Guide to Hiking Cajas National Park in Ecuador

Guide to Hiking Cajas National Park in Ecuador

Cajas National Park is a national park located in the Andes of Ecuador. Located only 30 km west of the famous UNESCO city of Cuenca, hiking Cajas National is one of the many popular day trips from Cuenca.

The Cajas National Park offers a tundra vegetation 3900m above sea level, something that is unique from other national parks in South America. 

Travelers looking to do some hiking around Cuenca should not miss Cajas National Park! 

Without further ado, here is the guide to hiking Cajas National Park in Ecuador.

How to get to Cajas National Park from Cuenca and Back

The easiest way to get to Cajas National Park is with a tour agency. However, I highly advise against doing so because getting to Cajas National Park is extremely easy on your own and it is extremely safe. To get Cajas National Park, you will want to base yourself in Cuenca.

Cuenca is only a short 45-minute ride to Cajas National Park and there are buses that run regularly from Terminal Terrestre. Terminal Terrestre is a quick 20-minute walk from the historic center or a 5-minute taxi ride.

Once you arrive at the Terminal Terrestre, there are 2 booths that sell tickets to Cajas National Park, booth number 39 and 40. When we arrived, booth 39 wasn’t open so we bought our ticket to Cajas National park at booth 40 for $2.

They have departure times as early as 7 AM but the park doesn’t open until 8 AM. The buses are also quite frequent so if you miss one you can just take the next one.

Buy your ticket and you are on your way to hiking Cajas National Park.

To get back to Cuenca, you can take any bus on the road that is going towards Cuenca. You don’t need to be at a bus station or anything. Just be on the same side of the road as the bus and wave it down when you see it coming.

Technically, there are buses that run in that direction all-day but I would recommend being back before night time. 

Things to Know Before Hiking Cajas National Park

1. Bring your passport or ID – At the visitor center, you will need to register yourself with the ranger. You will have to advise him which route you plan on taking and how long you are to stay in the park. However, you do not need to sign out. 

2. Cajas National Park is located 3900m above sea level. Many people experience symptoms of altitude sickness at around 3000m. That means chances are you will also experience symptoms of altitude sickness if you are hiking Cajas National Park. Here’s a guide on how to prevent altitude sickness.

3. Download maps.me and Parque Nacional Cajas App on your phone. Maps.me is a map app similar to Google maps but much better. Their offline maps are one of the best out there. Paruqe Nacional Cajas App is the official app for Cajas National Park.

On there, you will have all the information you need including trails, opening hours, camping information, and much more. 

4. Start hiking early in the day to avoid clouds and rain coming in. Check the weather too before you go!

What to Bring With You When Hiking Cajas National Park

Hiking Cajas National Park can be a little bit tricky due to the biosphere and altitude. Below are things you should bring on your hike.

1. Sunscreen is a necessity. The sun at high altitudes is much stronger than the sun at sea level. In addition, you are on the equator, and the sun is even stronger there.

2. Rain poncho or raincoat. Weather can change so quickly at such high altitudes. Pack one for safety.

3. Filtration Water Bottle. It will help you in dire circumstances. Plus there are many water sources in Cajas National Park.

4. Gloves and hat. For the cold that you will encounter at such high altitudes.

5. Mud shoes. Or shoes that you are willing to sacrifice to the mud and water.

6. Food/Snack/Water. Pack accordingly to how long you plan on staying at Cajas National Park. There is a restaurant on-site next to the visitor center but they only have something simple.

Hiking Cajas National Park

The bus dropped us off at the visitor center. Immediately, we started to notice that the weather was not quite the same as it was in Cuenca. We walked towards the visitor center and encountered a sign that said altitude 3,850m.

That is the highest altitude I have ever hiked in at that point in my life. At the visitor center, we signed in our names and the ranger explained to us the trails that were available. Some trails were unavailable due to the rain from yesterday.

He said if this is your first time here, you will want to do the pink trail, or Ruta 1 on your Parque Nacional Cajas App. Ruta 1 ends on the road where you can conveniently get the bus back to Cuenca, but make sure you are on the correct side of the road! (make a left once you get to the end of the trail)

The other popular option is the green trail (Ruta 2 in the App), which has you summiting one of the mountains in the park for a panoramic view of the park. Feeling already short-breathed from the altitude, we picked the pink trail, or ruta 1.

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In this altitude and biosphere, it tends to rain quite often. Even though we were prepared for the cold weather, rain, and the sudden change of weather, we were not prepared for the mud that resulted from yesterday’s rain.

Yesterday’s rain had caused a major part of the trail to be flooded, muddy, and extremely slippery. We continued for about 2 hours on the pink trail (Ruta 1) and then the rain started to come in. We looked at our maps and realized that we were at least 3 hours away from the end of the trail.

The heavy rain from the day before had also caused the trail to be very undetectable, and we were losing confidence as to if we were actually on the right path. So we decided to head back the same way we started.

On the path, you will see landscapes you have never seen before. The tundra vegetation created some of the most exotic plants I have never seen. All the colors, the scenery, and the climate, Cajas National Park is truly a wonder on its own.

Where to Stay in Cuenca

Best Hostel in Cuenca – Pepes House Bed and Breakfast

Pepes House Bed and Breakfast is one of the best hostels in Cuenca. The property itself is gorgeous. Once you enter, you feel like you just escaped from the bustling center of Cuenca to your own relaxing paradise. All their dormitory beds are single beds (no bunk beds). I highly recommend this hostel.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Cuenca – Comfortable Suite w/ Jacuzzi & Terrace

Best Places To Stay In Cuenca Ecuador
Where To Stay In Cuenca Ecuador

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Thanks to Cuenca’s huge ex-pat and affluent community, there are many stunning Airbnbs for rental.

This 2-bedroom suite apartment can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests, allowing them to enjoy excellent amenities such as a gorgeous rooftop and a relaxing jacuzzi to soothe their aching limbs.

The comfortable living room features a heart-warming electrical fireplace and a 65″ Smart TV, perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking. If you have more energy to explore Cuenca, many of the city’s best attractions are located walking distance away.

The Cuenca Airport is also just 15 minutes away.

Click here for more info!

Best Hotel in Cuenca – Hotel Casa San Rafael

Hotel Casa San Rafael is a beautiful hotel located inside a colonial-style house. Their breakfast is amazing and their rooms are spacious! One of the best luxury hotels in Cuenca. 

Click here for more details!

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That’s the end to the guide for hiking Cajas National Park. Have you hiked Cajas National Park? Let us what you think in the comments!

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7 BEST Things to do in Ica Peru

7 BEST Things to do in Ica Peru

Ica, a small city located 4 hours south of Lima, is often overshadowed by its neighboring towns, namely Paracas and Huacachina. While those towns do have their own unique flair, they tend to be overrun with tourists, making the prices extremely high.

Many travelers believe there are no attractions in Ica and skip the town. However, they cannot be more wrong.

Stunning oasis, beautiful oceans, desolate deserts, those are just some of the best places to see in Ica. The town itself is also one of the best places to observe local Peruvian lives and culture, something that is hard to do if you stay on the “gringo trail”

If you have just arrived and you’re not sure what to do in Ica, don’t worry.

We have prepared a personal list of the 7 best things to do in Ica, Peru. Enjoy!

Attractions in Ica Peru Map

Located above is a tourist map of the best places to visit in Ica. Using this map, you will be able to properly plan your visit to Ica and suitably allocate your time. As you can see, there are many things to do in Ica but they are spread out apart.

Click the toggle on the upper-left corner of the map to find out more about the highlighted points of interest on our Ica map!

What To Do in Ica: 7 Top Things To Do in Ica, Peru

1. See the Mysterious Nazca Lines

Located about 2 hours away to the southeast of Ica lies one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. Figures of animals, plants, and various objects are drawn into the sand, covering an area as big as 50 sq km (19 sq mi).

Debates have been going on for centuries regarding the mystery of the Nazca Lines. When were they drawn? What purpose did they serve? Were they from extraterrestrial beings?

Archaeologists, scientists, and historians have been trying to determine the actual purpose of these lines for years. Yet to this present day, the mystery has not been solved.

How to Get to The Nazca Lines from Ica?

There are actually two ways to see the Nazca Lines. The best way, though the most expensive, is seeing it from the air in a plane. Up in the skies, you will have the best views of the different figures. Your tour guide will also explain to you how they are made and what they believed happened there.

You will find tour companies located sparsely in the city of Ica.

I recommend you to book your Nazca Lines tour in advance. Check out our recommendations: 

The other option to get to the Nazca Lines is a DIY option. If you do pick this option, you will need to take a bus from the bus station to the Nazca Lines. I recommend taking Soyuz because they are economical and clean.

Once you arrive, you can climb the observation deck which takes you 13 meters (42 ft) up. It is not the best but you will get a good idea of what these Nazca lines are about! If you are adventurous, there are several hills nearby that offer better views at the top!

2. Explore the Paracas National Reserve (By Bicycle)

My favorite thing to do in Ica is definitely visiting the Paracas National Reserve. It is a place unlike any other place I have seen in the world, a place where the turquoise ocean meets the orange, desolate desert.

The Paracas National Reserve is a protected area of 335,000 hectares. Located in the arid zone, the Paracas National Reserve rarely gets any rain. Hence, the majority of the reserve is a desert.

