Top hikes in Peru

Tuesday April 9, 2013
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Top hikes in Peru

Hiking Season is here and the rainy season is ending, clearing the way for trekking Peru´s most popular trails. This year more tourists than ever are expected so it´s better to research in advance and book as soon as possible! Dust off your hiking boots and let´s go! get off the couch and take a look at some new trails to explore.

Let´s take a quick look at some of the top hiking trails in Peru.

Santa Cruz, Cordillera Blanca

If you would like to cross the highest peaks in the Western Hemisphere on foot, this trek is for you. We´re talking high-altitude trekking with numerous trails that span from subtropical to glacial peaks—with this trek you pack a huge variety into a short time span.

The trail kicks off from Huaraz, “hiking capital of Peru,” where you can hire guides or meet up with other adventurers to take on the more than 30-miles of trails. If you´re feeling up for the challenge, try the more ambitious 11-day Huayhuash Circuit that crossed Punta Coyoc.

The perfect time to travel is April through September.

El Misti, Arequipa

Towering over the city of Arequipa at 19,000 feet, El Misti, the city´s guardian volcano is a popular climb in the region. The crater is sulfurous and gaseous, Below the summit is a sulfurous yellow crater with volcanic gas, and dedicated hikers are rewarded with amazing views of Laguna Salinas and Arequipa.

The best time to hike Misti is from July through November with the weather warming more in the later months.

The Chaski Trail, Cusco

This high-altitude route follows some of the paths that the famed Chaski messengers may have taken during the Incan Empire, and takes in rarely-visited Inca buildings, water channels, and quarries. The trail ends at Ollantaytambo and most versions include a stop at the Perolniyoc waterfall and its nearby ruins.

Salkantay Route, Cusco

Another alternative to the Inca Trail is the Salkantay Route. It has been described as a smorgasbord of topography and ecosystems. At 20,500 feet, Mount Salkantay Salkantay is the heart of the trek and is one of the holiest sacred peaks, Apus.

During this hike you will have the assistance of mules and horses, and in addition to Mount Salkantay, you´ll pass through subtropical cloud rainforests and end up at Machu Picchu after 5 to 8 days.

Huascaran-Sur, Cordillera Blanca

Huascaran-Sur is the highest peak in the country at 22,000 feet, and one of the most imposing summits in the world.

This is a difficult ascent and will take even experienced climbers six to eight days to complete. You´ll encounter eucalyptus plantations, mountain streams, the spectacular North and South peaks, and many magnificent sunsets along your journey. The most awe-inspiring section of the climb is sure to be the Garganta Icefall.

Happy trails to you!!

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