Best Peruvian Ceviche in Lima On A Budget: 7 Top Restaurants

Best Peruvian Ceviche in Lima On A Budget: 7 Top Restaurants

Lima, the capital of Peru, is one of the most visited gastronomical destinations in the world. In fact, Peru has been the best culinary destination in the world for many years now.

Though there are plenty of incredible Peruvian dishes, Peruvian ceviche, the national dish of Peru is probably the one that has everyone drooling.

No Peru itinerary is complete without including a visit to some of the best cevicherias (ceviche specialty restaurants). Guess where are some of the best places in Peru to try authentic Peruvian ceviche? The capital of Peru, Lima.

To try this amazing Peruvian national dish, you probably think you have to spend a lot of money. However, this is far from the truth.

Peruvian ceviche does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of restaurants that allow you to try good and authentic Peruvian ceviche for cheap. But if you want to splurge on some of the best food, Lima has 2 of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Here are 7 of the best restaurants for ceviche in Lima on a budget!

Best Restaurants For Ceviche in Lima On A Budget

1. El Cebiche de Ronald

El Cebiche de Ronald is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that only serves ceviche.

It only has a few options on the menu but the most popular one and the one I recommend is the ceviche with just fish and chicharron de calamar. Chicharron de calamar is delicious fried calamari. For 27 soles (Less than $8 USD), you can have a ceviche with calamari that also comes with sweet potato and corn.

El Cebiche de Ronald makes the ceviche fresh in front of you. Their kitchen is in open-air so you can see every single step of the process.

From cooking the fish with their fresh lime to putting the final touch into the dish, you can see where your food is coming from and how it is made.

As a result, their ceviches are some of the freshest I have ever tried in Lima, and surprisingly one of the cheapest too.

In fact, El Cebiche de Ronald used to be just one restaurant but now has opened up many other stores around Lima. I definitely recommend trying the original restaurant.

Address: Av. Ignacio Merino 2427, Lince 15046, Peru
Hours: 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM Daily (Closed Tuesdays)

2. Barra Maretazo

Credit: Barra Maretazo Barra Maretazo is a restaurant that has 23 years of experience cooking Peruvian cuisine. Without a doubt, you already know this is one of the best restaurants in Lima for Ceviche. Located in Miraflores, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Lima, Barra Maretazo has some amazing interior aesthetic to match its mouth-watering food. They believe that if you are having seafood or ceviche, it should be more than just a “taste” experience. For that reason, they have boats where you can sit and enjoy your meal. Or if you want to be even closer to the sea, they have a sand bar where you can dip your feet in the sand while you sip on a Pisco sour (the national drink of Peru) and enjoy a traditional Peruvian ceviche. Their price for a traditional or mixed ceviche is 33 soles (10 USD), and a combo is only 36 soles (11 USD)! Address: Calle Alcanfores 373, Miraflores 15074, Peru Hours: 12 PM – 11 PM Daily

3. Costazul Seafood

Costazul Seafood

Credit: Costazul Seafood

Costazul Seafood, or Blue Coast Seafood in English, is a restaurant that uses some of the freshest ingredients to prepare their affordable dishes.

Located in the beautiful and safe neighborhood of Miraflores, Costazul Restaurant is a small space with big flavors and friendly services. Their menus are diverse but the waiters are more than happy to explain to you what the dishes are.

If good service in a very warm and cozy atmosphere paired with extremely good ceviche sounds like something up your alley, don’t forget to check out Coastazul Seafood.

The ceviche is also incredibly affordable at 35 soles for the traditional and 38 soles for the house specialty.

Address: Calle Berlin 899, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: Sunday: 12:30 PM – 7PM | Monday: Closed | Tuesday to Saturday : 12:30 PM – 8:30 PM

4. Punto Azul

If you have ever walked around the neighborhood of Miraflores, then you have probably walked past by Punto Azul. Frequently indicated by a line of people waiting, Punto Azul is definitely a restaurant that is worth the wait. If you come during off-peak hours, you might not have to wait in line.

Their ceviche is definitely one of the best I have ever had in my life. The fish is seasoned and cooked so perfectly that it melts in your mouth.

Every bite was just one step closer to heaven.

The flavor of the spices combined with the freshness of the fish was nothing like I have ever tried before. It reminded me of some of the best sushi I have had in Japan, but better. Come here and your taste buds will thank you.

Punto Azul has the traditional ceviche and the Punto Azul ceviche. Personally, I liked the traditional ceviche more than the Punto Azul one. The Punto Azul ceviche uses Aji, which is the orange sauce you see in the picture above, to make the dish a little spicier and adds a little twist to it.

A traditional or Punto Azul ceviche costs 39 soles per serving. Don’t forget to try the chicha morada (one of the oldest Peruvian drink) here as well.

Address: Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Monday: 6 PM – 12 AM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 12 AM

5. Canta Rana

Canta-Rana-Lima (1)

Credit: Canta Rana

Canta Rana is not your typical restaurant. The spaces are cramped and it could be noisy especially during peak hours. However, that does not stop the locals and the tourists from going there.

Canta Rana has some of the best ceviches in town that brings tourists and locals from every part of town. The atmosphere is more local, which is amazing if you are a traveler that wants to mingle with the natives.

If you are here during a football game, expect the place to be crowded and rowdy. Peruvian are die-hard football fans and one of the best places to watch the game is at Canta Rana.

If you like to enjoy your ceviche in a more pleasant and quiet environment, you should head over to Punto Azul. It is a short 10 minute Uber ride from Canta Rana.

But if you are in the area and would like to try Canta Rana in peace and quiet, I recommend going at off-peak hours. There is usually no wait and the atmosphere is calmer.

A traditional ceviche at Canta Rana costs 40 soles.

Address: Genova 101, Barranco 15063, Peru
Hours: Sunday and Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 10 PM

6. Mi Barrunto

Mi Barrunto is probably the most famous restaurant for ceviche in Lima. It is a restaurant that is located a bit further away from the main tourist area. For that reason, Mi Barrunto is mostly visited by locals.

Now you must think, if this place is visited by locals, it must be cheap. That is far from the truth. Mi Barrunto is actually a quite expensive restaurant, more expensive than some of the nicer restaurants in the fancier neighborhoods such as Miraflores or Barranco.

Even with such high prices, the locals flock here. Why? The seafood and ceviche here are top-notched. The atmosphere is welcoming. Locals come here to hang out on a Saturday night, chat with friends, and enjoy some amazing food.

If you don’t believe me, just check out, Mi Barrunto’s extensive menu.

The downside is since it is such a local restaurant, the interior is not as posh as the other restaurants in Miraflores or Barranco. The restaurant is also located quite far and it is unsafe to walk in the surrounding area of the restaurant. For that reason, the only way to get there is pretty much just with an Uber.

A traditional ceviche there costs 39 soles. You must also try the chica morada (traditional Peruvian drink), it is the best one I had in my 2.5-month journey in Peru.

Make sure you visit this cevicheria on your visit to Lima!

Address: Jiron Sebastian Barranca 935, La Victoria 15018, Peru
Hours: 11 AM – 5 PM Daily

7. Delfino Mar

Delfino-Mar-Lima

Credit: Delfino Mar

Last but not least, Delfino Mar is probably the fanciest of all the ceviche restaurants on this list. Located in the neighborhood of Miraflores (a great neighborhood for ceviche), Delfino Mar is easily accessible.

The restaurant’s atmosphere itself is quite the opposite of Mi Barrunto or Canta Rana, it is peaceful and quiet. It is almost as if you were at a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City.

Here the tranquility lets you focus on your food better. Every mouthful of ceviche is an unforgettable memory that you can savor for the rest of your life. This is also a great place to take someone on a date!!

The price for a traditional ceviche at Delfino Mar is 38 soles (12 USD), and it is definitely well worth the price.

Address: Jorge Chavez 509, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: 12 PM -10 PM Daily

Where to Stay in Lima to Eat Good Ceviche

The best place to stay in Lima for ceviche has to be either Miraflores or Barranco. I personally like Miraflores a little more because there are just so many cevicherias to choose from.

Other than that, the neighborhood itself, especially the cliffs by the Malecon are gorgeous. Miraflores is safe and quiet, but night clubs and bars are also within walking distance.

There are plenty of amazing things to do in Miraflores as well!

Even if you are not here for the ceviches, Miraflores is the neighborhood you want to stay in when visiting Lima.

Here are some recommendations for specific places to stay in Lima, Peru!

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 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 cevicherias in Lima. After stuffing yourself with delicious seafood every night, stroll down the scenic promenade as you make your way home before resting in your comfortable queen size bed.

If you still have more energy, sit out on the balcony and get some of the refreshing seawater. Halotherapy has some great health benefits!

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Miraflores, Lima (Peru)- Apart Hotel San Martin

apart-hotel-san martin Miraflores Ceviche
apart-hotel-san-martin-Lima Peru Ceviche

Anyone looking for an accommodation with traditional hotel decor and amenities of an Airbnb mustn’t miss Apart Hotel San Martin. Featuring kitchen facilities, guests can have the convenience of making their own meals.

This Lima hotel offers a complimentary free breakfast for all their guests, perfect for a day of exploring in Lima. After an exhausting day, come back and sink into your dreamy bed and drift away!

Click here for more info!