You can find many tours in the town of Paracas. These tours are usually the ones that drop you off at the viewpoints, give you 20 minutes, then you get on the bus, and they take you to the other viewpoints.

If you are adventurous and reasonably fit, consider renting a bicycle and riding it across the desert.

How many people can say they have ridden a bike across a desert to reach the ocean? It is an unforgettable experience in Peru that will last a lifetime.

How to Get to The Paracas National Reserve from Ica?

To get to Paracas National Reserve from Ica, you will first have to get to the town Paracas. Luckily for you, Paracas is only a little more than an hour from Ica. Many bus companies have buses that go from Ica to Paracas but I’ve found Soyuz to be the most economical company and their buses depart frequently.

Once you arrive at Paracas, you will see many different tour companies offer tours to the Paracas National Reserve as well as places to rent bicycles. Paracas is a small town so you will not have any problems finding them!

3. Visit the Isla Ballestas and See Wildlife

Ballestas Islands, otherwise known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”, are a group of rocky islands located 24 km (15 mi) off the coast of Paracas.

Home to many animals such as penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and many more, the Ballestas Islands are some of the best places to catch a glimpse of the various species of wildlife in South America.

A visit to the Ballestas Island will take you on a 2-hour boat journey where you will get very close to the Ballestas Islands. However, no personnel is allowed to set foot on the islands because they are protected environments. An intrusion from humans can affect such a delicate ecosystem. 

How to Get to Isla Ballestas from Ica?

All tours for Isla Ballestas leave from Paracas at either 8 AM or 10 AM. There are times where there are tours at 12 PM but that depends on the weather. You will find an ample amount of tour agencies on the main street of Paracas, the street where you will most likely be dropped off.

To get to Paracas, you would have to take a bus from any of the bus companies in Ica. I recommend Soyuz because they are economical, comfortable, and their buses depart frequently.

If you want to secure your tour beforehand, check out our recommendations below: 

4. Visit the Huacachina Oasis to Sandboard and Ride Dune Buggies (My Favorite Attractions In Ica)

Huacachina oasis is the only desert oasis in South America and definitely one of the top things to do in Peru. After backpacking in Peru for 2.5 months, I can say I liked the Huacachina Oasis more than Machu Picchu (but the Salkantay Trek was amazing).

Connected only by one tiny road with the city of Ica, Huacachina feels like you are in the middle of the desert. You are completely surrounded by beautiful sand dunes on all sides.

Some of the most popular activities in Huacachina include sandboarding and dune buggies. Tours for both can be found throughout the oasis. However, if you want a more intense sandboarding experience, I recommend you rent out just the sandboard gears and do it on your own.

You can also take the sand buggy taxis as far out as you want and be in complete isolation! It is a surreal experience that must be on any Peru itinerary.

How to Get to Huacachina Oasis from Ica?

Take any mototaxi from the city of Ica to Huacachina. Mototaxis (tuk tuks) are cheap and the ride is only 15 minutes. You can also take a proper taxi but that will be more costly. 

5. Go to El Catador For a FREE Winery Tour

The region around Ica is one of the best places for wine and pisco production. Pisco is a liquor that originated in Peru and is one of the drinks you must try when visiting Peru

For that reason, there are many amazing wineries in that area. 

My favorite one to visit was definitely El Catador. Not only do they offer a FREE tour of their winery, but they also offer you FREE tasting at the end. That is a win-win-win situation right there. 

At the end of the tour, you can purchase their exclusive types of wine with flavors you have never tasted before. Some were definitely strange but some were good. Either way, you can’t complain about free alcohol!

How to Get to El Catador from Ica?

El Catador is located 15 minutes away from Ica. Take a mototaxi from anywhere in the city and the driver should be able to take you there.

6. Explore the Canyon of the Lost (Cañon de Los Perdidos)

Discovered recently, Cañon de Los Perdidos (or Canyon of the Lost) is one of the hidden attractions in Ica. It is a place that won’t be in most of the guide books. Located around 2 hours away by car, the only way to reach this place is either through a tour agency or a rental car.

When you visit Cañon de Los Perdidos, you will feel like you are in a desert. With nothing around you for miles, a sense of isolation rushes over you. You are alone with one of the most magical places in the world.

The geological formations of the canyon will tell you stories about what happened there many years ago. You don’t want to miss this place in Ica.

How to Get to Cañon de Los Perdidos from Ica?

Cañon de Los Perdidos is located about 2 hours away from Ica. The safest way to go there is through the tour agencies located in Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas. Though it is possible to reach by yourself with your own vehicle, I wouldn’t recommend doing so because you will be in a desert with no service.

7. Visit the City of Pisco (The City Named After the Liquor Pisco)

Located a little more than an hour away from Ica, a visit to the port city of Pisco is a great day trip idea. Many people that come from Lima to Ica will often pass Pisco on the way, but not many tourists actually visit Pisco.

Why? I am not so sure. The national drink of Peru, Pisco, is named after the city Pisco. You will find many stores and bars serving up some of the finest local Pisco sours.

Other than getting drunk, the Pisco beach is quite a nice place to relax. If you are into archaeological ruins, pay a visit to the Tambo Colorado. If you didn’t get a chance to try the seafood in Lima, the ones in Pisco are good alternatives.

How to Get to Pisco from Ica?

To get to Pisco from Ica, take any bus headed towards Pisco. My favorite company for that route is still Soyuz because they are economical and have frequent departures.

Where to Stay in Ica, Peru

Some of these recommendations might be in Huacachina because the abundance of high-quality accommodations there. To get to Huacachina from Ica, simply take a mototaxi (tuk tuk) for 15 minutes.

Best Hostel in Ica – Ica Adventures II

Located in the center of Ica, Ica Adventures II is a great budget accommodation with lots of local activity around. An amazing breakfast is included, the rooms are spacious and clean, the beds are comfortable, and it even has a bar on the roof. A great choice for budget travelers and backpackers.

Click here for more details!

Where To Stay In Ica Peru
Best Things To Do In Ica Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Looking for a cozy accommodation in Ica? Consider this apartment Airbnb in Ica! Located 5 minutes away from the Huacachina Oasis and Ica’s main shopping center, guests are within walking distance to the best Ica has to offer.

This 3-bedroom apartment can comfortably accommodate up to 5 guests, perfect for families traveling in Peru. Amenities such as air-conditioning, fast WiFi, smart TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen ensure that your stay is as perfect as it can be!

Click here for more information!

Best Luxury Hotel in Ica – Hotel Las Dunas

Hotel Las Dunas is like its own oasis inside Ica. 3 swimming pools, a tennis court, gym and spa facilities, and on-site bars, it has pretty much everything you need. If you have the money, I would recommend you to stay for at least one night, it is an experience you won’t forget.

Click here for more details!

How Many Days To Stay In Ica, Peru?

I recommend staying around 2 days in Ica. It all depends on what you want to do.

For example, if you only want to visit Paracas and Huacachina, you can do it in one busy day. 

If you want to visit more places in Ica such as the Nazca Lines or El Catador for a winery tour, then you will have to stay for at least 2 days.

I stayed a total of 3 days in Ica when I was backpacking Peru. 

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There you have it, the 7 best things to do in Ica, Peru. Many travelers that immediately jump into the Huacachina Oasis miss the numerous wonderful things you can do around Ica.

Don’t be one of those!

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or send us an e-mail!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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The PERFECT 2 Week Peru Itinerary: The Best Of Peru

The PERFECT 2 Week Peru Itinerary: The Best Of Peru

Planning your next vacation in Peru? Do you want to spend 2 weeks in Peru? Great choice!

Peru is my favorite country by far and I am excited to share with you everything about it on our 2 week Peru itinerary. 

From the diverse and stunning landscape to the delicious and exotic Peruvian cuisines, the charm of Peru is irresistible. It was so irresistible that my intended 1-month Peru trip turned into 2.5 months!

Without further ado, let’s see the Peru highlights in our 2-week itinerary!

Where To Flying Into? Lima Or Cusco?

The first question many travelers have when planning their trip to Peru is whether they should fly into Lima or Cusco. Both cities seem like a good starting point for your 2-week Peru adventure.

In general, it really does not matter too much. In our Peru travel itinerary, you will visit both Lima and Cusco. If you fly into Lima first, you will see Cusco at the end of your trip. If you fly into Cusco first, you will save the country’s capital for last. In terms of what you see on your trip, it doesn’t make a big difference.

However, there are certain advantages of flying in Lima over Cusco. 

1. Flights to Lima are significantly cheaper than flights to Cusco. I don’t know if this is always but every time I have looked for flights to Peru, flights to Lima are always cheaper. But if you are flying out of Cusco at the end of your 2 week trip in Peru, it doesn’t make a big difference in price.

2. It is easier to acclimatize to the altitude if you start in Lima, especially if you plan on taking a bus to Cusco. Situated 3,400 meters above sea level, altitude sickness is inevitable in Cusco, especially if you fly into it from a sea-level city. If your plan is to fly from Lima to Cusco anyways, it doesn’t make a big difference.

When I spent 2.5 months backpacking in Peru, I took a bus to Cusco. The slow and steady increase in elevation helped me adjust to the altitude much easier.

Peru 2 Week Itinerary Map

Below is a personalized map for your two weeks Peru itinerary. Our itinerary will focus on the southern part of Peru, where most of the best attractions such as Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain are located. Northern Part of Peru does have its own charm and it is off the beaten path. If you have more time, I recommend you to include it in your Peru itinerary.

