Peru is home to some of the world’s best hikes. From trekking through deep canyons to snow-capped mountains and ancient ruins, the scenery you will encounter when hiking in Peru is out of this world. With a seemingly endless supply of world-class hikes available, I have picked out 5 of the best hikes in Peru for your upcoming trip.

What are the Best Hikes in Peru?

Ausangate Trek

Easily one of the most picturesque and best hikes in Peru, the Ausangate Trek should be at the top of the list for any hiking enthusiast. This trek will take you high in the Andes, with each day spent over 4000 m, so should only be tackled by those who are well-acclimatised and have a good level of fitness. While a challenge, the Ausangate Trek will reward you with beautiful views of snowcapped mountains, red valleys and blue alpine lakes. There are also plenty of chances to spot local fauna like alpacas, llamas, vicunas and chinchillas. During the Ausangate Trek, you will pass through small Quechua villages giving you a glimpse into the lives of herding communities who live in this remote region.

Depending on your route, the Ausangate Trek can be either 4 or 5 days and can also be combined with a visit to the spectacular Rainbow Mountain. This is a great addition to the trek as you can have Rainbow Mountain to yourself without the groups of daytrippers who arrive en masse later in the day. The Ausangate Trek was my personal favourite hike during my time in Peru, as the Andean scenery kept me constantly stunned and getting a glimpse into the lives of local herding communities was fascinating. While you can’t go wrong with any of these hikes on this list, if you are looking for a remote alpine trek to explore this part of the world, the Ausangate Trek is for you.


Ausangate trek view of the lake

Salkantay Trek

An alternative to the world-famous Inca Trail, the equally impressive Salkantay Trek will take you through a diverse range of Andean scenery on the journey towards your final destination, Machu Picchu. Longer and more challenging than the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek offers a more remote experience as you explore the region filled with snowy mountains and stunning cloud forests. With the option of hiking for 5 days (the classic route) or 4 if pressed for time, the Salkantay Trek distance is around 76 km in its entirety.

The Salkantay Trek is fairly moderate in difficulty, although it could be a challenge to any hiker not properly acclimatised. Beginning at over 3,000 m and climbing up to 4,638 m on day 2, it is a good idea to spend a couple of days in Cusco prior to the hike to acclimatise. Unlike the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek can be done independently without a guide, making it a great option for experienced hikers who wish to explore the region freely.

The Salkantay Trek can also be booked last minute, unlike the Inca Trail which often needs to be booked months in advance. This makes it an excellent option for travellers with open-ended itineraries where booking many months in advance isn’t feasible. If you are planning on doing Salkantay in the peak season (June-August), while you can book the Salkantay trek last minute, ensure that you have a ticket to the site of Machu Picchu as these are purchased separately and sometimes not included Salkantay Trek tour ticket.


Machu Picchu viewpoint

Huayhuash Circuit Trek

Often considered Peru’s best hike and one of the greatest multi-day treks in the world, the Huayhuash Trek should be on the bucket list for any serious hiker. This epic high-altitude trek takes around 10 days to complete but can be shorter or longer depending on the route you choose. Regardless of the length you go with, the Huayhuash Trek (pronounced why-wash) will reward you with incredible postcard views of massive mountains and glacial lakes throughout the entire journey. Tough both mentally and physically, Huayhuash’s consistently high altitude and length is not for everybody, but those who are brave enough to tackle it will be in for an unforgettable experience.


Trekking through the Ausangate region in peru

Choquequiero Trek

If Machu Picchu still doesn’t scratch your itch for Incan ruins then the Choquequiro Trek should be next on your list. Often touted as Machu Picchu’s sister city, the impressive Incan ruins of Choquequiero feature similar architecture to its sibling, as it was built during a similar time period. With Machu Picchu getting thousands of visitors a day, the equally impressive Choquequiro only gets under 50 people daily, making it a great option for anyone wanting to explore ancient ruins without crowds of tourists. The Choquequiero Trek 62km out-and-back trail takes on average 4 days to complete. There is also the option for keen hikers to extend the trek to 9 days which includes continuing onto Machu Picchu. The Choquequiro Trek is a challenge for any hiker, as your journey to the ruins and back involves descending and ascending the deep Apurimac Canyon twice.

Currently undiscovered by the masses, in recent years a cable car to Choquequiero has been approved by the government to be constructed in the near future, reducing the challenging 4-day trek to an easy day trip. So now is the best time to go before the rest of the world discovers the beauty of Choquequiero.


Hike up to Salkantay Pass

Chachani Volcano

Have you ever dreamt of climbing above 6,000 m? If so, Chachani can make your dream a reality as it is considered by many to be one of the easiest 6,000 m summits in the world. Having also climbed Huayana Potosi in nearby La Paz which is also considered one of the easiest 6000 m summits, I personally believe Chachani is less challenging as it doesn’t require any technical equipment like crampons or an ice axe. Climbing Chachani is fairly straightforward as the entirety of the 2-day ascent is non-technical, making it an excellent summit for beginners wanting to get into mountaineering. If successful, this 2-day excursion will take you 6,057 m to the top of Chachani where you will be rewarded with incredible views of the nearby city of Arequipa and of the towering Misti volcano.

Not to be underestimated due to its reputation, Chachani should only be tackled by those who regularly hike long distances and have excellent acclimatisation. At over 6,000 m, the altitude will be your biggest challenge, so ensure that you have spent some time above 3,000 m in nearby cities such as Cusco, Puno or La Paz. Additionally, ensure that you have hiked above 5,000 m in the leadup to Chachani as this will help significantly with your acclimatisation. Having personally spent at least 2 months above 3000 m in the lead-up to Chachani I still suffered fairly bad altitude sickness on the day of the summit attempt. While I did still manage to summit, ensure you drink plenty of water and have appropriate medication on you like Diamox or Ibuprofen. 


View from the top of Chachani Volcano | Best Hike in Peru



  • Bring cash with you as on some treks you will pass through small villages where you can buy some well-deserved snacks.
  • It helps to know a bit of Spanish as little English is spoken in this part of the world. In some cases knowing Spanish will still not be of use, as in some remote villages locals may only speak the indigenous language of the area such as Quechua or Aymara.
  • For many of these hikes, acclimatisation is critical. So ensure you have spent a couple of days at altitude prior to tackling some of these treks. It could also be a good idea to speak to your doctor prior to travel about getting yourself some altitude tablets for your hike.
  • The best time to hike in Peru is from May to September during the dry season. Some treks are not possible in the off-season, so make sure to do some prior research to ensure you are travelling at the right time.
  • Bring plenty of warm clothing and sun protection as a lot of the hikes in Peru are at a high altitude. Check out our layering guide to find out how to stay warm when hiking in Peru.

About The Author

Alex Carter

Alex is an avid traveller and hiker with a passion for the outdoors. Having travelled extensively through Latin America, Asia, and Europe, he enjoys immersing himself in the local culture and taking in the stunning environment around him. Whether trekking through remote mountain ranges or navigating bustling cities, he’s always looking for his next adventure.

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