the hike, take a shared cab (Colectivo) from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Casita Media Luna. From there, start your walk upwards to the Salineras de Maras. The salt mines are one of the most popular attractions in the Sacred Valley, as they have been used for salt mining for several hundred years.

From the Salineras de Maras, continue upward toward Maras Pueblo. Take your time because it can be challenging to breathe at these altitudes, especially during the ascent. In Maras, you can take a little break for a coffee or lunch. Passing beautiful landscapes, you will now walk from Maras Pueblo to Moray. With a little bit of luck, you can meet some lamas, donkeys, or alpacas on the way.

Moray and Maras are included in Cuzco Boleto Turistico. You can get yours here.

hikes in Peru

Salkantay Trek

Submitted by Sheree of Winging the World 

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 53.4 miles (84 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 days
STARTING POINT: Challacancha, 3,800 meters / 12,467 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 4,630 meters / 15,190 feet

The Salkantay Trek has become one of Peru’s most popular hikes. It is generally hiked over the course of 5 days, beginning in Challacancha and finishing the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. The trail crosses through a range of eco-systems so it’s a good idea to consult a Salkantay Trek packing list before you embark on the hike as the weather can vary hugely.

The trail is known for its stunning natural beauty and can be completed independently or as part of an organized tour. The main highlight of the route is also the biggest challenge, the crossing of the Salkantay Pass which sits at 4,630 meters above sea level. The extreme altitude and steep ascents faced on this trek mean that hikers will need to be of a decent fitness level in order to complete the journey. 

For more information about the Salkantay Trek and to book your hike, click here or here.

Lares trek
Photo by Ken S on Unsplash

Lares Trek

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate to difficult
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 20.5 to 28 miles (33 to 45 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 3 to 5 days
STARTING POINT: Lares, 3,150 meters / 10,334 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 4,400 (14,435 feet) to 4,600 meters (15091 feet), depending on the route you follow

The Lares region offers some of the best hikes in Peru, and depending on the trail you follow you could be walking between two and five days. Hikes usually start in the Sacred Valley region and go all the way to Aguas Calientes, from where you can either walk or take the bus to Machu Picchu.

Throughout the hike, you get to visit isolated Inca ruins and villages that wouldn’t be seen otherwise, and that are still unknown to tourism.

This is a guided hike that, contrary to the Inca Trail, doesn’t have to be booked months in advance.

For more information about the Lares Trek and to book your hike, click here or here.

Chinchero

Chinchero to Urquillos Trek

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 5 miles (8 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 4 hours
STARTING POINT: Chinchero, 3,762 meters / 12,342 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 3,754 meters / 12,316 feet

One of the lesser known hikes in Peru, the Chinchero to Urquillos trek is short yet very rewarding. The hike starts in Chinchero, a small village in the Sacred Valley between Cuzco and Urubamba. Most of the hike is a steep downhill, which can actually be quite hard on your knees.

While you can easily follow the trail independently, a guide is probably a good idea to take in all that you get to see, which includes agricultural fields, lesser known sites of the Sacred Valley, waterfalls and more. This is a nice day trip from Cusco (and add Pisac ruins to your trip to make it a full day), but you are probably better off spending some time in the Sacred Valley to take in everything that it has to offer.

This is one of the sites included in Cuzco Boleto Turistico. You can get yours here.

hiking in Peru

Choquequirao Trek

Submitted by Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 36 miles (58 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 4-5 days
STARTING POINT: Cachora, 2,900 meters / 9,514 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: Morampata 3,000 meters / 9,842 feet

The Choquequirao trek is a stunning route in the Peruvian Andes. It takes hikers to one of the lesser-known Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley – Choquequirao Ruins. The trek offers breathtaking scenery; lush green forest, beautiful mountains, an impressive canyon, and the elaborated Inca ruins and terraces. The ruins are accessible only on foot and as a result there are very few tourists visiting Choquequirao ruins.

Two parts make up the ruins; the Lower ruins or terraces and the Upper ruins with buildings and temples. Hikers can camp next to the Inca ruins at a designated campsite and have easy and unlimited access to the ruins during the day. The main challenge of the trek is a steep ascent from the bottom of the canyon (Santa Rosalina) to Morampata. A 1500 meters ascent is done over 2 days. The trek can be done independently – no guide or porter needed.

