The Best Adventure and Trekking Destinations in Peru
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The Best Adventure and Trekking Destinations in Peru

6 min read

Jul 3, 2019

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By Martin Kaleta

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Updated August 6th, 2020

Those who visit Peru are mostly attracted by its pre-Columbian Inca culture, mysterious ruins, and indigenous influences. However, the best thing about Peru is that you can combine typical sightseeing with emerging yourself into spectacular natural landscapes. There are plenty of adventure and trekking destinations in Peru. Those which are not only pleasant to your eye but also give you an opportunity to experience a lot of adventurous activities the list of which is just endless. Below are the best destinations in Peru for adventure seekers and tourists that are looking for peace and quiet among nature and far away from the city hustle.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

Perfect for every type of hiker

tourists walking around machu picchu

Machu Picchu is not only for those who love ruins, and not only for expert hikers. Almost everyone that has ever seen a famous Machu Picchu photo imagines that it’s not easy to get there. It must only be for those who are fit and young. This idea is not true at all. You can visit Machu Picchu ruins by train, bus, and climbing just a couple of stairs. Machu Picchu is for anyone who enjoys culture, history, and adventure. If you’re super adventurous, like Indian Jones adventurous, you might choose one of the multiple hikes that are available to Machu Picchu and the surrounding area.

The most common hike is a 3 nights/4 days Machu Picchu trek that allows you to walk around 26 miles before you get to the Machu Picchu ruins. For those who don’t have time or simply think 3 nights, it’s too much activity, there is a 1 night/2 days hike option that still gives you a great opportunity to feel this adrenaline. Apart from the traditional well known Inka treks, there are also pretty good alternatives like Salkantay trek or Lares trek. Both are great ways to combine landscape and adventure.

Recommended tours:
Luxury Trail to Machu Picchu
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Lares Valley Peru Trek

2. Cusco, Peru

A city nearby incredible landscapes

rainbow mountain peru

Believe it or not but you don’t have to spend your time in Cusco just on walking around the cobblestone streets and visiting museums. Not everyone is keen on history and architecture. For those who love adventure, there is the famous Rainbow Mountain waiting just 2 hours drive from Cusco which makes it a perfect day trip destination from Cusco city. This beautiful Seven Colors Mountain can be reached during almost a 2-3 hours hike and the best thing is that it’s available for tourists all year round and it’s a great spot for bird watching as well! The easier alternative option is a bit shorter, a 1-hour hike to Palccoyo Mountain which also allows you to admire the landscape with fewer crowds of people on the way.

Those who are not able to hike however still are in a mood for adventure can choose the option of hiring a horse to get to the Rainbow Mountain.

Recommended tours:
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Peru Tour
Choquequirao Peru Trek

3. Huaraz, Peru

A place for serious hikers

cordillera blanca mountain range

If you are looking for some remote, not that frequented destinations I would travel to Huaraz, a city located very high in the mountains of the Huascaran National Park. It’s not only a perfect spot for day hikes (over 25 trials available in the area) but also the highest tropical range in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The visitors can choose treks from the most demanding 12 days Huayhuash Trek to four-day/three-night Santa Cruz trek. The things you can see in the Huaraz area will blow your mind: blue lagoons, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, a variety of fauna, and flora. You can see when is the best time to visit Peru and enjoy those landscapes.

Recommended tours:
Huaraz Cordillera Blanca Peru Trek

4. The Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

Nature and adventure all in one

hut in the peruvian amazon rainforest

Peru is one of the best spots from where you can visit the Amazon. It’s one of those places that you want to visit at least one time in your life. There are two areas in Peru for the Amazon adventure: around Iquitos in the north part of the country and around Puerto Maldonado on the east side of the country. Both destinations offer different kinds of lodges that prepare for its visitors a wide range of activities like trekking, kayaking, tree climbing, zip-lining, swimming, piranha fishing. You can find plenty of great Peruvian Amazon lodge options. For those looking for more unique experiences, I would recommend the Amazon Treehouse Lodge close to Iquitos. As the name suggests the property is a complex of various wooden huts wrapped around tree trunks.

Recommended tours:
Machu Picchu & Amazon Jungle Tour

5. The Sacred Valley, Peru

Where adventure knocks at your hotel door

landscape of sacred valley peru

For every person that loves adventure and travels to Peru, Sacred Valley is the first place I recommend to visit. You can spend all your time on an adventure while being there. There is trekking, paragliding, horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, via Ferrata climbing, endless options for zip linings with breathtaking views. Almost every hotel will offer you a menu of high-quality adventures that make your trip even more memorable and complete.

One of the most unique places to stay at for adventure seekers is the Sky Lodge. Very unique glass cabins hotel located on the side of the mountain at almost 2000 feet above the sea level. The only way to get there is to hike however the effect of sleeping almost touching the sky is totally worth the effort. Not mentioning the view of the whole valley that spreads in front of your eyes when you wake up in the morning.

Recommended tours:
The Incas, Uros, Gauchos & Cariocas Tour

6. Huacachina

If you’re more interested in sandy landscapes

sandy landscape of huacachina peru

If you head South of Lima you will get to the vast area of desert and many small villages by the ocean. One of the villages located in the middle of the desert however still surrounded by green vegetation is an oasis of Huacachina. This place is filled with adrenaline and you do have sand dunes there which are calling for adventure. You can opt for sandboarding or dune buggy or simply camping in a desert under the starry sky.

Recommended tours:
The Essence of Peru Tour

7. Lima, Peru

Lima is more than the culinary capital of Peru

Miaflores, Lima modern skyline and ocean

Lima might be famous for its best cuisine in South America however we cannot forget it’s a coastal city by the Pacific ocean so it’s a perfect spot for adventure as well. This part of the Pacific coast is great for surfing, paragliding over the coastline of the capital, or even swimming with sea lions! A great way of visiting the historical part might be doing a bike tour instead of walking.

Recommended tours:
Classic Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu Tour

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