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Have you tried Peruvian ceviche? What did you think of it?? Peruvian ceviche is the reason why I was over my budget when I was backpacking Peru!

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Cuenca Ecuador to Mancora Peru: Crossing the Border with Night Bus

Cuenca Ecuador to Mancora Peru: Crossing the Border with Night Bus

Border crossings are always extremely confusing, especially if you are backpacking or traveling in South America.

If you are ever traveling from Ecuador to Peru, you probably thought about going from Cuenca Ecuador to Mancora. It is one of the most convenient ways to cross the border between these two countries because there are night buses that run between the two cities.

In this guide, you will learn about the border crossing from Cuenca to Mancora by night bus, what time the buses depart, the whole immigration process, and what do you do once you arrive in Mancora!

Buying Your Bus Ticket and Selecting the Right Bus Company

The most difficult part of crossing the border from Cuenca to Mancora is making sure you have the proper night bus. That means buying your bus ticket from the right company at the correct time.

Luckily for you, this procedure is quite simple.

As of 2019, the Terminal Terrestre of Cuenca (or the main bus terminal) has 2 companies offering night buses from Cuenca to Mancora. They both depart at 9:30 PM, “Ecuadorian time”, meaning give or take half an hour. Always arrive half an hour early to be safe.

My 9:30 PM bus actually left 30 minutes early that night!

I took the cheaper bus that cost $20 USD while the other one cost $22 USD. The cheaper bus that I took was one of the most comfortable buses I have ever taken and they also provided a small meal on board, as most buses do in Peru.

In Terminal Terrestra, there is an information center with a reception that speaks English! I HIGHLY recommend you to go a day before or the morning of to ask the aide about the bus situation from Cuenca to Mancora. Purchase your ticket ahead of time!

The Night Bus Journey From Cuenca to Mancora

In comparison to the buses in Ecuador, the night bus from Cuenca to Mancora will be much better in quality and comfort, but about the same in terms of security.

Be aware of your belongings, keep your valuables with you and don’t put your bag underneath your seat or near the top. If you have a big bag with you, you can store that underneath the bus but make sure you have a padlock on it. For that reason, I always travel with 2 combination locks.

The buses departed Cuenca at around 9:30 PM and arrived at the Ecuador/Peru border at around 1:00 AM.

Immigration Process at the Border

The immigration process at the border was one of the smoothest I have ever had. The bus drops you off at a small little building that contains both the immigration officers from Ecuador and Peru. Everything was smooth, no specific questions were asked, no vaccines were needed.

The Peruvian officer will ask you how many days you plan on staying in Peru. You can get up to 90 days for free but if you tell them you are here for 2 weeks only, the officer will only give you 2 weeks! Always say a little more than intended just in case, especially if you are backpacking Peru!

After getting through the immigration process, you will walk about 200m to the parking lot on the Peruvian side. Don’t be shocked on your walk because you will see many people sleeping on the sides on your way. (I believe they are Venezuelans that have left their country due to the Venezuelan Crisis.)

Arriving in Mancora

You will arrive in Mancora at around 5:00 AM. It is still dark and the moment you arrive, you will be bombarded by tuk-tuk drivers trying to make a quick buck off of uninformed tourists.

The tuk tuk drivers will tell you that Mancora is dangerous and you should not walk in the dark. Mancora is definitely not the safest city but usually, nothing happens. If you are traveling with someone else, it will be much safer to walk to your accommodation.

Nothing bad happened to us in Mancora but there were tales of people getting robbed. 

Besides, the sun will rise and it will be a magical first impression of Peru!

If you decide to take the tuk-tuk, please bargain. The ride to your accommodation from where you are dropped off should cost around 5 Peruvian soles or 1.5 USD, but they will ask for 5 USD or even 10 USD!

There is also an ATM close to where you are dropped off for anyone that wants to take out some Peruvian soles.

Where To Stay in Mancora

Best Hostel in Mancora – Psygon Surf Camp

Psygon Surf Camp is a chill and social hostel in Mancora with a little bit of a party scene at night, though not as much as Loki. Featuring amazing amenities for its price such as an on-site gym, a bar, and free breakfast. The beach is just 100m away!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Mancora – Bohemia Apartment Next To Beach

Where To Stay In Mancora
Getting From Cuenca To Mancora

If you are looking for a more relaxing time by the beach, consider the Bohemia Airbnb in Mancora. Situated on the beach wake up every morning to sweeping sea views and end every evening with a dramatic sunset. Fall asleep to the sound of the soothing waves and repeat!

This Airbnb features everything you might need. From a kitchen to a private bathroom to a private balcony overlooking the beach, it is an Airbnb that will maximize your experience in Mancora!

Inside the property grounds are common areas where you can relax. Grab a delicious smoothie from their on-site cafe or challenge your friends to a game of foosball. Head up to the viewing deck and just soak in all the views!

Click here for more information!

Best Cheap Hotel in Mancora – The Point

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

The Point is one of my favorite hotels in Mancora. Why? Because of its perfect location right on the beach. It has an amazing atmosphere and simple decor as well as the perfect balance between partying and a good night’s rest.

The outdoor common area with a pool is an excellent place to relax after a long day exploring Mancora or to meet some new people.

Click here for more details!

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I hope this guide about the border crossing from Cuenca to Mancora with the night bus answers all the questions you have! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

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Guide to Salkantay Trek: An Alternative to the Inca Trail

Guide to Salkantay Trek: An Alternative to the Inca Trail

Every year, millions of tourists come to Peru for one of the most spectacular Seven Wonders of the world, Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a must on any Peru itinerary, but the difficult question is which trail to take? The original Inca Trail that takes you to the roads that connected the Incan empire to Macchu Picchu, or other alternative treks such as the Salkantay Trek?

Nowadays, the most popular route to visit the Machu Pichu ruins is through the Inca Trail. However, the government of Peru has put an effort to stop human traffic erosion on the Inca trail and Machu Picchu, limiting the number of people that can be on the actual Inca trail. No more than 500 people are allowed on the Inca trail per day, and the Inca trail is closed in the month of February.

Out of the 500 people, 200 of them are actually there for Machu Picchu, others are porters, chefs, and guides. Consequently, many other trails such as the Salkantay trail, Ausangate Trail, and many others are starting to get popular.

The demand for the Inca trail has grown over the years while supply has declined. This has caused the price to increase to about $500 to $1000 USD for the Inca trail, as well as needing to book a few months in advance.

As a result, not many people get to participate in the Inca trail. But worry not, there are many other alternative trails to the Inca trail and I am here to tell you why especially the Salkantay trek might even be better.

Short History on Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan site that was abandoned hundreds of years ago and a must-see attraction in Peru. It is believed that when the Spaniards arrived and started fighting the Incan empire. The people at Machu Picchu left to help aid the war. 

The Incans lost the war to the Spaniards and never had the chance to return to Machu Picchu.

The location of Machu Picchu was so secretive that the Spaniards actually never discovered Machu Picchu.

What that means is that everything you see in Machu Picchu is in its original form. No reconstruction, nothing. Just the natural course of weathering throughout the years.

The Popular Alternative to Inca Trail: Salkantay Trek

Let’s understand why the Salkantay Trek is such a popular alternative to the Inca trail.

Both trails have beautiful landscapes, amazing history, and leads to one of the most visited Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.

But here’s where they are different:

Inca Trail Salkantay Trek
Length 4 days/3 nights 5 days/4 nights
Distance 25 mi(40km) 45 mi (72km)
Cost $500-$1000 USD $150-250 USD
Highest Peak 4200m (Dead Woman’s Pass 4600m (Salkantay Pass)
Pros Passes through many Incan ruins where you can learn about the mighty Incan empire Passes through many beautiful sceneries including the Humantay Lake and many others

Both trails are good options for Machu Picchu. But my recommendation is that if you are a nature lover, go with the Salkantay trek. If you are more into the history and being a part of where the Incans were many years ago, do the Inca trail. Also if you are on a budget, the Salkantay trek is much more affordable.

Here are some Salkantay Trek Tours that you can purchase ahead of time: 

 

Salkantay Trek Packing List

Great you have decided to do the Salkantay trek, you are in for some fun.

Before we get into details, let’s go over the things you will need to bring on your Salkantay trek.

They will have a donkey that will carry 4-5kg of stuff for you. But make sure whatever the donkey is carrying is rugged and can get dirty. It is advised to have a big bag for the donkey to carry and a small daypack for your hike.

11 Things you will need to bring for the Salkantay trek (Salkantay Trek Checklist):

1. Extra layers (Gloves and hat, wool socks). For the cold that you will encounter at such high altitudes. The first night you will camp at 3900m at Soraypampa. Unless you paid a lot of money, there won’t be proper insulation.

Filtration Water Bottle. A filtration water bottle for the Salkantay trek will save you lots of money as well as not having to carry so much weight. Highly recommended.

3. Wet Wipes, toilet paper, and toiletries. For the days that you don’t want to shower because it is too cold outside or they only have cold water. Also, you won’t ever find toilet paper in the bathrooms. 

4. Bathing suit– You have the option to go to the hot springs on day 3 of the trek at Santa Teresa.

5. Hiking pole– Salkantay trek is very challenging. You should definitely bring some if your trekking company does not provide them.

