Peru has stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and ancient history. It is a paradise for trekkers who want to explore diverse landscapes. For example, these landscapes may range from snow-capped mountains to lush rainforests that allow you to discover the secrets of the Inca civilization along the way.
But with your trekking skills and many trekking options available, how do you choose the best one for your adventure? This blog post will introduce Peru’s top three trekking routes: the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, and the Choquequirao Trek. You will also learn how to prepare, what to expect, and how to make the most of your trekking experience.
The Top Trekking Routes in Peru:
The Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is Peru’s most famous and popular sober-free trekking route, and for good reason. It is the only trail that leads directly to the majestic Machu Picchu, the iconic citadel of the Inca Empire. The tour will also include visits to Patallacta, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, and Intipunku, among other impressive Inca sites.
The Inca trail also requires a permit and a licensed guide. You can obtain it from a registered tour operator. However, due to its high demand and limited availability, it is also Peru’s most regulated and expensive trek. According to the Ministry of Culture of Peru, only 500 permits are issued daily for the Inca Trail, which usually sells out months in advance.
To enjoy this trip, you will have to get your Inca trail permit and pack light and smart early on. Bring only the essentials, such as clothing, toiletries, snacks, water, sunscreen, insect repellent, a flashlight, and a camera. You can rent or buy a sleeping bag, a mat, and a walking stick from your tour operator.
The Salkantay Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail, especially if you want more adventure and less crowds. It is a 74-kilometer (46-mile) hike that takes five days. It starts in Mollepata and ends in Aguas Calientes, where you can take a bus or walk to Machu Picchu.
The Salkantay trekking destination is challenging, as it reaches a maximum altitude of 4,600 meters (15,088 feet) at the Salkantay Pass and involves prolonged daily walking. Unlike the Inca Trail, you do not need a permit or a guide to hike the trek. But it is highly recommended to join a guided tour, as the trail is not well marked and there are no facilities along the way.
To enjoy this premium Salkantay trekking route, you can ddd some extra activities to your trek. If you are feeling adventurous, add some optional hiking activities, such as ziplining, hot springs, or horseback riding. These activities can add fun and variety to your hike and make it more memorable. You can book these activities with your tour operator or find them.
The Choquequirao Trek is the ultimate trek for those who seek a remote and authentic experience in Peru. It is a 103-kilometer (64-mile) hike that takes eight days. It starts and ends in the town of Cachora. It then takes you to the archaeological site of Choquequirao, a hidden Inca city.
The Choquequirao Trek is challenging. It has steep and constant ascents and descents and crosses several mountain passes. The trek’s highest point is 4,660 meters (15,288 feet) at the Choquequirao Pass. You do not need a permit or a guide to hike the expedition, but it is strongly advised to join a guided tour, as the trail is not well maintained.
The solitude and mystery of Choquequirao Trek make it a rewarding experience. The trek is a unique and rare opportunity to explore a hidden and unspoiled Inca city. You will also have the privilege of enjoying the tranquillity and the silence of the mountains and connecting with yourself and nature.
Peru is a dream destination for trekkers, who can choose from various routes that suit their preferences and abilities. Whether you want to follow the classic Inca Trail, the adventurous Salkantay Trek, or the remote Choquequirao Trek, you will have an unforgettable experience that will enrich your mind, body, and soul. A stunning landscape, fascinating culture, and ancient history await you in Peru. Are you ready to embark on your adventure?