For more information about the Choquequirao trek and to book your hike, click here.

Ausangate

Ausangate Trek

Submitted by Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 43 miles (70 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 days
STARTING POINT: Tinqui, 4000 meters / 13,123 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: Palomani Pass 5165 meters / 16,945 feet

Ausangate is a high-altitude trek in the Peruvian Andes near Cusco. It’s one of the most challenging and lesser-known routes in the country. The scenery on the trek is well worth the effort; colorful mountains, bizarre rock formations, turquoise, blue, and pink color lakes, impressive hanging glaciers, emerald-green pasture fields with
hundreds of wild alpacas.

High altitude is the main challenge of the Ausangate trek. The entire route is above 4000 meters, good acclimatization is the key here. Two high passes over 5000 meters are the toughest part of the trail. It’s possible to visit the famous Rainbow Mountain as a part of the trek. The route goes through wild uninhabited areas, so hikers must carry all food and camping gear with them. The trek doesn’t require special permits and can be done without a guide.

Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain Trek

Submitted by Ben Lloyd of Ticket4TwoPlease

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Hard due to the elevation gain and altitude
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 6.2 miles (10 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 3 Hours
STARTING POINT: Quesiuno parking lot – starting altitude 4236 meters / 14,189 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 5200 meters / 17,060 feet

3 hours away from Cusco lies the incredibly vibrant Rainbow Mountain. Although the mountain has existed for centuries, the spellbinding colors of Rainbow Mountain have only been revealed to humans since 2015.

Once covered by an impenetrable layer of Andean snow, the mountain, and its famous colrful exterior, now provides a prime hiking opportunity in the heart of Peru. From the trailhead at Quesiuno parking lot there is only one accessible hiking route, a straightforward, out-and-back style trail.

The relatively flat terrain of the first half of the hike is fairly manageable and can be completed at a brisk pace. The second half of the hike is considerably steeper and at 5200 meters above sea level, the altitude will start to take its toll on even the most-ardent of hikers.

Experienced hikers can easily navigate the trail alone, but for those less accustomed to hiking at altitude, a guide is certainly recommended.

For more information about hiking Rainbow Mountain and to book your hike, click here or here.

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon Hike

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Medium to difficult
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 13.7 miles (22 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 2 days
STARTING POINT: Cabanaconde, 3,000 meters / 9,842 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 4,800 meters / 15,748 feet

The Colca Canyon trek is certainly one of the best in Peru. Due to the high elevation to begin with, and the elevation gain during the hike, it can be classified as a moderate to difficult hike.

The first day of the hike is mostly spent walking from the village of Cabanaconde all the way down to the oasis located inside the canyon. The terrain is generally good, but walking downhill can be quite tiring and you will be going over some massive boulders and slippery terrain too. Throughout the day, you will be going through many tiny local villages that can be only reached on foot or by donkey and have the opportunity of meeting the lovely locals.

The oasis is where you will be spending the night. On the second day you will start walking at 4:00 am, while it is still dark, and it is a solid uphill hike – it will take you between 3 and 4 hours to reach the top, where you will be having breakfast before driving back to Arequipa. The hike can be done independently but various companies in Arequipa sell group hikes.

For more information about the Colca Canyon trek and to book your hike click here or here.

Marcahuasi

Marcahuasi Trek

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Medium
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 7.5 miles (12 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: Half-day
STARTING POINT: San Pedro de Casta, 2,200 meters / 10,498 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 4,000 meters /13,000 feet

Among the lesser known hikes in Peru, Marcahuasi is challenging and yet so rewarding. The trail takes you to a place whose origins are still debated – some say it’s man-made, others argue it was formed through erosion. 

The easy-to-follow trail starts in San Pedro de Casta, a tiny village at about 100 km from Lima, which is a challenge to reach in and of itself – a full 5 hours of traveling if all goes according to schedule. You’ll gain around 800 meters during the hike, for which you don’t need a guide and during which you won’t meet another soul, save for a few villagers once you get out of San Pedro.

Plan to start walking no later than 6:00 am as it usually starts raining between 12:00 and 2:00 pm. Dress appropriately (it’s very cold!) and bring food and water for the hike. Finally, plan top spend at least one night in San Pedro de Casta’s only accommodation (the Ospedaje Municipal), as the bus schedule is erratic at best.