6. Bug Repellent. This one has Picaridin and is more environment-friendly and effective than DEET.

7. Sunscreen.  The sun at high altitude is very strong and dangerous to the skin. Make sure you have some on your Salkantay Trek.

8. Rain poncho or jacket. Weather is unpredictable at high altitude and you will be hiking through many different biospheres.

9. Coca leaves. Highly recommended that you have some for your hike. The difference between hiking with coca leaves and without coca leaves is day and night.

10. First aid kit/meds. Your tour guide should have a first aid kit as well as oxygen. But he probably won’t have medicine for altitude sickness or other illnesses you might get along the way.

11. Passport! You CANNOT enter Machu Picchu without your passport!

What To Know Before Hiking Salkantay Trek

Looking back at the trek, there are some things I wish I knew before hiking the Salkantay trek.

Now I will pass down my experience and these things to you.

1. Day 1 of the hike is extremely cold. Chances are you won’t want to shower on day one because there is no hot water. This is when wet wipes will be useful.

2. There is the option to have hot water for showering on every day of the trek except day 1 but you will have to pay for the hot shower.

3. Day 2 and on you will have the option to buy Wi-Fi. But on Day 3 you should get signal when you reach Santa Teresa.

4. Day 3 you will arrive at Santa Teresa and there will be music, alcohol, and dancing at night.

5. Food is surprisingly quite good for the entire trek but it is still recommended to bring snacks. Also, when drinking any prepared beverages, make sure the chef is not using tap water.

6. You get to see Laguna Humantay on the way!! Talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

7. Get acclimatized in Cusco before you star the Salkantay trek. I recommend staying for at least 2-3 nights in Cusco beforehand.  

How Hard Is The Salkantay Trail

The Salkantay Trek is definitely not a joke. Anyone that wants to hike the Salkantay Trek should prepare accordingly. When I did the Salkantay Trek, I had already been in Peru for two months. I had done a lot of hiking in Huaraz, which is known as the capital of hiking in Peru.

I also hiked Colca Canyon in Peru, the world’s second deepest canyon!

Even then I found it difficult on the long hiking days. My friend who just flew from Lima to Cusco and immediately did the Salkantay Trek felt like he was dying. The crazy part is that he is a marathon runner. Acclimatization is important for the Salkantay Trek.

Hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Mollepata (2900m)  to Soraypampa (3900m) | 6 Hours  

Day 1 of the Salkantay Trek begins with the tour company picking you up at around 5 AM. After getting picked up, you will then drive to Mollepata where you will have your optional breakfast. After your breakfast, you will then be driven to the starting point of the hike.

After 3 hours of ascending, you will reach your campsite of the day at Soraypampa (3900m) where you will have lunch. After lunch, you will then ascend to the Humantay Lagoon (3 hours round trip) for a total of 6 hours of hiking on Day 1. 

Day 2: Soraypampa (3900m) to Salkantay Pass (4600m) to Chaullay (2900m) | 9 Hours  

On day 2 of the Salkantay trek, you will wake up early to prepare for the hardest day of the trek. Today you will climb through the Salkantay pass (4600 m). If you are not acclimatized, this will be a difficult day for you. Make sure you have enough coca leaves and take it slow. 

After hiking up to the Salkantay pass (3 hours), the rest of the hike is all downhill. But it is a lot of downhill, almost 6 hours of downhill. After an eternity of hiking, you will reach Chaullay (2900m) very late into the day.

Throughout the day, you will gradually transition from a mountainous area to a cloud forest environment. You can feel the temperature get a little hotter, the air gets more humid, and you will start to see crops and birds! Congratulations, you just finished your toughest day on the Salkantay trek.

Note: This campsite has hot water and Wi-Fi for purchase!

Day 3: Chaullay (2900m) to La Playa (2000m) to Santa Teresa (1550m) |  5 Hours  

Day 3 is probably one of the least challenging days of the Salkantay Trek. It begins early in the morning at Chaullay and you will hike through the cloud forest to reach La Playa. On the way, you will see many different species of plants and animals. You will encounter fruits where you can just pick off the trees.

After around 5 hours of hiking, you will arrive in La Playa where you have lunch. After lunch, there will be transport that takes you from La Playa (2000m) to your campsite in Santa Teresa (1550m).

Salkantay-Trek-Day-3

At Santa Teresa, the weather is very tropical. When you arrive, you will have the option to visit the nearby hot springs for an additional charge. Hope you brought your bathing suit! If not, you can wander around town until it is time for dinner!

Note: Some tour companies will camp in La Playa and go to Llactapata ruins the day after. When I did my Salkantay trek, we were told we had the options to do that if we wanted. However, the tour guide said we cannot because they had already booked everything. Make sure you confirm with your tour company about this before buying it with them. 

Day 4: Santa Teresa (1550m) to Hidroelectrica to Agua Calientes (2040m) |  5 Hours  

Congratulations, you have made it to Day 4 of Salkantay Trek!!

Day 4 is another fairly easy day so don’t worry. In the morning, you have the option to hike to Hidroelectrica (1-1.5 hour) or take transport for an additional charge. After you arrive at Hidroelectrica, you will have an early lunch and prepare for the remaining of the hike.

You will also have the option to leave anything you don’t need at Hidroelectrica because you will be coming back to the same place tomorrow.

For the remaining of the hike, you will be walking along the train tracks through the lush mountains! Occasionally, you will see trains pass by so make sure you stay on the side.

The hike should take about 3 hours from Hidroeletrica to Agua Calientes.

Agua Calientes is also called the Machu Picchu town and it has everything you need.

Tonight you will be sleeping in a nice hostel with WiFi and hot water!! You earned it!

At dinner time, your tour guide will give you your ticket for Machu Picchu and tell you your entrance time. He will also introduce you to the guide you will be having inside Machu Picchu. 

Day 5: Agua Calientes (2040m) to Machu Picchu (2430m) to Hidroelectrica |  5 Hours  

After 4 long days of hiking the Salkantay Trek, you are finally there!

But wait you are not done, you have to hike all the way up to Machu Picchu on Day 5 of the Salkantay trek. There is an option to pay for transport up there but you didn’t hike 4 days on the Salkantay Trek just to pay for transport, did you? The hike from Agua Calientes to Machu Picchu is 2 hours up and is definitely a difficult surprise considering how easy the last 2 days have been. Depending on what time your entrance is, you will have to start hiking accordingly.

After you arrive at the entrance of Machu Picchu, you will meet your tour guide and go in Machu Picchu with him.

And there it is.

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, with its years of history, stands in front of your eyes. It is everything you have seen in pictures and more.

There your tour guide will give you an explanation of Machu Picchu and walk you through the ruins. After the tour, you are allowed to wander in the ruins.

Note: You cannot go back to an earlier stop in Machu Picchu. The tour ends at the bottom of the Machu Picchu ruins and you CANNOT go back up (unless you have a ticket that includes Huayna Pichu or the other mountain). If you want to take your time with photos at the top of Machu Picchu, you will have to leave your tour in the beginning. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

After visiting Machu Picchu, you will get back to Hidroelectrica where you dropped your belongings off the day before. You will walk on the same train tracks you did coming here and the route takes about 3 hours. Don’t miss your bus at Hidroelectrica going back to Cusco!

Where to Find The Cheapest Salkantay Tour in Cusco

If you are planning on doing the Salkantay Trek have an extra day or two to book your tour from Cusco, you will save lots of money!

To find the cheapest tour for the Salkantay Trek, it is imperative that you book through one of the tour agencies in Cusco. There are around a hundred tour agencies in Cusco, so make sure you go around and ask about the price for the Salkantay Trek. Depending on supply and demand the price can fluctuate easily.

Don’t forget to haggle when looking for your Salkantay tour. Make sure the package includes everything you might need for our trek!

Hostel Atawkama also offers a very cheap Salkantay tour as well. In addition, if you book a night with them, you can store all your belongings at Hostel Atawkama for FREE! 

If you cannot book in Cusco, check out some of our recommendations before arriving:

Where to Stay in Cusco

Picking where to stay in Cusco is imperative for having a good experience because of the altitude. herefore, we have written a separate guide on where to stay in Cusco here.

Low-Budget Accommodation

Atawkama Hostel– Amazing hot water. More than bread for just breakfast. No bunk beds. Cheap tours including the Salkantay Trek. Atawkama is definitely one of my favorite budget accommodation.

Mid-Budget Accommodation

La Escala Guest House– Family-owned guest house that has some of the most comfortable beds. The hosts are very helpful in terms of providing recommendations. Breakfast is also included every morning. 

High-Budget Accommodation

Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa–  This is the hotel to stay at if you want the best of the best. Complimentary shuttle service to the airport, swimming pools, fitness center, spa, this hotel has it all.  

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Have you done the Salkantay Trek and hiked to Machu Picchu?

Let us know in the comments!

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2 Day Colca Canyon Trek: Guide To Arequipa’s Best Hike

2 Day Colca Canyon Trek: Guide To Arequipa’s Best Hike

Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the entire world, is one of the best places to visit in Peru. At a depth of 3270m deep, it is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the United States. However, most travelers come to Peru strictly for Machu Picchu, completely ignoring the fact that one of Peru’s best hikes is just a bus ride away.

Don’t skip Colca Canyon. 