In crimson red are the places you will visit in Peru. They are numbered from 1 to 6, with number 1 as Lima and number 6 as Puno. This is the order you will follow for your Peru vacation.

If you have more than two weeks in Peru, check out the extra attractions we have indicated with the blue stars.

You will notice that there is a pin in Bolivia. That pin is the Uyuni Salt Flats. Though it is far away, there are tours from Puno (number 6) all the way to the Salt Flats in Bolivia. If you have a few extra days, consider adding it to create a Peru and Bolivia itinerary.

2 Weeks In Peru: The PERFECT 2-Week Peru Itinerary

Day 1-2: Lima (Peru’s Capital)

Welcome to Peru, my favorite country in the entire world! Are you ready to see the best places in Peru?? Luckily for you, you are in Lima, Peru’s capital. Featuring the perfect balance between Peruvian culture and a metropolitan city, Lima is a great introduction to Peru.

Lima is a place where you won’t find too many culture shocks because it is a big city that has adapted to many of the western cities. Here you will find international food, lots of English speaking locals, and a little bit of culture.

For anyone that wants an introduction to indigenous ruins before they visit the famous Machu Picchu can visit Huaca Pucllana.

Things To Do In Lima, Peru

1. Explore the Historic Center

Explore the old town of Lima and learn why the city is called “The City of Kings”. You are more than welcome to do a self-guided tour but I highly recommend a free walking tour with a local guide.

The service is free and tips are voluntary. So if you are unsatisfied with their service, you are not obligated to give them any money! However, it is a great way to learn about the history of Peru from a local expert and give something back in return!

2. Eat Delicious Peruvian Food!

Did you know that Peru is one of the top gastronomy destinations in the world? With 2 of the top 50 restaurants located in Lima, the flavors of Peruvian cuisine is absolutely orgasmic.

Part of the reason why I stayed for 2.5 months in Peru is because of the food. Luckily, there are many hikes in Peru to shed off that weight! If you like seafood, you must try ceviche, Peru’s national dish! Here are some restaurants we recommend for ceviche in Lima! Don’t forget to try Peru’s national drink, the Pisco sour, when you get the chance!

3. Walk along the Promenade in Miraflores!

The promenade in Miraflores is absolutely one of the most breath-taking places to visit in Lima. With endless views of the Pacific Ocean and romantic parks such as Love Park, the promenade is one of the best places to take your loved ones.

The promenade is situated above some dramatic cliffs, making it the perfect spot for some dope photos!

After visiting the promenade in Miraflores, either head to Barranco for some more amazing views and food or head to Kennedy Park, a park where numerous cats roam freely!

Where To Stay In Lima, Peru?

Selecting the right place to stay in Lima is imperative to have a good experience. That is because parts of Lima are still unsafe. Poverty exists in many parts of Peru and it is no exception in Lima.

The one surprising characteristic is that the historic center (centro historico) of Lima is dangerous at night. Usually, the center of a city is the safest part of a city but it is the opposite in Lima. Foreign visitors should stay near the “suburbs” of Lima, namely Miraflores and Barranco.

Miraflores and Barranco are the safest and most beautiful parts of Lima. There is no doubt that they are the best places to stay in Lima.

Here are our recommendations in Miraflores and Barranco:

Best Hostel In Lima – Pariwana Hostel Lima

Pariwana Hostel is one of the best hostels in Lima for any type of travelers. Are you traveling solo and wanting to meet other travelers? There are a bar and a ping pong table at the terrace for socializing. Are you traveling for work? You can take advantage of their business center.

The dormitory and privates rooms are both clean and spacious.

Located in the safe neighborhood of Miraflores, you will have access to nightlife and some of the best seafood restaurants in Lima.

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Lima – Andesmar Hotel

Where To Stay In Lima

Andesmar Hotel is one of the highest-rated hotels in Lima and it is not surprising why. Helpful staff, spacious rooms, amazing buffet breakfast, the pros of this hotel go on and on.

If you are looking for a quiet ad comfortable place to stay in Miraflores, Andesmar is the place for you. Located on a quiet street but not too far from the beach or the famous Kennedy Cat Park, there will never be a dull moment in your stay at Andesmar Hotel

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Miraflores, Lima (Peru)- Ocean View Private Apartment

Best Ceviche Lima Peru Miraflores
Where To Stay In Lima For Ceviche

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are looking for an affordable and cozy home in Miraflores, then look no further. This ocean view Airbnb in Lima is everything you will need.

Located adjacent to the Miraflores Malecon, guests are within walking distance from many of the best things to do in Lima. Before heading back to your cozy Airbnb every night, wander around the gorgeous Malecon and take in that deafening silence and peace.

Better yet, chill out on your private balcony with a glass of wine and take in beautiful Pacific Ocean views.

This 1-bedroom apartment in Lima can comfortably accommodate 2 guests, perfect for travelers in pairs or solo travelers! 

Click here for more details!

Day 3-5 (3 Days): Ica, Huacachina, Paracas

After your visit to the country’s capital, you will move south into a completely different environment: the desert region.

This area is drastically different from the dramatic cliffs of Lima. Featuring silky sand dunes that stretch beyond your eye’s reach, the landscape in this region is absolutely mesmerizing.

This region is also known for its wine, the Huacachina Oasis, and the wildlife that resides in Paracas.

To get to Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas, you have to take a bus from Lima. I recommend the company Soyuz. A clean and economical bus company, Soyuz provides amazing service in this region.

(Update: Soyuz is no longer in operation because of the challenges endured in 2020, for more info on buses to Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas, check here.

Where To Stay? Ica? Huacachina? Or Paracas?

Before you embark on your adventures, you need to pick the perfect place to stay. Ica, Huacachina, and Paracas are located close to each other but all provide a distinct experience.

Ica, the cheapest place to stay out of the three, is a local city. Here you will find low prices on accommodations, food, and culture. No wonder why it is the most popular to stay for budget backpackers.

Huacachina, otherwise known as the breath-taking oasis, is only located 15 minutes away from Ica on a tuk-tuk. The journey costs less than a few dollars but the prices in Huacachina are substantially higher. There are hardly any locals that live in Huacachina because the prices are just too high. Huacachina is also the spot to party!

Paracas is a coastal city located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. As the home of the Paracas National Reserve and Isla Ballestas, Paracas is a must on any Peru itinerary. But is it a good place to stay? Depends. Paracas is a rather quiet town with not much to do at night. The only pro is staying in Paracas is that you get to hear the waves of the Pacific Ocean as you fall asleep!

Personally I stayed in Ica for the prices and because I love observing local life.

Whether you’ve decided to stay in Huacachina, Ica, or Paracas, here are some accommodations we recommend in the area:

Best Hostel In Ica/Paracas/Huacachina – Ica Adventures II

Located in Ica, Ica Adventures II is a hostel for budget travelers. With comfortable beds, a rooftop terrace, and an amazing breakfast, you can’t get a better deal anywhere else! No wonder why it is one of the highest rated hostels in Ica!

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Ica/Paracas/Huacachina – Hotel El Huacachinero

Located in Huacachina, Hotel El Huacachinero is a hotel close to the action. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool where guests can relax and admire the soft and silky dunes around them, Hotel El Huacachinero is one of the best hotels in the area. Their breakfast is the perfect way to prepare yourself for a day of exploring!

Check prices here!

Where To Stay In Ica Peru
Best Things To Do In Ica Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Cozy apartments can be difficult to find in Ica. But luckily, with Airbnb, there are plenty of vacation rental options.

This 3-bedroom apartment Airbnb in Ica can fit up to 5 guests, perfect for families traveling in Peru. With amenities like air-conditioning, fast WiFi, smart TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen, this Airbnb ensures your stay is as perfect as it can be.

This Ica Airbnb is located very close to Huacachina, perfect for anyone planning to spend more time there. Ica’s main shopping center is also a short walk away!

Click here for more information!

Things To Do In Ica/Huacachina/Paracas

For a complete list of things to do in the area, please check here!

1. Huacachina Oasis

If you aren’t already staying in Huacachina, a visit is something you must do. A stunning oasis in the middle of Ica, come here and ride dune buggies or try sandboarding!

I highly recommend coming to Huacachina during sunset. Hike up the dunes and watch the sun set behind the magical dunes as the skies burn with vibrant colors. They say people hallucinate in the dessert and see things they aren’t supposed to. Well, the view here is something I can’t even believe with my eyes. 

2. Ballesta Islands (Isla Ballestas) and Paracas National Reserve

Both located in Paracas, you can easily knock two birds with one stone in a single visit. Isla Ballestas are a group of islands closely located off the coast of Paracas. Here is the home of many South American species such as penguins, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies. It is definitely one of Peru highlights!

Paracas National Reserve is a huge protected area spanning 335,000 hectares. It is a magical place where the turquoise water of the Pacific Ocean meets the desert. If you are an avid photographer, the Paracas National Reserve will be a paradise for you. Don’t miss this bucket list item in Peru

3. Nazca Lines

Located about 2 hours southeast of Ica are some of the earth’s biggest mysteries. Figures of animals, plants, and other objects are etched into the sand, spanning an area of about 50 square kilometers.

To this present day, the mystery of the Nazca Lines has not been solved. Who made them? What were they for? Were there terrestrial beings?

If you want to see the Nazca Lines, I highly recommend seeing it in the air on a plane. Tours can be found in Huacachina and Paracas but you might want to consider booking in advance!