For a full guide to hiking Marcahuasi, click here.

hiking in Peru

Huayhuash Trek

Submitted by Bailey from Destinationless Travel

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Challenging
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 71.5 miles (115 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 8-12 days
STARTING POINT: A campsite called Cuartelwain, a couple of hour drive from the city of Huaraz
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 5,050 meters / 16,568 feet

The Huayhuash is easily one of the most beautiful hikes in Peru, but views like that don’t come easily and this is likely one of the most challenging hikes in the entire country. Stretching over the Cordillera Huayhuash you’ll climb over 9 different mountain passes reaching altitudes more than 5,000 meters above sea level. Each day offers incredible viewpoints including the famous Tres Lagunas (three lakes.)

Because of the altitude and length, most people opt to complete the Huayhuash on a guided tour. Tours are available from various agencies in the city of Huaraz. Tours range in price and typically, you get what you pay for in terms of the quality of the gear and food. Some tours have guides that speak English, and some do not. All tours include donkeys to assist in carrying gear as well as horses for emergency use. While it is possible to hike this trail without a tour, it is only recommended for those who are highly experienced and can easily navigate mountain terrain (the trail is not marked.)

If you are looking for a challenge, then the Huayhuash trek is perfect. Once you complete it you’ll have some of the best photos you can imagine, and a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to beat.

Laguna 69

Laguna 69

Submitted by Claire Sturzaker of Tales of a Backpacker

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Medium to difficult due to the altitude.
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 8.7 miles (14 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: Approximately 5 hours
STARTING POINT: Cebollapampa, 3,900 meters / 12,795 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 4,525 meters / 14,845 feet

The hike to Laguna 69 is one of the most popular hikes in the Huascarán National Park. A guide isn’t required if you can get to the trailhead alone, but most people join a tour group from Huaraz which includes transport (a 3-hour drive) to the starting point.

The hike isn’t particularly difficult, yet the high altitude makes it challenging, especially if you are not acclimatized properly before attempting the trek. The beginning of the trail takes you through a forest path, then across a plain where you can see the mountains in the distance. The last part of the trail is an ascent up into the mountain to the lake.

When you reach the top, you will see that the hike is well worth the effort! Laguna 69 is a beautiful turquoise lake, nestled among mountain peaks. You can take a dip in the water although it will be icy cold, before returning along the same trail.

For more information about the Laguna 69 trek and to book your hike, click here.

Glacier Pastoruri

Glacier Pastoruri Hike

Submitted by Sean of LivingOutLau

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Easy-Moderate
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 2.1 miles (3.4 km)
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 1.5 hours out-and-back
STARTING POINT: Glacier Pastoruri Parking Lot, approximately 4,800 meters / 15,748 feet
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 5,200 meters / 17,060 feet

Located inside Huascaran National Park, Glacier Pastoruri is one of the best day hikes from Huaraz, at least for now. That is because Glacier Pastoruri might no longer be an attraction in Peru in the future due to the melting of the ice. By definition, Glacier Pastoruri isn’t a glacier because it doesn’t accumulate ice in the winter months. It is just a big block of ice that will continue to melt until it is all gone, because of global warming.

Hearing that might make you want to book your flight to Peru now, but there are lots of precautions to take when hiking Glacier Pastoruri. The day hike is one of the highest day hikes in Peru at around 5,000 meters in altitude. Though only a 45-minutes hike from the parking lot to the glacier itself, the high altitude makes the air thin and breathing difficult. The effort is worth it though, as you can see a beautiful glacial lake and Glacier Pastoruri surrounded by some of the most majestic alpine peaks in Peru.

Unfortunately, because of how difficult it is to get to, travelers should only consider tours to Glacier Pastoruri. Those tours can be easily found in the nearby city of Huaraz.

For more information about Glacier Pastoruri trek and to book your hike, click here.

Yumbilla Falls

Yumbilla Falls Trek

Submitted by Isabella of Boundlessroads.com

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: very easy
TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE: 1.8 miles (3 km) from the entrance – 3.6 miles (6 km) from town
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 4 hrs
STARTING POINT: 1,800 meters / 5,905 feet approximately
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE DURING THE HIKE: 2,000 meters / 6,561 feet approximately

Very few people have heard of the Yumbilla Falls, a spectacular waterfall located near the town of Cuispes, in the northern Peruvian region of Amazonas, in the Eastern Peruvian Andes.