There are many ways to see Colca Canyon. This is the guide for the 2 days Colca Canyon trek. It is the most popular trek to see the most beautiful points of the canyon without spending so much time.

Guide To Colca Canyon 2 Day Tour

The map above is the route that all 2 days 1 night Colca Canyon trekking tour takes. It starts close to Cabanaconde, heads down towards San Juan De Chuccho for lunch, then finally to Sangalle Oasis for the first day. On the second day, you return back to Cabanaconde through a different route.

Tour Companies for Trekking Colca Canyon

There are many Colca Canyon tour companies throughout Arequipa. Most of them are concentrated in the Plaza de Armas, the iconic center square that every Peruvian city has.

In Plaza de Armas, you will find close to a dozen tour companies. Scout around, negotiate and pay attention to the details of the tour they offer.

We scouted around and realized that they all go the same route, the only difference is the accommodation and equipment (hiking poles and headlamps).

There are shared accommodations and private accommodations. If you are traveling with a partner, just know there is the option to pick a private room!

Choosing the Right Duration for Your Colca Canyon Trek

Before we dive deep into the Colca Canyon 2 day trek, let’s look at all the other options for the Colca Canyon trek.

1 Day Colca Canyon Tour (Colca Canyon Day Trip)

The Colca Canyon day trip tour is a popular option for travelers that do not have much time or do not want to do any hiking.

The tour usually includes transport to the Mirador Cruz del Condor where you spend some time observing the condors soaring in the sky and over the beautiful Colca Canyon. You have lunch at a nearby town and then return to Arequipa.

Colca Canyon 2 Day Trek

The most popular trek for Colca Canyon. The trek starts with a descent into the Colca Canyon where you will stay at the Sangalle Oasis. On day 2, you will rise early in the morning to hike back to Cobanaconde. 

Colca Canyon 3 Days 2 Nights Tour

The 3 days 2 nights Colca Canyon tour takes the same route as the 2 days 1-night tour. However, the days are much shorter and you will have more chances to enjoy nature in Colca Canyon. Recommended if you are a beginner hiker or have a few weeks in Peru!

Want to secure your Colca Canyon tour before you arrive? Here are some tours we recommend:

DIY Your Colca Canyon Trek

We didn’t do the Colca Canyon trek on our own so we can only give an outside point of view. It seems it is fairly easy to DIY as long as you know the routes. The accommodations can be easily booked in advance on booking.com

Colca Canyon Trek Packing List

The Colca Canyon hike is not so tough in terms of difficulty. However, if you are doing the 2 days 1-night trek, you will suffer extreme sunny conditions on the first day and extremely cold condition in the morning of the second day. 

Therefore, I recommend packing some of these essentials. 

1. Sunscreen – You will be hiking in the sun for about 6 hours in the sun with no shade. Bring one or look like a tomato.

2. Toiletries – Make sure you have toilet paper. It is not provided by the accommodation.

3. Swimsuit – There is a swimming pool in the Sangalle Oasis where you can swim after your first day of hiking. 

4. Cash – There are places to buy water and snacks on the way. Also, there is a 70 soles entrance fee to the Colca Canyon. 

5. Portable Battery – No electricity in the accommodations after 8 PM.

6. Warm clothing – For the early morning and evening. 

7. Snacks and Water – There are snacks and water for sale along the way but they will be 3 times the normal price. 

8. Light Portable Travel Camera – One of my favorite portable camera that gets the job done! Probably the travel camera out there right now!

Day 1 of Colca Canyon Trek: Descent to the Sangalle Oasis

Day 1 of the Colca Canyon trek started with a 3:30 AM pickup at our accommodation. Then we were driven for a few hours to a town where we had breakfast (included).

After breakfast, we were transported again for a few hours to Mirador Cruz del Condores, the viewpoint to observe these symbolic creatures. Condors are viewed as spiritual creatures and are used to represent Hanan Pacha, or the heavenly world.

Luckily for you, at Mirador Cruz del Condores, you will get to see them in action, soaring in the skies over the Colca Canyon. We spent about an hour at the viewpoint, taking pictures and admiring the beautiful canyon.

After an hour at the Mirador Cruz del Condores, we got back on the transport and headed near Cabanaconde, where the trail started. You have the option to purchase wooden walking sticks there, for those interested. They are cheap and will help you with the 6-hour descent that you are about to do.

The first part of the trek is heading towards San Juan de Chuccho. It takes about 3-4 hours of constant descent on very sandy terrain. It is very easy to slip and fall in this part.

At San Juan de Chuccho, you will have your lunch. We had alpaca meat stir fry with rice as well as quinoa soup. I couldn’t believe that my first time having alpaca meat would be in a tiny village at the bottom of Colca Canyon. Apparently, alpaca meat is one of the traditional foods of Peru!

After lunch, we laid on the grass and took an afternoon nap for 30 minutes or so before heading towards our final destination, the Sangalle Oasis.

After another 2 hours or so of downhill, we arrived at Sangalle Oasis. The view was more than phenomenal on the way and our tour guide was telling us about the flora and animals in the region. 

At Sangalle Oasis, we were put into our own private double bedroom. It had a cold shower, a toilet, and a bed. Very basic but it had everything we needed, except for toilet paper. However, we have been traveling in Peru for close to 2 months now and always carry toilet paper with us. If you forget to bring some, there is a store in Sangalle where you can purchase toiletries and more.

There was a swimming pool on-site but we didn’t go in the swimming pool as the sun set early at the bottom of the canyon. Without the sun, it felt like winter. We relaxed and waited for dinner, which was more quinoa soup and pasta with tomato sauce.

In the night time, we were able to see the stars clearly because there was no light pollution. It is the perfect place to try to capture the Milky Way on your camera or see it with your own eyes! 

Day 2 of Colca Canyon Trek, Uphill to Cabanaconde

At 4:30 AM, we started our hike towards Cabanaconde. Day 1 was all descending, so logically day 2 was all uphill. Sangalle is located at 2,100m above sea level while Cabanaconde is located 3287m above sea level.

In 3-4 hours, we ascended more than 1100 m. So when people say Colca Canyon was hard, this is what they meant. However, after doing the Acatenango Volcano hike in Guatemala, nothing would compare. And if you have done the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon will seem easy in comparison.  

3-4 hours of uphill hiking flew by as we watched the sun rise behind the beautiful mountains. One by one they lit up, leaving a miraculous sight that will ease the pain of the countless switchbacks. 

After ascending back to the top of the canyon, we were taken to a Peruvian grandmother’s house. She made us homemade breakfast while we sat in her dining area. Our transport arrived shortly after breakfast and we were taken to a few more viewpoints before heading for lunch (not included) and then back to Arequipa.

Where to Stay in Arequipa

Because Arequipa is the closest touristy city to Colca Canyon, staying in Arequipa will give you the options to find tours as well as plan your own trek if you wish. Here are some of the best places to stay in Arequpa!

Best Hostel in Arequipa – Los Andes Bed & Breakfast

Los Andes Bed & Breakfast is one of the best hostels in Arequipa.  Located next to the main plaza (Plaza de Armas), guests can have easy access to the best attractions in Arequipa. The continental breakfast is included. 24-hour reception. The common area is very social to meet other travelers. A great option for backpackers.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Arequipa – Chic & Gorgeous Downtown Home

Colca Canyon Trek Arequipa Visit
Trek Colca Canyon 2 Days Arequipa Peru

Want a cozy accommodation and support the local economy? Stay at an Airbnb in Arequipa! This chic and gorgeous downtown home is located within a 10-minute from Plaza De Armas, giving visitors access to the best that Arequipa has to offer. 

Its 2 bedrooms feature 1 king bed and 2 twin beds in total, perfect for anyone traveling as a family or prepare the extra space. The living room and its spacious sofa is the perfect place to relax after hiking Colca Canyon!

Click here for more information!

Best Luxury Hotel in Arequipa – Katari Hotel At Plaza de Armas

Located in Plaza de Armas right across from the historic cathedral, Katari hotel is the best place to view the architectural masterpiece. The roof provides a panoramic view of the city that is better than any viewpoint you can find. The rooms are clean, spacious, and well-lit. The breakfast included is phenomenal.

Click here for more details!

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I hope this guide answers all the questions you have about doing the Colca Canyon 2 day trek with a tour company. Colca Canyon was definitely one of the best hikes I have done in Peru. Don’t miss it!

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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13 Important Things to Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu

13 Important Things to Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is surely on many people’s bucket list.

But with a title such as the Seven Wonders of the World comes a lot of important rules and restrictions, especially since Machu Picchu has become an endangered UNESCO Site.

We had to buy an entire set of tickets just to be able to enter Machu Picchu to take pictures. Don’t ruin your Machu Picchu trip by making some of the same mistakes we did.

Not sure what to know before going to Machu Picchu?

Don’t worry, here are 13 important things to know before visiting Machu Picchu based on personal experience!

What To Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu

1. Bring Your Passport To Machu Picchu!!

You will need your passport to enter Machu Picchu! So make sure you have it with you on the date of the visit! Don’t leave it in your hotel in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)!

2. Buy Your Ticket in Advance and Aim for the 6 AM Entry

Make sure you buy your ticket in advance and aim for the 6 AM entry. The later it gets, the more crowded Machu Picchu gets. Don’t let the crowd ruin your experience at Machu Picchu!