Day 6-11 (6 Days): Cusco (Capital of the Incas) and Machu Picchu

How To Get From Ica To Cusco

The next stop on our 2 week Peru itinerary is the capital of the Incas, Cusco. But how do you get there?

If you look on the map, Ica and Cusco are on opposite sides of the country. The fastest way to get there would be to get back to Lima and take a direct flight to Cusco.

The other option is to take a bus. There are buses that run from Ica to Cusco daily. However, let me warn you. Even though taking a bus is the most economical way, the journey is about 17 hours long.

You will start close to sea level and arrive at 3,400 above sea level. As you ascend higher, your body adjusts to the level of oxygen. Taking a bus to Cusco is a great way to acclimate to the high elevation.

To check the bus schedule, use busbud.com and enter your route. 

Things to Do in Cusco, Peru

Cusco was once the capital of the mighty Inca civilization before getting conquered by the Spaniards. Inevitably, you will see lots of remains of the Inca empire in Cusco. Matter of fact, many of the buildings you currently see are built by the Incas!

Situated in the Andes, the surrounding area is filled with natural wonders as well as Inca ruins. We will spend a total of 6 days in Cusco exploring the many unworldly attractions and acclimating to the altitude.

Here are some of the best things to do in Cusco, Peru.

1. Machu Picchu

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, Machu Picchu. An abandoned ancient Inca ruins untouched by the Spaniards, Machu Picchu s one of the most spectacular Seven Wonders of the World.

Did you really think our Peru itinerary would not include Machu Picchu?

However, there are several things I need to clear up about Machu Picchu. 

1. Machu Picchu is not located in Cusco. In fact, it is located extremely far from Cusco. One of the main reasons why Machu Picchu was never discovered is because it was so inaccessible.

2. It is totally feasible to visit Machu Picchu in 1 day from Cusco. However, I would highly not recommend it because of the cost and your time of arrival at Machu Picchu. If you do want to visit in 1 day, you must take a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, then take a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, and then come back the same way. 

You will arrive at Machu Picchu midday, which is considered the worst time to arrive because of the number of tourists. Bunched up like sardines in a can, you will get smacked in the face by selfie sticks and pushed by aggressive visitors.

3. The cheapest option to visit Machu Picchu will take 2 days. You will spend one night in Aguas Calientes, otherwise known as Machu Picchu town. The way to do it is to take public transportation to Hidroelectrica. Hike two hours from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes, stay the night there and then visit Machu Picchu early in the morning.

After visiting Machu Picchu, go back to where you were dropped off at Hidroelectrica to get a van back to Cusco. Of course, you can always get a tour from Cusco to do all the planning for you.

4. I highly recommend you to visit Machu Picchu as soon as you arrive in Cusco. Why? Because Machu Picchu is about 1,000 meters lower in elevation than Cusco. Visiting Machu Picchu first might actually help you acclimate to the high elevation of Cusco and prepare you for other future activities.

5. If you are doing the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trail, or any other treks to Machu Picchu, make sure you are acclimated beforehand. You might need more than two weeks in Peru in that case. Here are some things you should know before visiting Machu Picchu.

2. Sacred Valley (Namely Moray and Salineras de Maras)

The Sacred Valley receives its name from the numerous Inca ruins that starts from Pisac all the way to Machu Picchu, stretching about one hundred kilometers long. Before the ruins became ruins, they were ancient Inca settlements and villages where numerous activities such as mining and agriculture took place.

The Sacred Valley is a huge open area and technically it is free to enter. Because its attraction lies in the numerous ruins that are spread out across this lush valley.

The two places you must visit in the Sacred Valley are Moray and Salineras de Maras. 

When the Moray ruins were first discovered, archaeologists thought that Moray Ruins were an amphitheater with its circular levels. Later as more research was being done, they discovered that Moray was actually an agricultural lab. Each level was a different climate and by testing out where the crops grew best, the Incas could optimize their output!

Though not exactly an Inca ruin, the Salineras de Maras is an active salt mine that Inca used for mining salt. Nowadays, visitors are allowed to enter and see some of the salt ponds close up! It is one of the few places on Earth that produces pink salt!

Check out our recommended tour for Sacred Valley here!

3. Rainbow Moutain

You’ve probably seen this natural wonder somewhere on the Internet before arriving in Peru. The Rainbow Mountain, or Montaña de Siete Colores, is one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Peru. Before visiting Rainbow Mountain, I doubted if the colors are actually that vibrant in real life. To my disappointment, they were not. 

The colors you see on the photos of the Rainbow Mountain are usually over-edited in post-processing. However, the colors are definitely more vibrant on a sunny day!

Try to find a tour in Cusco that leaves earlier than usual to beat the crowd. Having an unworldly place like the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain to yourself is an unforgettable experience. 

Alternatively, visitors can hike the lesser-known Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain, an equally beautiful location in the mountains of Peru.

Secure your Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain tour online here!

Where To Stay In Cusco, Peru

Because of the high elevation in Cusco, it is a lot trickier to find the perfect place to stay. For example, you might need an oxygen-enriched room to help with altitude sickness. Therefore, we have written a complete guide on where to stay in Cusco here.

Best Hostel In Cusco – Blacky Hostel

Not only is Blacky Hostel one of the cheapest hostels in Cusco, but it also has amazing comfort and many socializing opportunities. I particularly like the super cozy and friendly atmosphere created by the amazing staff and guests! A great place to stay in Cusco for backpackers!

Check price here!

Best Hotel In Cusco – Tariq Boutique Hotel

Tariq Boutique Hotel is my favorite hotel in Cusco and it is easy to see why. The boutique hotel is small enough to get the individualized attention you need in case you fall ill. Their rooms have a huge window with jaw-dropping panoramic views of Cusco. It is also much more affordable than all the other “big name” hotels in the area!

Click here for more details!

Where To Stay In Cusco Peru
Best Places To Stay In Cusco Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

There are many incredible Airbnbs in Cusco, but none is as spectacular as this cute getaway cabin. Located below the Sacsayhuaman Ruins, visitors have access to one of the biggest attractions in Cusco. The historic center of Cusco is a short 15-min walk away, allowing visitors the utmost tranquility and the ability to be close to the action at the same time. 

Inside this studio cabin is a double bed and allowing a maximizing of 2 guests to stay. The interior decor is sleek with wooden and stone elements. There is also a kitchen for guests who would like to cook! Visitors will love the outdoor patio, which is the perfect place to soak in the Peruvian sun with a cup of coffee!

Click here for more info!

Day 12-13 (2 Days): Puno and Lake Titicaca

Puno is the next stop on your Peru 2 weeks itinerary. We saved this city as the last place on our Peru trip because the city is located more than 3,800 meters above sea level. If you thought Cusco’s elevation was high, Puno is a whole new ball game.

But after spending several days in Cusco, you will be ready for the elevation of Puno. Located on Lake Titicaca, one of the biggest lake in South Ameria and the highest navigable lake in the world, Puno is considered Peru’s folkloric capital.

You can also find tours to Uyuni Salt Flats from Puno!

Things To Do In Puno, Peru

1. Lake Titicaca and Uros Floating Islands

Not only is Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lakes in the entire world, but it is also the home of the Uros Floating Islands, an archipelago made of artificial man-made islands. 

A visit to the Uros Floating Islands is a must on any Peru itinerary. Each individual island is made by totora, a plant of thin leaves that grows in the lake. The composition of the totora is exactly what makes the islands floatable.

Travelers can also visit the Taquile Islands located on the Titicaca Lake, where a group of indigenous Quecha-speaking people lives!

Besides the interesting history and science, the views are spectacular on Lake Titicaca. You can see across the border to Bolivia and some of the snow-capped mountains!

You can find full-day tours for Uros Floating Islands and Taquile here!

Where To Stay In Puno, Peru

Best Hostel In Puno – Bonny Hostel

Bonny Hostel is one of the few good hostels in Puno, Peru. Featuring comfortable single beds in dormitory rooms, guests can finally have undisturbed sleep. The showers are hot, which is something rare for a cheap hostel. Their breakfast is also very tasty and filling.

Learn more here!

Best Hotel In Puno – Tierra Viva Puno Plaza

Located next to Puno’s main plaza, Tierra Viva Puno Plaza is one of the prime hotels in Puno. Everything from the spacious rooms and comfortable beds to the helpful staff was amazing. You cannot go wrong with this hotel in Puno!

Check price here!

Best Airbnb In Puno – Uros Titicaca Sleep

Where To Stay In Puno Peru
Puno Peru Hotels

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

One of the most unique experiences you can have in Puno is to stay at one of the Uros Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca. Thanks to Airbnb, you can rent a vacation rental there!

By staying at one of the houses on the man-made artificial floating islands, guests can learn the inhabitant’s ancestral traditions. Guests will sleep in complete tranquility as they drift off to the sound of the soothing lake.

We highly recommend you to stay at one of the floating islands, at least for one night!

Click here for more details!

Day 14: Back To Cusco for Your Flight

It is highly recommended that you leave from a city different than the one you came in. If you came into Peru from Lima, then exit in Cusco and vice versa.

If your flight out of Cusco is at night, you can take one of the morning buses from Puno to Cusco. If your flight leaves in the morning or afternoon, you should leave in the night on Day 13 to arrive in Cusco early morning. Either way, check busbud.com for all bus schedules.