Unfairly overlooked, this amazing falls is actually the 5th highest waterfall in the world and the second-highest in Peru. Although nowadays you will find organized tours, it’s very easy to visit Yumbilla Falls on your own, with a local guide that you can hire on site. Just hop on a bus from Chachapoyas to Pedro Ruiz and from there take a moto-taxi to the village of Cuispes.

At the tourist office, located by the main plaza, you purchase the entrance ticket and receive direction. It’s advisable to hire a guide there, especially if you are on your own, and for sure if you plan to rappel down to the lower tiers of the fall. It’s a spectacular and easy hike in the jungle where you will enjoy spectacular views over the surrounding mountains and you can even spot birds including the Peruvian National Bird the Andean cock-of-the-rock.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

5 Final Tips And Things To Know When Hiking In Peru

The best hikes in Peru all come with their own challenges, so I thought I’d share some useful tips that will help you prepare for hiking in Peru.

Be Prepared for the Altitude

All the hikes mentioned in this post are at an altitude, and that is something you really should not underestimate. Hiking at an altitude requires an additional effort, for you will constantly be short of breath.

If you intend to go hiking in Peru, give yourself a few extra days in a city such as Cuzco – the best starting point for hikes in the Sacred Valley; Arequipa, from where you can hike the Colca Canyon; or Huaraz. These cities are located at a significant elevation, giving you the chance to acclimatize before you start hiking. While there, make sure to eat healthy carbs, drink lots of water and avoid alcohol consumption.

Drinking Mate de Coca – aka coca tea – is a great way of fighting altitude sickness. You can find coca leaves in any store or market around Peru – beware that it is rich in caffeine, so avoid drinking it at night if you care to sleep!

Make sure to read my post What You Need To Know Before Visiting Peru.

Not All Hikes Are Free

Whether you decide to hire a guide when hiking in Peru, or follow the trails independently, be prepared to pay a fee to access the trail or the site you intend to visit. Most of the times it’s just a matter of a few dollars – if not less. This is the case in Marcahuasi, for example, or in other national parks throughout the country. Other times – for example in the Colca Canyon or for all the hikes around the Sacred Valley (such as the Inca Trail), the fee is more consistent.

Make sure to get a Boleto Turistico to explore the sites around the Sacred Valley! You can get yours here.

Marcahuasi

You Need a Guide for Many Hikes In Peru

One of the perks of hiking in Peru is that not only you get to appreciate the incredible Andes landscape; but that most hikes go through local villages – some of them so remote that locals don’t even speak Spanish, but just the local Quechua language; and explore archeological sites that you wouldn’t be able to reach by car or bus. With this in mind, you are typically better off hiring a guide for your hike, or joining a guided group hike.

Wherever possible in the course of this post I have shared links to guided hikes you can buy online. In any event, other than the Inca Trail, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain treks which require advanced bookings, the other hikes mentioned in this post can be booked locally.

Packing Smartly is Essential

If you intend to go on long distance hikes in Peru, you have to make it a point of packing smartly – which means not only packing light, but picking the right gear to wear too.

A backpack weighting more than 7 kg will be heavy on your back and shoulders and have adverse effects on your walking experience, and chances are that you won’t even use most of the stuff you are carrying. I recommend using a backpack that fits no more than 30 liters.

Other items you will need are good, waterproof hiking boots and hiking socks; a nice fleece and a wind and rain proof jacket; a water bottle with a filter such as this one. Some also recommend using hiking poles – personally, I am not a fan.

Have a Basic Understanding of Peru Hiking Seasons

Before you start planning your hikes in Peru, you should familiarize yourself with the seasons the country goes through. While you can hike throughout the year, your experience will vary enormously depending on when you actually hike.

Peru has a dry season, typically starting in mid April and lasting until the end of October and during which you can expect close-to-perfect hiking conditions; and a wet season, which goes from December to mid April, and during which you may experience quite a bit of rain.

I walked my Inca Trail at the beginning of April and it rained almost every day. While rain didn’t detract from the overall experience, I won’t deny many in the group would have preferred sunny and dry weather throughout!

Have you been hiking in Peru? Which are your favorite hikes in the country?

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Discover the best hikes in Peru - via @clautavani

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