Buy your Machu Picchu ticket here on the official website. 

3. The Last Entry to Machu Picchu is at 2 PM

If you were planning on getting your picture-perfect shot at sunset in Machu Picchu, well bad news, you can’t. The last entry is at 2 PM and you must be out by 5:30 PM. 

If you have no option but to visit in the afternoon, just make sure you make it there before 2 PM!

4. Most of Machu Picchu is ONE WAY!

This is where we messed up big time!

We entered Machu Picchu early in the morning at 7 AM with a tour guide. The tour guide shows us the famous guardhouse where everyone takes the most iconic picture of Machu Picchu. However, it was really foggy that day and we wanted to wait for the fog to clear up.

So we said no problem, we will come back when we are done with the tour.

We finished the tour at the bottom of the ruins and tried to go back the same way we came from.

“No puede pasar, una via” the guard yelled. That means you can’t pass, it’s only one way.

We tried arguing and telling the guard we didn’t know and the tour guide never said anything.

It didn’t work. 

We had to leave and re-enter and buy another ticket for 152 soles. Luckily they weren’t sold out that day.

Note: You can only re-enter for free if you are doing the Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu hike.

5. You Can Hike Up From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

If you are looking to save money or want the satisfaction of hiking to a Seven Wonders of the World, you can actually do that from Aguas Calientes otherwise known as Machu Picchu Town! The bus ride is $24 dollars one-way so it is definitely a good idea to at least hike back down.

Where is the route? Download the app maps.me and it will show you the trail from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

It takes about 2 hours to hike from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu.

If you are interested in doing a longer trek to Machu Picchu, check out my Salkantay trek guide! It is one of many ways to get to Machu Picchu!

6. Buy Your Bus Ticket Early to Make Sure You Can Get There For Your Entry Time

Not only do the tickets to Machu Picchu sell out, so do the tickets for the bus to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.

Make sure you buy your ticket early the day before or even two days before just to be sure. The cost is 24 USD one-way and they only accept cash.

Also, make sure you get to the bus station early in the morning. If your bus is at 5:30 AM, get there at least 45 min to 1 hour earlier to make sure you can get on that bus. Yes, that means getting there at 4:30 AM.

7. There Are No Bathrooms Inside Machu Picchu

There are absolutely no bathrooms in Machu Picchu. The only one that they have is at the entrance so make sure you take care of business before you enter! I wished I was warned about this before entering! 

8. Machu Picchu Can Be Foggy in the Morning

Machu Picchu can be very foggy in the morning around 6 AM and 7 AM. This makes it hard for people who wake up early to avoid the crowd but also want to get a good picture as well.

Of course, you have the option of getting there early and waiting until the fog disperses.

What do you choose? More tourists but a better view? Or fewer tourists but a foggy view? 

9. You Need to Bring a Physical Copy of Your Ticket to Machu Picchu!

Don’t forget to bring a physical copy of your ticket to Machu Picchu. You are not allowed in without a physical copy of your ticket.

Luckily for you, many accommodations in Aguas Calientes will print out your online ticket for you!

10. You Can Get a Passport Stamp Outside of Machu Picchu!

Make sure you stamp your passport for FREE before leaving Machu Picchu. Out of every little thing that they charge, you would think a stamp would cost money but it is totally free! 

You can find the stamp right outside the exit of Machu Picchu, close to the bathrooms.

11. Reserve Your Huayna Picchu and Mountain Machu Picchu Ticket Way in Advance

Did you know there are three types of Machu Picchu tickets? One just for the Machu Pichu ruins, one for the ruins and Huayna Pichu (the big mountain behind when looking at the ruins) and one for ruins and Machu Picchu mountain (the one opposite of Huayna Picchu).

If you are interested in hiking the Huayna Picchu, which is one of the coolest hikes in Peru, you have to reserve your tickets weeks in advance before they only have 400 entries per day.

If you are interested in hiking the Machu Pichu mountain itself, you also have to reserve weeks in advance because there are only 800 entries per day.

The official Peruvian website for reserving any type of Machu Picchu ticket is here.

12. It is “Required” to Enter With a Tour Guide But They Don’t Check

On the government website, it says that a tour guide is required to enter Machu Picchu. But in reality, no one checks.

The amount of people that are entering at the same time makes this a difficult law to enforce.

It is definitely good to have a tour guide to explain to you all the history of Machu Picchu but it also restricts you from walking around freely.

If you are looking for a guide, you can easily get one in Agua Calientes at any of the tour agencies. Do not get a guide at the entrance, it is a lot more expensive. 

Want to secure a tour guide before going to Machu Picchu? Check out our recommendations:

13. Machu Picchu is at An Altitude of 2430m. Altitude Sickness Should Not Be a Concern

Many people heard of horror stories concerning the altitude in Peru, especially in Cusco. Many have said they weren’t able to follow their Peru itinerary because altitude sickness had debilitated them for days.

Luckily, Machu Picchu sits only at 2430m, a lot lower than Cusco’s 3400m. If you don’t feel well in Cusco and want to cancel visiting Machu Pichu, you might be better off going to Aguas Calientes (2040m). Within a day or two, you will feel a lot better and Machu Picchu will only be a few steps away!

Where to Stay in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town)

Best Hostel in Aguas Calientes – Ecopackers Machu Picchu Hostel

Ecopackers Machu Picchu Hostel is a very basic accommodation but has all the necessities you need. Featuring clean and spacious rooms as well as a bar and a pool table on the terrace, Ecopackers is a great place to meet other travelers. A very standard breakfast is also included.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Aguas Calientes – Susanna Boutique w/ Mountain Views

Where To Stay In Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu Pueblo
Where To Stay When Visiting Machu Picchu

If you are looking for a cozy accommodation with amazing views of the surrounding landscapes, then Susanna Boutique Hotel is perfect for you.

This family-owned accommodation in Machu Picchu Town is 3 minutes away from the bus station and train station, giving guests easy access to these transport hubs. Town Center is only a short 5-minute walk away.

This Aguas Calientes Airbnb features a comfortable double bed in a spacious room with big windows of the roaring Urubamba that surrounds the town. Guests can watch its marvel every morning as they eat their delicious free breakfast!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Aguas Calientes – Tierra Viva Machu Picchu

Tierra Viva Machu Picchu is one of the best and most modern hotels in Aguas Calientes. Located a short 5-minute walk away from the busy town center, you are surrounded by lush views but never too far from the action. Their delicious breakfast is the perfect way to start your morning to Machu Picchu!

Click here for more details!

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Machu Picchu Travel Guide And Tips

I hope this guide helped you get the best experience you could possibly have at Machu Picchu. Have you been to Machu Picchu? We would love to hear your opinion in the comments down below!

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 🙂

Machu Picchu Travel Guide And Tips
19 BEST Peru Hikes and Treks That Will Leave You Breathless!

19 BEST Peru Hikes and Treks That Will Leave You Breathless!

Home of the impressive Andes Mountain Range, mysterious Amazon Rainforest, and complex archeological sites, Peru’s geological diversity makes it one of the best places for hiking in the world.

With so much to explore, it can be overwhelming for anyone planning any type of hiking or trekking in Peru. Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon – the list goes on and on. 

Our hiking guide features 19 of the best Peru hikes and treks, as well as all the information you need to do them. Finally, we finish off with safety information and a packing list to help you prepare for your hiking trips in Peru.

Enjoy!

Best Day Hikes In Peru

1. Gocta Waterfalls (Catarata de Gocta): One of The Tallest Waterfalls In The World

Duration: ~4 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: ~2000 m

Nestled in the lush jungle of the Amazonas region of Peru is the almighty Gocta Waterfall (Catarata de Gocta), the third to the sixteenth tallest waterfall in the world. (Depending on how it is measured)

Many travelers aren’t aware of such beauty because this attraction is located in Chachapoyas, a small city in the seldom-visited Northern part of Peru. Along with Kuelap, also known as the Machu Picchu of the North, they make up the top things to do in Chachapoyas.

Visiting this amazing waterfall is no difficult feat, as there are many travel agencies offering day tours from Chachapoyas. If you are traveling in Peru on a budget and would like to DIY, you can take public transportation from the city as well.

There are a total of three hikes for Gocta Waterfall, that is because you can either reach the lower falls, middle falls, or upper falls. The most popular option is the hike to the lower falls of the Gocta waterfalls. The 4-hour out-and-back trail that starts at the small village of Cocachimba, and reaching as far out as the bottom of the 771-meter waterfall.

The hike is not too treacherous, but due to the location of the waterfall in the Amonzas, the weather can be unpredictable and rain is always around the corner. Always bring waterproof gear and don’t even consider going in for a swim. It is dangerous due to flash floods (first-hand experience)!

The mist created from the 771-meter giant will be enough to give you a proper shower!

Catarata-de-Gocta

2. Laguna Wilcacocha (Wilcacocha Lake), The Beautiful Hike For Altitude Acclimation

Duration: ~3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Easy

Highest Elevation: 3680 m

As the home of the Andes mountain range, Peru has some incredible hikes and treks. However, many of them are situated high above sea level, and proper altitude acclimation is required.

The Laguna Wilcacocha is the perfect day hike in Peru to acclimatize to the potentially-dangerous altitude, especially for anyone that wants to do any hiking or trekking in Huaraz, the hiking capital of Peru.

