Peru – the best trekking in the world

by on 28th March, 2013

The Team Trekking in Peru

Trekking in Peru – the best!

Andean Trails’ Tom Shearman explains why Peru is the best trekking and hiking holiday destination in the world.


He writes:

Peru is the best trekking country in the world.

That’s my humble opinion, and it’s going to take a country of Himalayan hiking proportions to, possibly, change it.

I love Patagonia and its spiky, swirly maelstrom of the classical three elements, which ignite the fourth in my soul.

But I always stroll back to Peru, boots and backpack on, sleeping bag, mat and tent aboard.


Topographical trembles
The simple geography of it all will make your compass twitch.

The Andes chain stretches the entire length of Peru, with major concentrations of 6,000m peaks in 4 ranges: the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash near Huaraz in the north of the country, and the Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Vilcanota around Cusco in the south.

In the spectacular Cordillera Blanca, there are some 30 peaks above 6000m – including Huascarán, Peru’s highest (6768m; 22,206ft) – and the largest concentration of tropical zone glaciers on Earth.

The Huayhuash range contains a cluster of stunning peaks, of which the highest, Yerupajá (6634m; 21,766ft), is Peru’s 2nd highest.

These ranges are trekking and climbing meccas.


My favourite trek
It’s the Huayhuash that captured my heart last year, shortly after trekking Santa Cruz, which has to be one of the most intense four days treks around.

Huayhuash trek camp Peru

Best trekking in the world in Peru

Fully prepared and accompanied by Manuel – a pioneering guide and fantastic cook from the lively village of Llupa – new (and forever) friend Cress plus horse man Suarez and his donkeys, we spent nine delightful days in trekking bliss.

We saw and talked with the locals we met en route, and saw no hide nor hair of a tourist.

We ate our lunch at the feet of the Apu gods, the grand, white mountains that Peruvians revere as deities. I am no religious man at all, but, well, you must go there to experience what the Huayhuash is.

Over the high passes you feel you can stroke the violet blue sky overhead, that you can imagine a time before the cities, a world before the weeping.


Just the start
The Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Vilcanota near Cusco provide some of the best and most varied trekking in Peru, from breathtaking tundra to steaming sub tropical jungle.

The Vilcabamba, criss-crossed by Inca paths linking enigmatic ruins, offers trekking routes of varying lengths, from the Inca Trail to Choquekirau.

Salkantay is a truly memorable mountain to trek beside, a hissing and crackling glacier atop an ice-flanked top, and not to mention that you are warmed by the steamy breath of the Amazon as you descend towards Machu Picchu.

On my list is Ausangate, and I’m incredibly jealous of Kat who went there recently – the photographs are stunning. Interacting with the community is important to the locals, as it is on the Lares trek too.


Rainbow Mountain Ausangate Peru


For those seeking the remotest of corners then it has to be Chachapoyas. What a ceviche I ate there in the two-house hamlet called Tambopata. What a waterfight we had with the bus driver before we left.

The best trekking months in Peru are May to September, when warm, dry days coincide with cold nights; night temperatures can drop a few degrees below zero at high camps.

April and October/November hold afternoon shower risks, but nights are milder than May to September (these months are also the quietest in terms of numbers of trekkers).

Just go
These are just a few of the many treks in Peru. I’ve not mentioned trekking way over 6,000m+ on Chachani near Arequipa, or in the Colca Canyon or, or, or, or…

The list goes on, as the trails do, throughout Peru.

Contact us for more.


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