The Inca Trail trek
The Inca trail trek is the most famous trek in South America and deservedly so, what with three major sets of Inca ruins reachable only on foot along the way to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. From cloud forest to puna grasslands, a magnificent multi-day hike sees you reach the mythical citadel following original Inca roads, with three nights camping. Aracari is one of only a small handful of companies licensed to run our own trips along the Inca Trail. As such, we provide our discerning guests with both a taste of true adventure, alongside creature comforts and top-notch equipment during the trail.
Ascending and descending through various ecosystems at altitude, the trail is tough and not suitable for everybody. For the active, it is a challenge worth taking to arrive at Machu Picchu on foot. For those with less time available, it is also possible to do just a one-day Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu.
Due to its popularity, the trail is tightly regulated and limited permits must be purchased months in advance for both the camping and one-day options. We strongly encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you’re interested in this route.
10 Days / 9 Nights
The Inca trail is the most famous trek in South America and deservedly so, what with three major sets of Inca ruins reachable only on foot along the way to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. Click to learn more.
However, there are a myriad of alternative treks that follow alternative Inca road networks, visit other archaeological sites and take in dramatic mountain views: there is no shortage of Peru treks to satisfy all ability levels and time-frames in the Cusco region and beyond. The Cordillera Blanca provides even more opportunities for adventure!
Camping Treks in Peru
Camping treks start from just one night’s adventure in Aracari’s top-of-the-range camping equipment. Keep in mind campsites can be at high altitude (over 3,800 metres/11,400 feet). Popular options for camping Peru treks include:
Salkantay – 4D/3N – Varied scenery and vistas of Machu Picchu
What you lack in Inca ruins you undoubtedly make up for in the variety of scenery with a glimpse of the archaeological ruins of Machu Picchu from the last campsite.
Choquequirao – 5D/4N – A challenging hike to a former Inca city
(5D/4N, Rigorous, 53 km (32.9 mi), Max. Altitude: 3,035m (9,957ft))
A rigorous trek, this route leads a stunning, remote Inca site that is larger and lesser known than Machu Picchu–and therefore far less crowded.
Patakancha to Lares – 2D/1N or 3D/2N – Traditional villages and Andean scenery
(2D/1N or 3D/2N, Moderate, 20 km (12.4 mi), Max. Altitude: 4,700 m (15,419 ft))
Pass traditional villages where people live much like their Inca ancestors, working the land with foot ploughs. Conclude with a dip in the relaxing hot springs of Lares.
Lodge-to-Lodge Peru treks
These options allow for added comfort (no camping!) at rustic local lodges:
Ausangate Lodge-to-Lodge – 5D/4N (shorter & longer versions available)
This is a breathtaking trek – accompanied by llamas and horses – round the highest sacred mountain in Cusco, Apu Ausangate. At high altitude, it requires acclimatization beforehand.
Salkantay Lodge-to-Lodge – 7D/6N – To Machu Picchu
Trek the spectacular Cordillera Vilcabamba range, passing glorious peaks and lush tropical vegetation en route to Machu Picchu. This hike features unique tambos or lodges.
- Varying in difficulty level, these day treks are ideal for those looking for adventure treks in Peru, specifically in the Cusco and Sacred Valley region:
One-day Inca Trail (Full Day) – Last part of the Iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Patabamba to Huchuy Qosqo (Full Day) – Challenging day hike to lesser-known ruins
Moray and Maras (Half Day) – Key sites of the Sacred Valley
Chinchero to Huallyabamba (Half Day) – Downhill hike from an Andean village
Tipon Ruins (Half Day) – Gentle hike to the archaeological site of Tipon
Day treks around La Paz, Bolivia are also available:
- Palca Canyon – Full Day – With views of Illimani Mountain towering in the distance, this trek takes you past farming villages, impressive formations of the Valle de las Animas or Spirit Valley. colorful canyon walls and ends in the village of Palca.
- Tuni Condoriri Trek – Full Day – A strenuous high altitude all-day trek starting in Janchillani at 4500m and heading steeply upward to reach 5400m, on a journey that takes you past the Chiar Khota glacial lake with views of the Cordillera mountain range, and on a clear day, Lake Titicaca glistening in the distance.
For more information on our Bolivia treks, please contact us.
Treks in the Cordillera Blanca (Huaraz area)
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca (Parque Nacional Huascaran) is quite different from trekking in the Cusco area. Here the focus is on one main thing: the incredible mountain scenery. There are over fifty peaks that exceed 5,000 metres (16,400 feet). The scenery includes majestic snow-capped peaks, expansive glaciers, turquoise glacial lakes, lush valleys with flowering meadows and more. There’s so much to explore in the region, either as day trips or multi-day trekking adventures with camping.
Day treks include the jewel in the Cordillera crown – Laguna 69 – a stunning turquoise glacier lake and Ice of Huandoy, an impressive ice field, which is the lowest lying ice in the region.
Exploring the Cordillera Blanca – 5D/4N – a great way to acclimatise to the region. Base yourself at the welcoming Llanganuco Mountain Lodge, with an itinerary of day treks. The five day itinerary can be shortened, lengthened or customised in any way.
Santa Cruz Trek – 4D/3N – consistently rated as one of the best trekking routes in the world, this moderate multi-day trek with camping offers panoramic views of most of the majestic snow-capped peaks in the region. A highlight is crossing Punta Union on Day 3!
As the highest tropical mountain range in the world, the Cordillera Blanca is a haven for climbers who can enjoy a longer season than other climbing hotspots, such as the Himalayas. It is considered to be equally or even more beautiful than the Annapurna in the Himalayas, according to experts.
The Cordillera Blanca range is reached from Lima via direct, daily flights, with a a handful of cosy lodges in the area. Read more about the Cordillera Blanca, and our picks of the region’s highlights.