To hike to Wilcachocha Lake, you would want to base yourself in Huaraz. Many travel agencies offer a tour to the lake, but honestly that is just a waste of money. Public transportation can easily take to the start of the trailhead for less than a few USD.

Though the trail is rather easy, do understand that it is an altitude of 3680 meters, an elevation that could easily cause altitude sickness. Though we consider this hike suitable for acclimatization, it still has the potential to cause you altitude sickness.

Being a relatively easy hike, the views are spectacular. the serene lake offers the perfect foreground for the stunning snow-capped mountains in the distance. Make sure you pick a day with no clods or you might not see anything!

Photo Credit: WikiCommons

Laguna-Wilcacocha-Huaraz-Peru

3. Laguna Humantay (Humantay Lake), The Perfect Day Hike From Cusco

Duration: 3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 4200 m

The stunning glacier Humantay Lake, or Laguna Humantay in Spanish, is one of the most popular hiking day trips from Cusco. Nestled in the snow-capped mountains of the Andes region, Humantay Lake and its surrounding landscapes belong on the cover of National Geographic magazine. 

The minerals from the rocks deposit into the lake water, giving it a surreal blue color that either looks like laundry detergent or photoshopped.

The hike to Humantay Lake starts at around 3800 meters above sea level. After a gradual incline for 1.5 hours, you arrive at 4200 meters, where the beautiful lake is situated. 

Daily day tours can be found in the numerous travel agencies in Cusco. Most of them are around 80 Peruvian Soles ($25 USD) and will include transportation, lunch, and a guide to lead the way (You really don’t need one). 

There are advantages of taking one of the arranged tours from Cusco but a huge disadvantage is the crowd that will be there. If there is one thing we learned from visiting Machu Picchu, it is how much a relentless crowd can ruin natural beauty.

Alternatively, you can hire a taxi from Cusco for around 75 USD a day. It is three times as much as a tour but if you are traveling with other people, not only can it be more affordable but also give you a better experience!

Humantay-Lake

4. Pastoruri Glacier, A Fleeting Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: ~5000 m

The Peruvian Andes are the home of 70 percent of the world’s tropical glacier, and no Peru itinerary is complete without a visit to at least one of them!

The one we highly recommend you to visit is Glacier Pastoruri.

By definition, the Pastoruri Glacier can no longer be considered a glacier because it no longer builds up ice in the winter. It is just a huge block of ice with fleeting memories of its once glory. Visitors used to be able to step foot on the glacier itself, but conversationist has restricted that to extend its goodbyes. 

Make sure you see this before this place is no longer one of the top things to do in Peru.

Though at an altitude of 5,000 meters, the Glacier Pastoruri hike cannot be considered difficult. The hiking trail is well paved and you only ascend about 150 meters or so. If you have been doing a lot of hiking in Peru, you can reach the Pastoruri Glacier from the trailhead in around 30 minutes.

To visit the Pastoruri Glacier, you have to base yourself out of Huaraz, the hiking hub of Peru. Here you will find many agencies offering day trips to the Pastoruri Glacier. Visiting the Pastoruri Glacier independently is not recommended because of how inaccessible the location is.

Pastoruri-Glacier-Huaraz-Peru

5. Laguna Paron (Paron Lake)

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: 4200 m

As the biggest lake inside the Huascaran National Park, Laguna Paron (Lake Paron) is one of the must-visit places in Peru. Featuring beautiful blue glaciated water surrounding by dramatic snow-capped giants, Laguna Park offers a hypnotizing landscape unlike anywhere else in Peru.

While most of the prized views appear at the end of a treacherous hike, the trailhead of the Laguna Paron hike starts on the shore of the glacial lake, offering incredible views of the surroundings already.

Visitors can then hike up to the nearby mirador (viewpoint) along a clearly marked trail but with numerous boulders near the end. It is at the mirador that hikers can see the famous Artesonraju mountain, the same mountain illustrated in the logo of Paramount Pictures, a famous film company.

The hike to the viewpoint is only about 45 minutes to an hour and should be fairly easy for hikers of any level of experience. It is at 4,200 meters above sea level, so some degree of acclimation is required.

The Laguna Paron hike can be done independently, though we recommend a tour because they are safer, easier, and affordable. You can easily find many travel agencies offering tours in the streets of Huaraz, just don’t forget to haggle! 

If you want to secure one of the best Huaraz hikes, the Laguna Paron hike, beforehand, click here!

Laguna-Paron

6. Laguna 69, The Most Beautiful Day Hike In Huaraz

Duration: 6 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4600 m

If there is a one-day hike you have to do in Peru, it has to be the Laguna 69 hike (Lake 69) in Huaraz. It is a beautiful and challenging hike, high in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. The trail begins at 3900m above sea level and reaches a breath-taking 4600m.

Before attempting to hike to Laguna 69, make sure that you are fully acclimatized to the altitude, otherwise, you probably won’t be able to make it to the lake.

Those who make it to Laguna 69 will be rewarded with beautiful turquoise waters that flow into the lake from the mountain glaciers. It makes for a refreshing (and cold!) swim if you fancy a dip or sit back and enjoy the view before heading back along the same trail. The whole hike takes around 5-6 hours.

It is possible to hike to Laguna 69 independently, but the lack of reliable public transport makes it much easier to join a group tour from Huaraz, which costs around 45 Peruvian Soles per person. Each person would then have to pay an additional 30 soles at the entrance of the Huascaran National Park.

Your driver picks you up at around 5 AM at your accommodation before driving for around 3 hours to reach the beginning of the trail, passing through the UNESCO listed Huascaran National Park where you may spot some vicuña, a rarer relative of the llama.

If you wish to secure one of the best hikes in Peru, Laguna 69, beforehand, click here!

Laguna-69 Huaraz

7. Marcahuasi

Duration: 6 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Hard

Highest Elevation: 4000 m

Though it is not known for hiking or trekking in Lima, there is one hike that is worthing the effort: the pre-Inca site Marcahuasi.

The hike to Marcahuasi is one of the lesser-known hikes in Peru and that’s one of the things that make it special. Located at about 100 km from the capital Lima, Marcahuasi is the kind of place that not even Peruvians usually know about.

The origins of the place are unknown – to date, there is still no certainty if this is a man-made site or a natural one that was formed through erosion. Locals believe the site has cosmic energy.

Though the trail is very easy to follow and to walk, the fact that the hike starts at 3200 meters above sea level and that you gain a further 800 meters during the walk makes it incredibly hard.

You will start walking in San Pedro de Casta, and it will take you around 3 hours to reach the main site. Make sure to carry enough water and food for the day, as there is absolutely nothing and nobody (save for a few farmers near the village) along the way. Start hiking as soon as the sun rises, and plan to be back by 2:00 pm at the latest as that’s when it starts raining, pretty much any day.

In order to reach San Pedro de Casta, you need to take the colectivos (public transport vans ) to Chosica stop. Once in Chosica, get a bus to San Pedro de Casta. The overall drive will take you more than 5 hours even if it is less than 100 km. The views along the way are stunning, but the road isn’t exactly in good conditions hence the bus moves really slowly.

Alternatively, you can try to find a tour in Lima. Given its lack of popularity, you might have to get lucky!

Though it is possible to accomplish the hike in one day, you should factor in at least one night in San Pedro de Casta due to the unreliable public transportation. The village is tiny – no more than 300 people live there.

You will have to register your name at the office right in front of the bus stop – don’t worry about finding it: the lady that works at the office will find you as soon as she sees an unknown face getting off the bus!

You can sleep at the Hospedaje Municipal, which is very basic (no hot water, very cold rooms) and eat in one of the two comedores (local eateries) which prepare a few basic but genuine Peruvian dishes.

If you wish to camp in Marcahuasi, there is a section named the “Amphitheater” that is popular for camping. Camping is also another popular option, but you must be well-equipped (especially for the cold) and experienced!

Don’t worry if hiking is not what you planned to do in Lima, there are many delicious and cheap seafood restaurants and plenty of other things to do in Lima!

Marcahuasi-Lima-Peru

8. Huayna Picchu, One of The Most Dangerous Peru Hikes

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 2693 m

Many travelers visit Machu Picchu and not realize that there are many hikes you can do inside Machu Picchu. Yes, I am not talking about the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu itself, but the mountains inside.

Huyana Picchu is one of the hikeable mountains in the Machu Picchu citadel. It’s also known as “Wayna Picchu,’” or young mountain in the indigenous language Quechua.

The Huayna Picchu hike is a popular option for both those who are visiting Machu Picchu for the day and also the multi-day trekkers. At an altitude of 8,835 feet (2,693 meters), the summit gives you a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu citadel.

Due to conservation efforts, only 400 people can hike Huayna Picchu per day and reservations book up quickly. You’ll want to get a permit to hike in advance and you can do so on the official Machu Picchu government website. A guide is not needed for this hike and it can be completed in about two hours.

It’s a short hike but you’ll have an elevation gain of more than 1,000 feet. The hike is mostly a series of steep steps so being acclimated to the altitude is preferred.

The iconic hike ends at the summit of the peak, a staggering 1,180 feet (360 meters) above the lost city of Machu Picchu. With dramatic drop-offs and steep steps along the trail, you’ll want to not only be physically prepared but mentally as well.