It will be sad to leave such a beautiful country but don’t worry, you can always come back. Northern Peru has plenty of hidden gems such as Chachapoyas for you to explore next time!

More Than Two Weeks In Peru?

Do you have more than two weeks in Peru? If you have 3 weeks in Peru or even 1 month in Peru, here are some recommendations to add to your Peru itinerary!

1. Huaraz, The Hiking Captial of Peru

Are you an avid hiker? If you answered yes to that question, then you must visit Huaraz! Located about 8 hours away from Lima on a bus, Huaraz is a small local city surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains.

There are many gorgeous day hikes in Huaraz such as Laguna 69 and Lake Paron, but the most incredible ones are the multi-day treks that take you on extensive journeys on the Cordillera Blanc.

Make sure you have a proper hiking camera when you hike in Huaraz!

2. Arequipa, Peru’s White City

Arequipa is known as the white city of Peru because of the sillar (a type of white volcanic rock) used in the construction of the buildings.

The city is filled with so much history that the historic center is crowned as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Visitors coming to Arequipa cannot miss the mysterious Monasterio Santa Catalina. Stretching over an entire block, the Santa Catalina Monastery is one of the most fascinating religious buildings.

Travelers also cannot miss Colca Canyon. A canyon with twice the height of the Grand Canyon in the United States, the marvelous natural wonder will take your breath away!

3. Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats)

If you want to visit the magical Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, it is completely feasible with a few-days trip from Puno. 

If you are not sure why the Salt Flats are so impressive, read here!

You will find many tour agencies in the historic center of Puno offering tours to Uyuni Salt Flats.

Combine Salar de Uyuni for a perfect Peru and Bolivia itinerary!

Peru Cost Of Travel: How Much Money To Take To Peru For 2 Weeks

The truth is, Peru can be cheap, but most visitors don’t find it that way. Why? Because they fall into tourist traps. They eat at tourist-targeted restaurants, shop from tourist-targeted vendors, and they get scammed easily.

The cost of travel in Peru doesn’t have to be high if you know where to look. If you are a budget backpacker, you can live comfortably off of 30 USD a day. A hostel in Peru costs at most 10 USD, a meal 3 USD, and the rest for transportation and attractions.

However, if you are not keeping track of money and go to places designed for tourists, a meal can cost 10-15 USD and a hotel can cost a few hundred USD.

So the question of how much money to take to Peru for 2 weeks really depends on what type of traveler you are. If you are a budget traveler, 50 USD a day will be more than enough (not including the flights). If you prefer to travel luxuriously, you can spend a few thousand dollars in 2 weeks. 

Getting Around Peru

If you are traveling for a few weeks in Peru, you will inevitably have to use some of its public transportation systems. Even though the big cities such as Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa have Uber, you can save some money by knowing how to use public transit.

For most of the cities, you will be staying in the historic center, an area where it is walkable. It is rare that you will need to take public transportation inside the city. If the distance is short, I recommend Uber for safety and convenience.

If you are traveling between cities, you must take long-distance buses. There are many different long-distance bus companies and they all have distinct features. Some are more comfortable while others are more secure.

Here are some of the most reputable bus companies in Peru:

1. Movil Bus

Movil Bus is my favorite long-distance bus company in Peru. It is affordable and comfortable. Most seats recline enough so you can sleep comfortably. VIP seats are also in each and every bus for anyone that would like more space and more reclination.

My favorite part of Movil Bus is the amazing food they provide on the journey!

2. Cruz Del Sur

Cruz Del Sur is probably the most luxurious bus company in Peru. Their buses are comfortable, their amenities are sufficient, and they have amazing security. However, the only downside is the price!

3. Oltursa

Though I haven’t been on an Oltursa bus (because I keep picking Movil for their food), I have heard great things about it as well. It is a little more pricey than average but cheaper than Cruz Del Sur!

4. Soyuz

Soyuz is the best bus company for traveling up and down the Peruvian coast near Lima, Paracas, Ica, and Nazca. It is a no-frills company. They don’t offer food or anything but your time on the bus should not be longer than a few hours!

Is Peru Hop Worth it?

First-time travelers in Peru that are looking for ways to get around will inevitably stumble upon Peru Hop, a private company responsible for transportation and tours in Peru.

Peru Hop is specifically targeted at tourists (because they are pricey) so you will not see any locals on their buses. Using their service is definitely guaranteed to be more expensive than using any of the Peruvian bus companies. However, there are some pros to using Peru Hop.

Peru Hop will pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off at your accommodation in the next city. If Spanish is not your strength, don’t worry, the staff in Peru Hop is fluent in English.

Each bus has an English tour guide that will give you a little bit of information about the place you are going to (and sell you their tours). They are also the safest bus company in all of Peru, with GPS tracking of the buses. This is especially important if you are traveling to Peru with kids or elders.

Though safety has never been an issue when I was in Peru, traveling with Peru Hop and purchasing travel insurance will give you the peace of mind you need for your Peru trip.

Click here for more details about Peru Hop!

Packing List For Peru 2 Week Itinerary

For your 2 weeks in Peru trip, you will experience high elevation, long bus journeys, and possibly extended hikes. 

Consequently, you will need a specific packing list in Peru to endure those conditions.

After spending 2.5 months backpacking in Peru, here is what I would recommend you to pack.

1.  Sunscreen – The sun at high elevation is much more detrimental than at low elevation. Pack some high-SPF sunscreen to protect yourself.

2. Melatonin, Ear Plugs, and Blindfold – These items are essential to help you get proper sleep on the long bus journeys. You will be doing a lot in our 2-week itinerary for Peru so you will need to get as much sleep as possible!

3. Filtration Water Bottle – One of my favorite traveling items. With this filtration water bottle, you can drink tap water and any water source you encounter on hikes!

4. Proper Rain Jacket (Him/Her) – The weather can be unpredictable in Peru, especially at high altitudes. Pack a light rain jacket so you will be ready when Pachamama (Mother Earth) decides to throw some rain at you! Here are some of the best light rain jackets. 🙂

5. Travel Medicine Kit – A travel medicine kit will contain the first-aid items needed when you fall ill. With a variety of medicine, you will be prepared for many different scenarios!

6. Altitude Sickness Remedy – Altitude sickness is a serious issue in Peru. This natural altitude sickness remedy will help prevent and alleviate altitude sickness. However, I do recommend getting a proper prescription from your doctor or purchasing altitude sickness medicine from Cusco!

7. Warm Wool Socks – Wool socks are essentials when traveling to cold places. Due to the high elevation of most places in Peru, it will be cold at night. Not only will wool socks keep you warm in bed, but you can also wear them on hikes!

8. Compact Travel Camera – You don’t want to miss the stunning attractions in Peru but you also don’t want to be carrying a dumbbell-like camera with you. A nice compact traveler camera is the way to go!

9. Warm Clothing – As I said with the high elevation, Peru will be cold even in the summers. It is possible for the temperature to drop below freezing in the summer at high altitudes! Please pack some warm clothing! OR buy alpaca products in Cusco! 🙂

Best Time To Visit Peru

Winter is by far the best time to visit Peru. You will have clear skies in the day time and cold nights. Winter also corresponds to dry season in Peru so you won’t see lots of rainfall. However, winter is also the peak season. Winter in Peru is from May to October. 

Summer, or the wet season, is from November to April. During this time, you will see fewer tourists and heavy rainfall. The Inca Trail is closed in February because February is usually the month with the heaviest rainfall.

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This is the end of our 2 week Peru itinerary! I hope this at least gave you a rough idea of the things you can do in Peru in 2 weeks

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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Guide to Hiking the Cocora Valley, Colombia

Guide to Hiking the Cocora Valley, Colombia

The Cocora Valley, or Valle del Cocora in Spanish, is one of the top things to do in Salento, Colombia. Cocora Valley hike (or Valle de Cocora hike) allows travelers to see the tallest wax palm trees in the entire world, an experience only available in the Cocora Valley and the surrounding Quindio Department.

These stunning palm trees are the national trees of Colombia, and they are actually on the verge of extinction. 

Travelers often think that the public transportation (Jeeps) will take them directly to the viewpoints to see these beautiful giants, but they cannot be more wrong.

In this guide to hiking the Cocora Valley, we will tell you the different hiking loops in Cocora valley, how to get the best view of the wax palm trees, and how to get to Cocora Valley from Salento!

Where Is Cocora Valley (Valle De Cocora) In Colombia?

Valle De Cocora Hiking Salento

Before you put on your hiking boots and grab your trekking poles, lets talk about where is the Cocora Valley.

Cocora Valley is a valley in the department of Quindio in the Central Cordillera of the Andean Mountain. For that reason, Cocora Valley is situated somewhere between 1,800 meters to 2,400 in altitude, making the weather very temperate (and even chilly at times).

The easiest way to visit the Cocora Valley is via Salento, a small town located 11 kilometers from Cocora Valley.

However, because of Salento’s geographical location, it might be difficult to get to. Salento does not have its own airport so visitors must take a flight and switch to a bus.

The quickest way to get to Salento is to take a flight to Pereira, a city 36.4 km away from Salento, and then switch to a bus. Alternatives including flying to Medellin and then taking a long bus ride to Salento. Visitors can also fly to Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and take a bus from there but it is very long.

Guide to the Cocora Valley Hike (Valle De Cocora Hike)

How to Get to the Cocora Valley from Salento?

