Time To Trek! A Starter Guide To Trekking In Peru
Strap on those hiking boots because it’s time to discover one of the world’s best-trekking destinations: Peru! More than just the Inca Trail, although of course it made the list, Peru has a variety of incredible treks nestled in it’s mountains.
The Inca Trail Trek
King of the Peruvian treks! The Inca Trail is undeniably the most famous trek in Peru, but it is just one of the incredible treks available in this mountainous country. If your heart is truly set on this trek there are a few things you should be aware of:
- The government has imposed restrictions on the number of people that can walk the trek each day.
- The Government Mandated Permits go on sale at the end of each year for the following year and often sell out up to six months in advance. So when I say book your trip well in advance, I mean WELL in advance.
- During the wettest month, February, the Inca Trail is closed for safety and maintenance.
- If you get your permit to trek the Inca Trail during the rainy reason you need to be prepared to trek in wet weather. Waterproof clothing and hiking shoes with excellent grip are a must!
The Lares Trek
A popular choice for those who don’t get Inca Trail permits in time, the Lares Trek is another way to see the mighty Machu Picchu! And like the Inca Trail, the Lares Trek comes with a set of things you should know before you go:
- Reaching an altitude of around 4000m the Lares Trek is not for the unprepared trekker. Cardio training is strongly advised!
- Temperatures will range widely as you reach the different highs and lows along the way, so make sure you pack for all climates.
- Pack your swimsuit to take advantage of the hot springs along the way and either rent or bring your own trekking poles and sleeping bag!
- There is a lot of what to pack here, but also remember you’ll be carrying your bag at high altitudes so only pack the essentials.
The Salkantay Trek
Another Machu Picchu trek, the Salkantay Trek starts at Sacred Valley and runs through the beautiful Peruvian Andes. Many of the things to consider for the other treks also apply here, but it does get a few tips of its own:
- No permits required but during the peak trekking months, May and October, you’ll run into other trekkers on the path- so save the naked-in-nature times for another trek.
- The Salkantay trek reaches even higher altitudes than the Lares Trek so, seriously, work on your cardio before you go.
- There are fancier lodges along this route so put aside a little extra money for a bit of luxury on the trek.
The Santa Cruz Trek
- Incredible landscapes! You’ll be passing by jewel-coloured lagoons, glaciers and snowy peaks en route.
- Rare and exotic wildlife! Make sure to pack your binoculars for a chance to glimpse an eagle or an Andean Spectacled Bear.
- You’ll need to buy a permit to get into the park, best to make sure that’s organised before you arrive.
- If the snowy peaks and glaciers didn’t make it obvious for you I’ll tell it to you straight- It’s going to be cold, pack accordingly.
The Ausangate Trek
The Ausangate trek is all about the views! You’ll see snow-capped mountains and glaciers, pristine lakes and the breathtaking Rainbow Mountains of Vinicunca! What else??
- Llamas for one, an animal well prepared for trekking at high altitudes. Which is something you will need to be on the Ausangate Trek as it’s the highest in Peru!
- You’ll most likely get altitude sickness, so if you do – don’t feel bad it happens to the best of us.
- You’ll pass through Peruvian villages and have a chance to learn about the Quechua culture.
If our beginner’s guide gets you excited to go trekking in Peru, check out even more treks in Bookmundi’s extensive guide to trekking in Peru: 10 Best Treks in Peru – The Ultimate Trekking Guide.