If the weather is just right you’ll have a view to remember and bragging rights that you did not only one of the most dangerous hikes in Peru, but also one of the most dangerous hikes in the world.

Huayna-Picchu-Hike-Peru

9. Rainbow Mountain

Duration: 3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 5200 m

Rainbow Mountain is one of the best day hikes in Peru. Also known as the Vinicunca or La Montaña de Siete Colores (Mountain of Seven Colors), Rainbow Mountain was only discovered in 2015 but has become very popular since then due to the mountain’s unique colors.

While it is possible to do the hike on your own, it’s very difficult to reach the trailhead unless you have your own car. Therefore, most people opt to join a tour from Cusco which includes transportation and a guide.

The hike itself is relatively short at 7km round-trip, but what makes it difficult is the altitude. The trail starts at just under 5,000m and goes up to 5,200m. Starting at this kind of elevation makes it much more difficult to breathe, so it’s important to take your time going up.

It takes about two hours to get to the top. If you aren’t up for hiking, there is also an option to take a horse up rainbow mountain.

Despite its physically demanding nature, the hike’s breathtaking views will keep anyone motivated to the summit. The trail passes along snow-capped mountains, fields of llamas, and colorful valleys. Rainbow Mountain itself is not visible until the very end of the hike but upon reaching it, you will be rewarded with an explosion of colors.

When selecting a tour in Cusco for the Rainbow Mountain, pick one that includes extra time to explore the literally adjacent Red Valley, or Valle Rojo in Spanish. A short 30-minute hike from Rainbow Mountain is one of the best hidden gems in Peru, a place that is more stunning than the Rainbow Mountain!

It is recommended to visit the Rainbow Mountain in the dry season between May and September. In the rainy season, you might encounter snow and rainfall that will make the hiking path much more treacherous.

Though if you are an avid photographer, the rare sight of the Rainbow Mountain partially covered by snow is very picturesque.

Rainbow-Mountain-Peru

10. Machu Picchu Mountain

Duration: 3.5 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 3082 m

By: Susan of Thrifty After 50

Visitors to the historic site of Machu Picchu have a choice of two hikes; Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu Mountain, also known as Montana Machu Picchu, is the easier and safer of the two climbs.

It can be easily done without a guide and is suitable for all ages, the mountain is 3082m above sea level making it physically challenging if you are not used to hiking at altitude.

The hike is primarily stone steps the entire way up the mountain with a few narrow sections of the pathway that might challenge someone with a severe fear of heights.

You should allow three to four hours for the return hike as well as plenty of time on top of the mountain to enjoy the amazing 360-degree views. The view from the top makes it the perfect place for a picnic lunch.

If it is a beautiful sunny day then the climbing Machu Picchu mountain is well worth the pain of all those stairs, but you may wish to reconsider if it is cloudy as the best part about the hike is those stunning views from the top.

Tickets to both the hiking trails are purchased online and also include your entry to the Inca City. The tickets to both Huayna Picchu (400 per day) and Machu Picchu Mountain (800 per day) sell out fast and should be purchased well in advance.

On the day of your visit, make sure you carry your passport as security guards will check that the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport. You should also carry plenty of water and dress for a wide range of weather conditions.

Climbing-Machu-Picchu-Mountain

Best Multi-Day Treks In Peru

1. Choquequirao

Duration: 5 days 

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 3050 m

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu might be the country’s most famous hike, but for those in the know, there’s another incredible trek that should be added to your list of must-visit places in Peru.

Meaning Cradle of Gold in the original Quechua, Choquequirao is an archaeological site located in the Vilcabamba mountain range close to Machu Picchu.

The trek to reach Choquequirao is a challenging two days, with over 13 kilometers of steep ascent through the Apurimac Canyon – comprising a series of switchbacks and false summits and a maximum elevation of 3,050 meters above sea level – across the 32-kilometer trail.

After a brutal climb to reach the site – which sits on a flattened hilltop at 2,950 meters above sea level – you can spend a day exploring the agricultural terraces and temples of Choquequirao that have been excavated from the encroaching jungle. The best bit? There are hardly any visitors each day, meaning you might well experience it alone.

From here, you can continue on to Machu Picchu (a further five days’ trekking and an additional 78 kilometers that is only for the brave and the acclimatized) or return the way you came, taking the total hiking distance to 64 kilometers. It’s possible without a guide, although you might want the hiking experience and someone to bring all camping equipment.

The most popular trekking duration is 5 days: 2 days of getting there, one full day for exploring Choquequirao, and 2 days to return back.

Choquequirao-Peru

2. Inca Trail, The Most Famous Peru Trek

Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 4215 m (Dead Woman’s Pass)

The Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu is not only considered one of the best treks in Peru, but one of the best treks in the world. Though there are many other hikes and treks to Machu Picchu, the famous 4-day Inca Trail provides you with a cultural experience unlike any other.

Trekkers hike through the Sacred Valley of Peru using the same paths that used to connect the Inca settlements. Nowadays, most of these settlements are abandoned, and you are left with historic ruins that your tour guide will elaborate on.

The Inca Trail is unlike other treks to Machu Picchu where you arrive at the Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu. On the last day of your Inca Trail, you arrive through the sun gate, the exact way the Incans used to take! You don’t even go through the entrance to buy the tickets; you arrive inside Machu Picchu from the mountains!

This once in a lifetime experience is definitely a must-do in Peru, and it is not surprising how early in advance you have to reserve this tour. Because the trail only allows 500 people per day and 300 of them are porters and guides, the classic Inca Trail books out far in advance.

We recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. While there are many online travel agencies, only a tourism agency authorized by the Ministry of Culture of Peru can take you on the Inca Trail.

The Inca trail is a high-elevation hike, so it’s a good idea to spend a few days before in Cusco so your body can acclimatize to the altitude. The highest point on the hike is on day 2, where you go over a section of the trail known as Dead Woman’s Pass at a height of 4,215 meters above sea level.

Inca-Trail-Peru

3. Colca Canyon, One of The Deepest Canyons in the World

Duration: 1, 2, or 3 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: ~3,300 m

One of the most stunning Peru treks actually lies 376 kilometers away from Machu Picchu in a unique city called Arequipa. Known as the “White City” due to the construction material, Arequipa is home to the impressive Colca Canyon trek.

While most travelers know the fantastic trekking in Cusco, only a handful might know of Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the entire world! And if you think the Grand Canyon in the United States would be No.1, the Colca Canyon is actually twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

Though trekking Colca Canyon is doable without a tour, we hardly recommend choosing one of the treks offered. In the travel agencies in Arequipa, you will find tours for the 1-day Colca Canyon trek (which involves close to no hiking), the 2-day Colca Canyon trek (which we recommend), and the 3-day Colca Canyon trek (which is a prolonged version of the 2-day tour).

On the 2 or 3-day tour, you start the tour at Mirador Cruz del Condores, a viewpoint to observe the majestic condors. Locals believe that condors are spiritual creatures and represent Hanan Pacha, or the heavenly world.

After the viewpoint, you are transferred to Cabanconde, a small village where your hike will start.

The unique thing about the Colca Canyon trek is that Cabanaconde, the starting point of your hike, is actually the highest altitude you will reach at ~3300 meters. That is because you will spend your first day or two descending into the canyon, staying in the beautiful Sangalle Oasis, and ascending back to Cabanaconde on the last day.

Though many consider the Colca Canyon a difficult trek because you have to ascend more than 1100 meters on the last day, the relatively low elevation makes the trek a moderate difficulty.

Reserve your Colca Canyon trek beforehand here!

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4. Lares Trek To Machu Picchu

Duration: 2 to 5 days, depending on if you visit Machu Picchu

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: ~4,400 to 4,600 m, depending on the hiking route

One of the most beautiful things about the Lares region hikes is that they are very customizable. The shortest Lares hikes are 2 days, the longest 5 days. As a Lares region trek can take a variety of routes, you can cross a number of different passes of up to 4600m, though most are around 4400m.

The majority of the Lares Treks finish in Ollantaytambo, a town and archaeological site in the Sacred Valley where visitors can take the famous train to visit Machu Picchu.

What makes the Lares Trek in Peru so unique is not only the stunning landscapes, but also the different Quechua-speaking indigenous villages you encounter.

Until recently the Lares region of Peru was totally inaccessible by car. As a result, many typical villages remained living a traditional lifestyle high up in the mountains, largely unaffected by the world outside.

They still farm using Incan agricultural practice, amongst other fascinating facts. Their clothing remained the same and their agricultural practices handed down from the Incas. Trekking the Lares route was like stepping back in time.

This mountain region near Lares contains many paths taken by the locals as they go about their daily lives, such as the herding of llamas, using them for transport, and so on. If you are an experienced outdoors person and speak a decent level of Spanish, you should have no problems trekking through this region independently. Even though many women don’t speak Spanish, the majority of men do speak some and nearly all the children.

Lares can be trekked all year round, meaning it’s the perfect wet season trek should you visit the Cusco region from December through March. Tours can be arranged with the multitude of travel agencies in Cusco. Since it is an off-the-beaten-path Peru trek, you won’t need to reserve your spot beforehand!