The best way to get to Cocora Valley from Salento is to take one of the public Jeeps at Plaza de Bolivar. Jeeps leave once they are full and when I visited Cocora Valley, it was full every 10 minutes or so. Other blogs might say that the Jeeps to Cocora Valley only depart at specific times but that is NOT true! 

The Jeeps to Cocora Valley cost 4k Colombian Pesos per way and the journey lasts about 20 minutes! If you have the option to stand in the back of the Jeep, I would highly recommend doing so. The view on the way there is incredible.

There is a ticketing counter at Plaza de Bolivar where you must purchase your tickets. Here you can opt to purchase both the return ticket as well. Otherwise, there is the option to purchase the return ticket from Cocora Valley as well.

The Different Routes for Hiking Cocora Valley

The most asked question about hiking the Cocora Valley is which route or loop should you take. Should I do the loop counter-clockwise or clockwise? Or should I do the “short” loop?

There are a total of 3 ways to hike the Cocora Valley.

1. The 5 to 6 hours long loop, done counterclockwise.

2. The same 5 to 6 hours long loop, done clockwise.

3. The “short” loop, which really isn’t a loop because you go straight to the viewpoint of the palm trees and come back the same way. 

If you are short on time, don’t like to hike for 5 hours, or just want to see the palm trees, take the “short” loop. It takes you directly to the best viewpoints for the palm trees. Follow the main dirt road that is on a slight incline; that is the beginning of the short loop.

The short loop is also cheaper as you only pay once. If you hike the long route in Cocora Valley, you will trespass private fincas (farms) twice. Each time you pass through one of the fincas you have to pay a small fee (few thousands Colombian pesos). 

If you like hiking or want to visit the Acaime Hummingbird Sanctuary, you can take the long loop. The only difference between the counter-clockwise loop and the clockwise loop is when you will see the palm trees.

In the clockwise loop, you will see the palm trees at the beginning of the hike. Whereas in the counter-clockwise loop, you will see the palm trees at the end.

My recommendation? The counter-clockwise trail because seeing the magnificent giants at the end of an arduous hike is as rewarding as it can get. 

If you decide to go counter-clockwise, you will go up the main dirt road and see a sign like this.

Follow the trail to the right and you will be on your way! This trail follows along a small stream before making its way up the mountain.

If you take the clockwise loop, just keep following the main dirt road!

Should You Visit the Acaime Hummingbird Sanctuary on Your Valle de Cocora Hike?

If you decide to hike the long trail in Cocora Valley, you will have the option to take a 45-minute detour (one way) to the Acaime Hummingbird Sanctuary. It is a nice addition to your experience in Cocora Valley but it does add an additional 2 hours to your already long trek. 

You can watch hummingbirds fly “freely” as you sip on some of the local coffee and relax. The entrance is 6000 Colombian Pesos. 

Things to Bring To Your Cocora Valley Hike

Hiking the Cocora Valley is no joke and you should always be prepared. Because of its long duration, here are some items you should bring with you on your long trek!

1. Sunscreen – If you decided to do the long loop, you will be in the shaded forest for about half the hike. However, once you rise above the canopy, you are at the mercy of the blazing sun. These tall wax palm trees do not provide any shade!

2. Rain poncho – The Quindio region of Colombia where Salento is located is known to receive lots of yearly rain. If you will be hiking for a long time, I highly recommend bringing a rain jacket or rain poncho!

3. Filtration Water Bottle – On your trek in Valle de Cocora, you will encounter streams and rivers. A filtration water bottle will allow you to drink directly from the water source so you don’t have to carry so much weight. It is both an environmentally friendly life-saver that has transformed my hiking experiences. I highly recommend bringing one!

4. Insect Repellent with Picaridin – As you hike through the lush trails of Cocora Valley, you will inevitably encounter many insects. Some of which bite you and some of which will leave you alone. That is why it is important to pack some insect repellent. I particularly like the ones with Picaridin instead of DEET because it is as effective and better for your skin!

5. Comfortable Daypack (Him/Her) – Though I am putting this as the fifth item on the list, a comfortable and reliable daypack is one of the most important items to bring with you to Cocora Valley. If you are hiking for 6 hours or more, you will need something with a nice hip belt and a frame. That is why I highly recommend the Talon 22 and Tempest 20!

6. Snacks – There are few places for snacks at the start of the hike, but you should pack some for the hike itself!

Where to Stay in Salento

Best Hostel in Salento – Coffee Tree Boutique Hostel

Coffee Boutique Hostel Salento Colombia

Coffee Tree Boutique Hostel is definitely the best budget hostel in Salento. Don’t let the price fool you. Coffee Tree Boutique hostel has some of the most amazing facilities such as a balcony with the best views of Salento. An amazing free breakfast is included in their low prices, how is that even possible? Highly recommended.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Salento – Real Traditional Salento House

Valle Del Cocora Salento Quindio Colombia
Hiking Cocora Valley Salento Colombia

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Staying in an Airbnb in Salento allows you to stay at one of the charming traditional houses! With its white tiles and colorful wooden roof, guests can immerse themselves in the typical Colombian lifestyle.

This Salento Airbnb features 3 bedrooms and can comfortably allow 9 guests to enjoy the best of its amenities such as a lush backyard with your own personal coffee plants, a smart TV with Netflix, laundry machines and more!

Its ideal location near the center of town means you can stroll along the quaint Calle Real anytime you want or visit Salento’s best eateries!

Click here for more info!

Best Hotel in Salento – Casa De Las Dos Palmas

Casa De Las Dos Palmas is a small and lovely hotel with some of the cutest decors in Salento. Amazing and helpful staff. Free delicious breakfast. Spacious and clean rooms. The property also has a jacuzzi to help you relax after the Cocora Valley hike!

Click here for more details!

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Have you hiked Cocora Valley in Salento, Colombia? Which route did you take? Let us know in the comments!

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Guide to Camping in Tayrona National Park

Guide to Camping in Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park, one of the best places to visit in Colombia, is a place where the beautiful Caribbean Sea meets the magical forest. Filled with exotic wildlife, indigenous tribe, and coconuts trees everywhere, Tayrona National Park is a place that should be in every Colombia Itinerary.

However, arranging accommodations in Tayrona National Park can be confusing, especially if you want to camp. Since camping is one of the best ways to connect with nature and enjoy the surroundings, there are numerous campgrounds in Tayrona National Park.

With so many campsites to choose from and so many pros and cons, which one will you choose to be your base for your Tayrona adventure?

This guide to camping in Tayrona National park will answer all the questions you have about the different campgrounds in Tayrona National Park! 

Tayrona National Park Map

Camping in Tayrona National Park can be quick tricky because you cannot book most of the campsites online beforehand. This guide will give you an overview of the different camping grounds available in Tarona National park through the El Zaino entrance (the most popular one).

The majority of the campsites can be booked the day of at the entrance of the park, except for Ecohabs and the two hotels in the park. 

Where To Stay In Tayrona National Park

Don Pedro Camping

Don Pedro camping is one of the most popular campsites in Tayrona National Park. Located about an hour from the shuttle drop off point, Don Pedro is a convenient campsite for travelers that want to explore a little deeper inside Tayrona National Park but still want to be close to the exit.

Don Pedro campsite features an on-site restaurant (with hour restrictions), showers (with hours restrictions), bathrooms, a basic kitchen, tents, and hammocks.

In general, Don Pedro is a solid choice for any travelers looking to camp in Tayrona National Park. Though it is not right on the beach, the closest beach can be easily reached within 10 mins of walking. However, you are not allowed to swim on that beach because it is dangerous.

Watch out for falling coconuts when you are in camping Don Pedro. Coconuts kill more people than sharks per year!

Cabo San Juan, Best Place For Hammocks In Tayrona National Park

Cabo San Juan is the most popular camping spot in Tayrona National Park, and for good reason. Located about 1.5 hours away from the shuttle drop off point, Cabo San Juan is the furthest camping site there is from the Zaino entrance.

There are two places where you can stay in Cabo San Juan, the watchtower that is jutting into the Caribbean Sea, or on the beach. If you do stay on the watchtower, they only have hammocks and it gets very windy and chilly at night.

Bring a blanket if you want to stay at the watchtower. Also, you might want to bring some insect repellant because those hammocks do not come with a mosquito net.

If you stay on the beach, you can decide between staying in a tent or staying in a hammock. The hammocks on the beach also do not have mosquito nets.

The hammocks at the watchtower tend to get sold out quickly, especially during peak season. Make sure you reserve them in advance by arriving at the park early. 

You can reserve your Cabo San Juan accommodation at the entrance of the park or at the reception on site. Cabo San Juan now has its own official site. Though it was glitchy (and useless) when I last checked it, you can give it a try here.

Cabo San Juan campsite also features an on-site restaurant, showers and toilets, snorkeling equipment rental, and boat trips to Taganga (a small beach town).

Though a bit touristy and crowded, I would highly recommend staying at least one night in Cabo San Juan for the experience.  

Castilletes Campsite

Castilletes is the closest campsite from the Zaino entrance of the park that is on the beach. It is also the only campsite where you can book directly online here.

Located a 45-minute walking from the entrance of the park, Castilletes camping ground is the only campsite that the shuttle can take you to because the shuttle passes by it. If this is your first or last day in the park, you might want to consider staying at Castilletes for an easier time leaving and entering the park.

Castilletes is a very beautiful campground with many amazing amenities including a restaurant, showers and toilets, hammocks, tents, and even Wi-Fi. Though you might be sleeping right next to the sea, you cannot swim in the water adjacent to the campground because the waves are rough.

