4 Peruvian Hiking Trails For An Adventurist

Manaal Salman
5 min readJun 23, 2022

A melting pot of culture and geography, Peru is custom-made for adventure. A magical country featuring mountains, deserts, jungles, and coasts, Peru is nothing short of a dream destination. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a newbie looking for an exciting get-away, Peru is tailor-made to give you the best experience.

One of the best ways to explore Peru is on foot. Home to some of the world’s best trekking destinations, Peru’s trails are a marvel to walk. So lace up your boots as we discover some of the best hikes in Peru.

1. Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu

The ancient Inca trail offers a once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the world’s seven wonders. Ascending gradually from kilometer 82 of the Inca Trail, this classic route cuts through Andean villages, flowing rivers, and 500-year-old archeological sites.

It successfully combines stunning mountain scenery and thick cloud jungles with celebrated ruins and tunnels. The trail ends at the Sun Gate, where you are offered an unbelievable view of Peru’s lost city — Macchu Pichu. After a guided tour of the ruins, hikers spend the night at Aguas Calientes where they can soak in medicinal baths and shop for souvenirs.

Very few hikes in the world that combine comfort with discovery, so make sure you don’t overlook the Inca Trail — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Remember that the Inca Trek is a best seller — it hosts 500 visitors every day. This trip needs to be planned and prepped months in advance.

2. Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain

If you’re looking for a more solitary adventure, the Ausangate trek may be perfect for you. This 8 -journey will take you through the roughened highlands and glacial lakes of the stunning Ausangate region to the pastel pink perfection of Rainbow Mountain. The multi-coloured slopes are like something out of a fantasy.

Hikers also get to explore the herding villages on the foothills of Mount Apu — one of Peru’s sacred mountains. According to Peruvian folklore, powerful Incan spirits inhabit the peaks. Many fortune-seeking locals still climb the hills to pay offerings to the mountain gods.

The Ausangate circuit is an other-worldly experience in more ways than one. Earth oven delicacies and natural hot springs are the perfect additions to the journey. You will also get the chance to see more than 20 species of birds, llamas, and other local animals.

If you plan to visit Ausangate, make sure to plan your trip between May and September. Once the rainy season hits, treks become more challenging and pose a greater risk.

3. Trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao

Choquequirao offers a more challenging alternative to Macchu Picchu for the more enthusiastic hiker. Private and peaceful, this unique trail takes you back in time through Inca history to Apurimac Valley, nicknamed “The Cradle of Gold.” Macchu Picchu may be a crowd-pleaser, but Choquequirao’s solitary beauty remains unparalleled.

If you don’t want to deal with the restrictions and ruckus of the popular Inca Trail, Choquequirao is the best choice for you. The dramatic landscapes, campsites, and relics offer a well-rounded experience, and the seclusion of the trail is the perfect additive for a true explorer.

Starting off in the small town of Cachora, hikers travel on foot to Apuramic Valley and put up camp at Rosaline beach. The next few days see them trekking through lush cloud forests and crossing rivers to local villages. They end their journey at the small settlement of Marampata, which takes them to Choquequirao, which hosts the most extensive remains of the Incan civilization

4. Gocta Waterfalls Circuit

Plummeting a whooping 2530 feet into the Cocahuayco River, the Gocta Falls are among the tallest in the world. Interestingly, it was only put on the map in 2002 when it was discovered behind a lush cloud forest. Hugged by Peru’s most beautiful flora, it is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

Adventurers looking to visit Gocta Waterfalls begin their journey in the ancient town of Chachapoyas — the gateway to the Amazon. From there, it is only a 5-kilo-meter trek to the waterfalls. If you’re something of a solo traveller, you may safely choose to forgo the option of a tour guide. Just make sure to stock up on supplies and be mindful of your steps.

Compared to the other hikes on this list, the Gocta Waterfalls Circuit is the easiest, most budget-friendly option. If you’re low on funds, the falls are a good choice. Once you’ve had your fill of the site, you may also walk to the Kueap Ruins or the Sarcophagi of Karajia — some of the archeological attractions that sit nearby.

The best time to visit is during the rainy season, which runs April through November — the falls are at their most spectacular then.

Get Ready for an Unforgettable Adventure

Now that you know where to go, put your vacation days to good use and unleash your corporate daredevil. It’s time to wave that 9–5 monotony an overdue goodbye! Grab a friend or a partner, gear up, and begin to explore. The wonders of the world are awaiting your arrival. Beginner or expert — Peru’s trails are the perfect places for you to experience the magic of earth’s natural beauty and rejuvenate your soul.

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Manaal Salman

~A collection of disorderly writings~ Hi! I’m a 23 year old college student writing about pretty much anything that catches my fancy.