Lares-Trek-Peru

5. Alkipo-Ishinca Trek

Duration: 3 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: ~5,000 m

By: Thea of ZenTravellers

Trekking in Huaraz Peru’s incredible Cordillera Blanca range is an unforgettable experience. There is a multitude of treks that are suitable for many skill sets and desire for adventure.

One great option for those looking to do a multi-day trek amid breathtaking scenery and sky-high glaciated peaks without the crowds found on the Santa Cruz trek is the 3-day Alkipo-Ishinca route.

Leaving from Huaraz, the first day of the trek climbs gradually on a trail that winds through a picturesque valley to a beautiful creekside campsite where the starry night skies are sure to impress.

On the second day, you’ll climb over a 5000m pass and walk along the stunning shores of Laguna Alkipo before arriving at Ishninca base camp where you’ll spend the night with views of the impressive Toccaraju glaciers. There you can take a shower and even have a drink in the refugio (camp) if you so desire.

With most of the hard work behind you, the trail meanders mostly downhill on the third day with views of the Sierra Negra range in front of you. For those seeking a trek in the Cordillera Blanca without the crowds of some of the more famous trails, Alkipo-Ishinca is a great option for trekking in the Huaraz region.

Akilpo-Ishinca-Trek-Peru

6. Santa Cruz Trek

Duration: 3 or 4 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4750 m (Punta Union)

The Inca Trail may get all the credit, but if you’re looking for one of the more adventurous treks in South America, look no further than the Santa Cruz Trek.

The Santa Cruz Trek is a 50km hike between La Vaquería and Cashapampa. Within Huascaran National Park, there are more than 400 lakes and jagged peaks climbing to 6768m. Over the course of four days, you’ll get to experience many of these brilliant lagoons and high passes along the trail.

The hike hits its max elevation of 4,750 meters at Punta Unión, making the Santa Cruz a relatively moderate acclimatization hike for the region. The hike can also be made easier depending on where you begin; the route starting from Cashapampa is the Classic Route, but if you get dropped off at La Vaquería and hike it in the opposite direction, your uphills will be easier.

Because its less known, the Santa Cruz trek is inexpensive whether you hike with or without a guide. Organized tours range from $150-$300, and can be easily found in Huaraz. while an independent trek can be organized for a bit less (though transport to the trailhead can be a tough logistic to navigate),  you will need to rent all the gear in town.

This is not an easy trek by any means and weather can be unpredictable at such high altitudes, we recommend going with an organized tour for safety reasons.

Peru-Huaraz-Santa-Cruz-Trek

7. Salkantay Trek, The Perfect Alternative to the Inca Trail

Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4600 m (Salkantay Pass)

The 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the most popular Inca Trail alternative and it is not difficult to see why. Along the trek, hikers will see pastel blue glacial lakes surrounded by some of the tallest snow-capped mountains in Peru, as well as traversing through many local villages.

On the second to last day, trekkers can walk on the train tracks from Hidroelectrica to Machu Picchu town, or formally known as Aguas Calientes. Finally, on the last day, hikers rise up early to see Machu Picchu in all of its glory, the perfect reward to a tiresome 5-day trek.

Many people compare the Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail, but they are very different in my opinion. Salkantay Trail gives more stunning natural landscapes but the Inca Trail is more cultural and informative, as it passes through ancient Inca settlements.

The Salkantay Trek is also more demanding, perfect for avid hikers. Lastly, the Salkantay Trek is considerably cheaper than the Inca Trail and doesn’t require booking in advance.

Stroll along the cobblestoned streets of Cusco and you will undoubtedly stumble upon many travel agencies offering the Salkantay Trek tour. Scout around and try to find the best deal and don’t forget to negotiate.

I would highly recommend getting acclimatized in Cusco before attempting the Salkantay Trek, as the highest elevation on the hiking trail is 4600 meters.

Salkantay-Trek-Day-1(3)

8. Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit Trek, The Most Challenging And Beautiful Trek In Peru

Duration: 4 to 12 days

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Highest Elevation: 5000 m

If you are an experienced hiker looking for the ultimate trek in Peru, the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit Trek is perfect for you. The Huayhuash Trek has been considered one of the most beautiful treks not only in Peru or South America, but the entire world. It is the dream of many hikers in the world to complete this trek!

The Classic Huayhuash Trek is a 12-day trek that takes you up to enormous ice-capped peaks, down the surreal cascading rivers, and around the breathtaking turquoise glacial lakes. 

On the trek, you will see many famous mountains in Peru, such as the Yerupajá, the second-highest mountain at 6635 m. You will also see Siula Grande, a 6344-tall mountain made famous by the book and movie, “Touching the Void.” If you have seen that movie, you will know how stunning those mountains are!

Most of the trek involves hiking in altitude more than 4000 meters and some passes are more than 5000 meters, so proper acclimatization is needed. Though it is possible to trek the Huayhash Trek independently, we highly advise against it, as hiking in such difficult conditions can be quite dangerous. 

If you want a piece of the Huayhuash experience, there are easier treks with a duration of 4 days. If I were to decide for you, I would say go big or go home!

Tours can be found in the many travel agencies scattered throughout Huaraz. 

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

9. Ausungate Trek

Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Difficult

Highest Elevation: 5161 meters (Palomani Pass)

If you enjoy tough hikes and jaw-dropping scenery with a fraction of the tourists on the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek, then the Ausangate Trek is perfect for you.

This lesser-known 5-day circuit trek is gifted with fantastic turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers, snow peaks of the Andes, impressive waterfalls, indigenous animals such as llamas and alpacas, and even a visit to the famous Rainbow Mountain if you decide to take a short 1-hour detour.

As beautiful as it sounds, the Ausangate Trek will test your physical and mental capabilities before rewarding you with its best features.

The entire route of the Ausungate Trek is over 4000 m above sea level with two passes around 5000 m; the Palomani Pass – 5161 m and the Arapa Pass – 4850 m. Not only would you need proper acclimatization before attempting the Ausangate Trek, being in relatively good shape is essential. The hiking days are long and many parts of the path are very physically demanding.

Though the trek can be done independently, we would highly recommend you to be prepared and experienced at hiking in such weather and altitude. There are hardly any villages or settlements along so hikers must carry camping gear and food supplies, let alone attempting to seek help in case anything goes wrong.

If you do decide to trek the Ausangate without a tour, the start and finish of the trail are at the remote village of Tinque (Tinki), about 100 km from Cusco. If you would like to go with a tour company, you can easily find a travel agency in Cusco!

Ausangate-Trek

How To Prepare for Your Hikes And Treks In Peru 

Due to the towering Andes Mountain Range, hiking in Peru is unlike hiking anywhere else in the world. Many of the hikes and treks in Peru are over 3000 meters in elevation, an altitude that could easily cause altitude sickness.

As someone that has had a potentially-fatal incident with altitude sickness in Peru, I am here to tell you that proper acclimatization is needed. Altitude sickness can be potentially fatal even for the fittest athlete. Don’t be an idiot!

If you are hiking anywhere above 3000 meters, stay a few days in the nearby city to acclimate. Huaraz, Cusco, and Arequipa, are great high-elevation cities with plenty of things to do. Just stroll around those cities, check out the attractions, and take things slowly until you have gotten used to the elevation.

Besides acclimation, there is one thing you need to have: Mate de Coca, or Coca Tea.

Mate de Coca is one of the most famous Peruvian drinks. Known as the Peruvian coffee, Mate de Coca will help ease the effects of altitude and make you stronger in general. You will find them nearly in every market, grocery stores, and even in your accommodation.

Just don’t bring some back to your country. It is considered drug trafficking in some countries!

Photo Credit: audrey_sel

Mate-de-Coco

Ultimate Packing List For Hiking And Trekking In Peru

Hiking in Peru can be dangerous, and that is why you need the perfect packing list you make sure you have the perfect Peru trip. Here are some things we would highly recommend to bring with you if you intend to hike or trek in Peru!

1. Cold Weather Sleeping Bag – A warm and light sleeping bag is essential if you intend to hike independently in the Andes.

2. Reliable Backpack (Him/Her) – The perfect backpack for transporting all the camping equipment you will need. These are fitted with a light aluminum frame for long hiking, but also big enough to carry everything you need.

3. Tent (1 Person/2 Person) – What is camping without a tent? You want to have a tent that is reliable, waterproof, windproof, light, and generally tough. Though you can rent a tent in many places in Peru, you can never trust the reliability of them.

4. Camping Stove – A light and portable camping stove for cooking if you will be trekking without a guide in Peru.

5. Torch/Headlamp – A torch or headlamp is extremely useful whether you are hiking with a tour or alone. Many times you will hike before the sunrise or need to navigate around your camp at night.

6. Swiss Army Knife – A versatile tool for various scenarios. A must-have.

7. Cooking Set – A portable cooking set for your long treks!

8. Trekking Poles – The Peru hiking trails aren’t necessarily always in the best condition. Trekking poles will help you manage your hiking in Peru! 

9. LifeStraw Water Bottle – Allows you to drink from any water sources. Did you find a stream or a waterfall on your hike? Now you can drink from it with the LifeStraw water bottle.

Listed above are some of the many essentials you will need. We won’t mention the obvious items here such as hiking shoes, warm clothing, padlocks, towels, and etc.

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This is the end of our guide for Peru’s best treks and hikes. We hope you will enjoy one of the best countries in the world for hiking!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

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