It is a whole completely different atmosphere than Don Pedro or Cabo San Juan. Compared to Cabo San Juan, Castilletes is much more peaceful and relaxed. The amenities are generally much cleaner and better than any of the other campsites we stayed in Tayrona.

Castilletes camping ground is gorgeous and a whole paradise on its own!

Arrecifes

Though we were told it wasn’t an option to stay in any of the Arrecifes camping grounds at the entrance of the park, we did see a lot of people at those camping grounds.

When I say Arrecifes camping ground, I am referring to the campgrounds that are closest to the Arrecifes beach. However, none of these camping sites are actually on the beach itself, they are the best option if you don’t want to walk far to reach the beach.

It is unsure how you can book these tents and hammocks at the various campsites in Arrecifes since we were not given the option when we rented our tents at the entrance of the park. Honestly, from what I saw, you are better off staying in Don Pedro, which is a few minutes away from the campsites in Arrecifes. Don Pedro has better amenities and is only a few minutes more away from the beach.

Ecohabs, The “Luxury” Tayrona National Park Hotels

Ecohabs, or most commonly miscalled as Ecohuts, is the most luxurious type of accommodations you can get in Tayrona National Park. Though Ecohabs are not for camping, I would like to include them in this guide to outline all the options there are.

Located at Cañaveral beach, the Ecohabs are situated on top of a hill surrounded by dense vegetation. Each Ecohab offers spectacular views unmatched by any other viewpoints in the park, miles of turquoise Caribbean Sea and white sand beach.

If you can afford to splurge on the Ecohabs, I would highly recommend doing so. It is an experience you will not forget.

Ecohotel Yachay Tayrona or Hotel Jasayma Tayrona

The last type of accommodations in Tayrona National Park is the Ecohotel Yachay Tayrona and the Hotel Jasayma Tayrona. These two hotels are situated right next to each other and are the closest hotels to the entrance of Tayrona Park.

That means you won’t have to go that far into the park to reach your accommodation but that also means you will it will take you longer to reach other parts of the park, especially the beautiful Cabo San Juan.

Both of these hotels are located in the heart of the forest, meaning that at night there will be a lot of insects. The hotels do offer mosquito nets but light attracts them so you will find them everywhere within the vicinity of the hotel.

It is a totally surreal experience to fall asleep to the sound of the jungle and to be woken up by the mesmerizing birdsongs!

Breakfast is included in the stay but their on-site restaurant also serves some amazing dishes. Additionally, the hotels have WiFi if you need it.

Tayrona National Park Hostel

I am going to address one of the most common questions I get about Tayrona National Park.

Are there hostels in Tayrona National Park?

The answer is… NO!

There are no hostels in Tayrona National Park. However, there are many great hostels near the entrance of Tayrona National Park.

I personally stayed at one of the top-rated hostels, The Journey Hostel, and had an amazing time. I would recommend staying there or in Santa Marta before going into Tayrona Park.

Bringing Your Own Tent Into Tayrona National Park

You are allowed to bring your own tents into the park. However, you are only allowed to camp in the designated campsites like the ones I mentioned above.  You are NOT allowed to camp in the wilderness.

In addition, you will need to pay a fee to erect your tent in the designated areas. In July 2019, it was 10,000 COP to do so. It is still much cheaper than renting one of their tents (and much cleaner as well).

Things to Know Before Going to Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park is one of the most protected areas in Colombia. As a result, there are many regulations and rules.

1. Yellow Fever Vaccine

Though the Yellow Fever vaccine is listed as a must to enter Tayrona National Park, I was never asked if I had proof of it. The same thing also happened to many travelers I have met. However, better safe than sorry.

2. Water and Food Are Available in the Park but are Overpriced

If you were thinking of just buying water and food in the Tayrona National Park, think again. Though there are many places that sell water and a proper meal, they are quite overpriced.

3. No Alcohol is Allowed

4. No Loud Music is Allowed

Headphones are allowed but if you were planning on blasting some reggaeton in the park, you will be stopped by the patrols and obviously tossed into the sea. Music is detrimental to wildlife in the area, sometimes disrupting their way of life.

5. No Plastic Bag is Allowed to Enter the Park

In the effort to stop the littering of plastic, Tayrona National Park has banned all plastic packs, though we did sneak one in (we are badasses). Just make sure you dispose of it properly!

6. Store Your Big Luggage in Santa Marta

If you are camping, you should not take more than a small backpack with you. Store your luggage in your accommodation in Santa Marta or wherever you are staying before visiting Tayrona National Park.

7. Tayrona National Park is Closed in February!

Due to the agreements with the indigenous tribes that still live inside Tayrona National Park. The park is closed every February. For the exact dates it is closed, refer to the Tayrona Park official site.

Packing List for Tayrona National Park

Located in the heart of the rainforest as well as on the Caribbean coast, there are many things you should pack for your visit to Tayrona National Park. Here are things we recommend:

1. Passport – Not because you want to, but you have to in order to enter the park! You cannot enter Tayrona National park without your passport.

2. Cash – There are no ATMs in the park and the restaurants and other vendors only accept cash.

3. Insect Repellent and Sunscreen – Insect Repellent for the army of insects you will encounter in Tayrona National Park. Sunscreen to avoid looking like a burnt lobster.

4. Bathing Suit and Microfiber Towel – Self-Explanatory.

5. Combination Locks – Every campsite has lockers but they do not give you a padlock. Bring your own to use the lockers or even for locking up your tent!

6. Warm clothes – Especially if you are sleeping in the hammocks!

7. Reliable Flashlight – For going to the bathroom at night or traveling inside the park after sunset. A must-have for Tayrona National Park 

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This marks the end of the guide to camping in Tayrona National Park. Camping really enhances your whole entire experience in the park and I suggest not to do it any other way.

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9 Best Treks and Hikes in Huaraz Peru

9 Best Treks and Hikes in Huaraz Peru

Huaraz, a small city located 8 hours north of Lima by bus, is filled with amazing snow-capped mountains, exotic flora, and stunning landscapes. 

As the capital city of hiking in Peru, it shouldn’t surprise you that many travelers come to Huaraz to chase some of the most breathtaking treks and hikes in the world. It is also probably the only thing to do in Huaraz.

But with Huaraz surrounded by mountains such as the famous Cordillera Blanca, which hikes and treks should you pick?

Below we have compiled a list of the 9 best Huaraz hikes and treks so you can jump straight into action!

Best Day Hikes in Huaraz Peru

There are some beautiful day hikes that you can do from Huaraz. Some of these are a good way to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Huaraz or used for training for the more difficult multi-day treks. 

But don’t underestimate the beauty and difficulty of these treks. Some of these day hikes and treks definitely took my breath away (physically and metaphorically).

1. Laguna Paron

Laguna Paron, or the Paron Lake, is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in Huaraz. As the largest lake inside the Huascaran Nation Park, it is no wonder why Laguna Paron is a must on any Peru itinerary.

Pastel blue glacial lake surrounded by sheer cliffs and snow-capped mountains, Laguna Paron is a landscape photographer’s paradise or a regular person’s fairytale.

The beauty of Lake Paron has successfully earned it as one of the most popular day trips from Huaraz. Hikers can find Day trips to Laguna Paron in every tour agency or accommodation there is in Huaraz.

The transport drops you off at the edge of the Lake Paron where visitors can marvel at its elegance. However, that is just the beginning of the hike. The short 1-hour hike takes you on top of a cliff adjacent to Laguna Paron, where visitors can get panoramic views of the beautiful geological features of the region.

Along the way, there is a little bit of scrambling and jumping from one rock to another. There are lots of big rocks and boulders near the top, probably due to frequent seismic activities in Peru.

Once you arrive at the vantage point on the cliff, visitors can see Artesonraju, a 6,025-meter peak that is depicted on the Paramount Pictures logo. The film company? Yes!

Paron lake sits at 4200m above-sea-level so if you just got to Huaraz, I would recommend you to take a day or 2 to acclimatize.

Duration: 2-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty:
Moderate
Maximum Altitude:
4200m

2. Laguna Wilcacocha

Laguna Wilcacocha is probably one of the easiest day hikes in Huaraz. About 4 hours of hiking in total, not only is the path easy, but the way to do-it-yourself is easy as well. If you are lucky with the weather (unlike us), you should see a range of snow-capped mountains behind Wilcacocha Lake.

To do it yourself, simply take the Route 10 or Route E van at the northeast intersection of Antonio Raymondi and Hualcan Street. You will see a bunch of vans pass by but just make sure you get on the right one. If you are unsure, you can always ask the locals for Route 10 or Route E.

When you get on the bus, tell the bus driver you are going to Laguna Wilcacocha. The other option is to download the app maps.me and look for the Wilcacocha trailhead on the map. Get off when you are close to the trailhead.

Laguna Wilcacocha is the perfect hike to acclimatize to the altitude and prepare for your other big hikes in Peru.

Duration: 3-4-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty: Easy
Maximum Altitude: 3786m

3. Laguna Churup

Credit: Heiner Amado Cadillo

Laguna Churup is the hidden gem of Huaraz. Though fairly unheard of compared to the other popular hikes such as Laguna 69, Laguna Churup offers some spectacular views as well as a challenging and fun hike minus the crowds.

There are few parts towards the end where you have to free climb and use a rope to pull yourself up!

The best thing about Laguna Churup is that you can do it completely by yourself without a guide. Though a guide is recommended if you don’t speak much Spanish.

To get to Laguna Churup, you have to take a shared van at the corner of Av. Agustin Gamarra and Las Americas. This van will take you to the town of Pitec where you will be dropped off at the beginning of the hike.

The van leaves at 7 AM so make sure you get there by then. There are more vans that leave at different hours but ask the reception at your accommodation for more precise information.

When you get off, the driver will tell you he will be back at a certain time to pick you up. If by any chance you cannot make it on time, you can walk to the town of Llupa and catch a shared van from there. It will be an extra 1-hour walk to get to Llupa.

Duration: 5-hour hike round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 4450m

4. Laguna 69, The King Of Huaraz Day Hikes

Trekking Laguna 69 is probably one of the hardest things to do in Huaraz. Chances are, before you even decided to do this hike, travelers and locals are already urging you to do it.

Why? Because Laguna 69 is absolutely gorgeous. The hike is jaw-dropping, the final Lake 69 itself is beautiful, everything about this hike is so perfect. If you only have a few days in Huaraz, I would highly recommend you to skip all the other hikes (except maybe to acclimatize) and just hike Laguna 69.

The good and bad thing about Laguna 69 is that it is a difficult hike. The hike up is only about 3 hours but you are gaining a lot of altitude in a short period of time.

If there is one thing you do in Huaraz, it has to be hiking Laguna 69.

Duration: 6-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty: Hard
Maximum Altitude: 4600m

5. Lagunas Llanganucos

Lagunas Llanganucos, or Llanganucos lakes, are comprised of two small lakes, the Orkoncocha and the Chiancocha. Typically people arrive at Llanganuco through an organized tour or taxi and then walk around the lake and trails.

The trail is very easy, lasting 1-2 hours and you get to see the beautiful Llanganuco lakes from different perspectives.

This is a very good activity to help you acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz.

If you do the Laguna 69 tour, you will pass Laguna LLanganuco, where you will be dropped off for 10 minutes to take photos.

At the Laguna LLanganuco, you also have the option to ride boats and cross the lake.

Duration: 1-2-hour of hiking if desired
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 3800m

6. Laguna Rajucolta

Credit: Lapalabranecesaria

Laguna Rajucolta, or Rajucolta lake, is a rather unpopular destination in Huaraz. However, that doesn’t mean it is not beautiful. The hike to Laguna Rajucolta takes you through 3 hours of flat and peaceful trail through the Nevado Huantsan mountains.

Rajucolta lake is a very good hike to acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz and prepare you for harder hikes.

As far as I know, only tour companies offer transportation to Laguna Rajucolta. However, you can try your luck asking around the reception of your accommodation to see if you can do it yourself.

Duration: 6-hour hike round trip with 1 hour of driving each way
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 4270m

7. Glacier Pastoruri, One Of The Highest Hikes In Huaraz

If you are getting tired of the beautiful lakes in Huaraz, why not change it up and see a glacier instead? Glacier Pastoruri is located 5000m above sea level but don’t be intimidated by that. The walk up to the glacier is well paved and extremely easy but you should still take it easy because of the altitude.

Nowadays, visitors can no longer walk on the glacier because of how much it has declined. Matter of fact, glacier Pastoruri isn’t even a glacier by definition. It no longer builds up ice in the winter due to GLOBAL WARMING so by definition it is just a piece of ice. Peru makes up for 70 percent of the world’s glaciers and it is extremely sad to see some of them disappear.

Glacier Pastoruri probably would not even exist in the upcoming years, so check this out before it is too late.

Duration: 2-hour hike round trip
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Max Altitude: 5000m

Best Multi-Day Treks in Huaraz Peru

Other than day-hikes and treks, Huaraz also offers plenty of options for those interested in longer hikes. Though these multi-day treks in Huaraz are extremely beautiful, probably some of the bests in the entire world, they can also be long and tough.

The shortest multi-day trek is 3 days and the longest is 12 days! That is almost 2 weeks! 

1. Santa Cruz Trek, The Famous Cordillera Blanca Trek

Credit: Esmée Winnubst

The Santa Cruz Trek is a great introductory multi-day trek to what Huaraz has to offer. On the Santa Cruz trek, you will pass by many local villages that live in the Cordillera Blanca and have some stunning views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains nearby.

The Santa Cruz duration is usually about 3 to 4 days, with each day composing of 3 to 8 hours of hiking, depending on your fitness level. You definitely want to be acclimatized and trained for this hike.

The Santa Cruz trek is also a Huaraz trek you can do independently!

Looking to do a 5-day trek to Machu Picchu, check out this guide to Salkantay Trek.

Duration: 3-8 hours of hiking per day, 3 or 4 days of hiking
Total Distance: 50km (31miles)
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
Max Altitude: 4750m (Punta Union)

2. Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, The Hardest Trekking In Huaraz

The Cordillera Huayhuash Trek is the most impressive multi-day trek in Huaraz. And let me tell you, it is definitely the most beautiful trek I have ever seen in my life. Travelers fly from all over the world just to hike this trek and see the beauty it has to offer with their own eyes.

Though not as difficult as the Mt.Everest hike, The Cordillera Huayhuash trek is pretty much the Mt.Everest trek of Peru.

On the trek, you will see Peru’s second-highest mountain, Yerupaja, sitting at 6634m. You will also see Siula Grande, made famous by the book and movie, “Touching the Void.”

It is the most amazing thing to do in Huaraz.

There are many variations of the Huayhuash trek but the most common one is 130 km (81 miles) in 9 to 10 days. Though I have heard of a 4-day Huayhuash trek as well as a 12-day Huayhuash trek. The travel agencies will have more information on that.

After you finish that trek, make sure you treat yourself with food you must try in Peru.

Duration: 4-12 days depending on the trek.
Total Distance: 130 km (81 miles) the typical one.
Difficulty: Hard
Maximum Altitude: 5000m

How to Prepare for Hiking in Huaraz Peru

Many of the hikes in Huaraz are at very high altitude. Even the city of Huaraz is at 3000m, an altitude that can give you altitude sickness easily if you are not careful. 

No. 1 thing to not do is arrive at Huaraz from 0 elevation and immediately start a trek. Huaraz trekking is no joke.

I arrived in Huaraz and immediately went hiking Laguna Paron (4200m) the next day. I couldn’t breathe the day after because I had HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), a condition that happens when you don’t have enough oxygen in your blood. The scary thing is HAPE is the reason for many people’s death while hiking Mount Everest.

A great tip for traveling in Peru is to always bring some Acetazolamide, or Diamox, with you. They are great medication for cases of bad altitude sickness.

So, please don’t rush your trips, especially for people on a short vacation. Take time to get acclimatized.

No. 2 thing to be aware of is that most of these treks are difficult, especially the multi-day treks. It is a good idea to hike around Huaraz and use some of the easier hikes to acclimatize and train for your multi-day treks.

Things to Bring on Your Hikes and Trek in Huaraz

Depending on which hike you pick and the duration of your hike, the items you need to bring might alter slightly. But in general, these are the things you should bring:

1. Sunscreen is a necessity. The sun at high altitudes is much stronger than the sun at sea level. Plus, the reflection of the sun from the snow makes the damage much worse.

2. Rain poncho or raincoat. Weather can change so quickly at such high altitudes. Pack one for safety.

3. Filtration Water Bottle. It will help you in dire circumstances, especially if you are on a multi-day trek. You can save weight and money by having a filtration water bottle.

4. Gloves and hat. For the cold weather you will encounter at high altitudes.

5. Hiking shoes. No surprises here.

6. Coca leaves. Trust me, you will need (want to) have some for your hikes. They built Machu Picchu using these things.

7. Food/Snack/Water. Pack accordingly to how long your hike is going to be.

8. Money! A lot of these parks will charge an entrance fee. Also some villages you pass by will also require you to pay them.

All other questions should be addressed to the tour companies before the start of your trek! There are plenty of tour companies to choose from on the main street (Centernario) of Huaraz.  

Where to Stay in Huaraz Peru

Best Hostel in Huaraz – Selina Huaraz

Selina Huaraz is one of the best looking hostels in Huaraz. With comfortable beds and spacious rooms, guest can enjoy spending their days here relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude! The most important thing is that their showers are boiling hot, one of the things you must need in Huaraz!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Huaraz – Fantastic View Apartment

Where To Stay In Huaraz
Best Hikes And Treks In Huaraz Peru

Hotels in Huaraz are nice but don’t often provide you with the cozy and homey atmosphere of an Airbnb. That is why one of the best places to stay in Huaraz is this Fantastic View Apartment.

Featuring 3 bedrooms in total, this Huaraz Airbnb can comfortably accommodate up to 4 guests. Here guests can lounge in the comfortable living area, cook up a homemade view in the fully0equipped kitchen, or admire the stunning mountains of Huaraz outside their window.

For sunset, there is a roof on the 5th floor that will take your breath away!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Huaraz – Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia

Located in a quiet part of town, Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia is perfect for a good night’s sleep after a day of hiking in Huaraz. With their comfortable beds and warm covers, you will be sleeping like a baby! Their interior design is very modern, the breakfast is good, and is one of the best overall choices for accommodation in Huaraz. 

Click here for more details!

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Here are the best hikes and treks in Huaraz Peru. Which hike is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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