Not many countries can compete with Peru in terms of biodiversity and natural beauty, making it an ideal place for ecotourism, hiking/trekking, biking, river rafting, paragliding, sport fishing, rock climbing, sandboarding and much more. Peru is endowed with far-reaching regions of wild and rural nature, including the world's highest tropical mountains, the Amazon Rainforest and the vast Pacific coast. All this offers you opportunities for many adventures and outdoor activities!
Below, we have listed the best places for specific sports and activities in Peru. You can choose your favourites, combine them or try something new!
Peru offers two types of hiking opportunities: jungle trekking and mountain hiking. Salkantay Trek Machu offers a variety of jungle and mountain hikes that follow paths with beautiful flora and fauna, opportunities to interact with local communities, and are surrounded by beautiful countryside. Most hiking trails are often followed by locals, although some of the popular routes are damaged. Please remember not to leave a litter anywhere while hiking!
There are excellent circuits around the summits of the Cordilleras Blanca (e.g. Llananuco to Santa Cruz and trips from Caraz) and Huayhuash. Peru's highest mountain is Huascaran (first climbed in 1932) and is popular with climbers.
In the region of Cusco, there is a great Ausangate Trek leading to the most sacred mountain of the region. Another type of hikes are treks to and around Inca monuments. The main examples are, of course, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, another is Vilcabamba (the site of the last Inca hiding place) and Choquequirao (called the "Sister of Machu Picchu" and the real higgen city of the Incas) or the popular Salkantay Trek.
In the northeast of the country, it is possible to undertake treks to the Chachapoyas monuments. The canyons of Colca and Cotahuasi also offer excellent hiking chances. There are many wonderful summits for skilled climbers!
There are many routes to Machu Picchu, but none are like the Inca Trail tours, the most famous walking route in both the Americas! The tour begins in the capital of Peru, - Lima, from where you arrive by airplane in Cusco, the former capital of the Incas. It is followed by four days on a journey through forests and dense fog, ancient stone steps, and dicovering the ruins of Incat fortifications and towns while enjoying majestic views at all times.
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, 5 days
If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we suggest you to book your Machu Picchu ticket in advance.
The best period is during the dry season, which sets from April to the end of September. Rain starts in October and you can see Machu Picchu covered with clouds. If you are traveling in June, we recommend that you book a tour of Inti Raymi 2021 on June 24, as well as the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, an incredible hike to Rainbow Mountain placed in the Andes.
This challenging but pleasing and beautiful path is at the top of travellers wish list. The constant demand and tightening of Inca Trail regulations mean that its accessibility has become a problem. For this reason, there are now many alternative routes to Machu Picchu. Even so, many people still want to make the Classic Inca Trail, so it is essential to book it as soon as possible to secure your spot!
Choquequirao is a "Sister" city of Machu Picchu with a similar importance, built along similar lines, but so far it has remained completely unnoticed. Due to stricter regulations on the Inca Trail, it is now a viable alternative. It is harder to get to and is still relatively without tourists. Choquequirao is said to mean "Cradle of Gold" and was clearly in a high position for the Incas. This is probably what the situation at Machu Picchu looked like 25 years ago, both in terms of tourism and the absence of major reconstructions. The Peruvian government plans to start extensive tourism here building a cable car.
Peru is one of the most important places in the world for bird fans. It competes with Colombia for the largest list of birds in the world. Of all the bird species on the planet, 18.5% are found in Peru, including 45% of all Neotropical birds. Almost 2,000 species of resident and migrant birds are recognized throughout Peru, which means there are excellent bird-watching opportunities! Birds breed throughout the year, although the optimal time is in October, just before the rainy season, so it is easier to find birds from September to Christmas. If you are going to the mountains, do not forget to wear raingear, especially during the rainy season (November-April)!
Manu National Park is the culmination of every trip to southern Peru, with a very large rainforest area known to bird watchers for having the largest bird population on Earth. It is proud of more than 1,000 species of birds. Cock-of-the-rock, quetzals, toucanets, tanagers and seven species of colourful macaws wait for persistent birders. Some foreigners reported seeing up to 500 different species of birds during short visits to Manu! Nowhere else in South America exists such a huge region suitable for bird watching and moreover in such comfort!
Further in the Andes of northern Peru, there are many birds, some absolutely breathtaking, such as the amazing Spatuletail.
Amazon is one of the most suitable places on the planet where you can fish, and moreover in the most amazing environment! The Tambopata River includes a wide range of freshwater fish such as Payara, Pacu (Giant Piranha), Catfish, Zungaros, Piros and Suburim. The largest black marlin in the world, weighing an incredible 702 kg (1,560 lbs), was caught in Peruvian waters!
The coast offers fine saltwater fishing, while good trout fishing can be found in the Andean highlands.
The combination of high peaks and rainforest jungles creates an excellent environment for rafting. Nothing can beat an adrenaline rush of rafting down the river against some of the best waters in the world! Peru can pride with some of the best rivers on Earth, some of which are included in the world's top 10 white waters. The most popular place is the Apurimac River, which offers Class IV and V rapids. In addition to being incredible adrenaline, it also gives you access to areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Desert canyons to dense jungles that will show you part of the wilderness rarely seen, like animals that live on the banks of the river to marvellous rock formations eroded by the strong river.
Peru has the deepest canyon worldwide - Colca Canyon! It also has the origin of the world's largest river - Amazon! However, rafting beginners should start with Urubamba River, which is calmer. Those experienced can enjoy a jungle tour that includes rafting.
Peru is a famous surfing destination. In fact, some archaeologists claim that the first surfers were Peruvian and not Polynesian! In the north of the country, near Trujillo city, there is an area where surf-like boards woven of reeds have been used for centuries.
Throughout the year, the waves are plentiful for surfing, with many first-class locations such as Punta Rocas and Cabo Blanco, both of which take part in the World Surfing Championships! The waves reach 6 meters during all seasons! The place with the biggest waves is in Pico Alto and the best time is in May. The biggest break is over 800 meters near Trujillo with more than 30 most suitable beaches. Peru is still not as famous a place for surfing as Brazil and you can easily find an isolated place where you can have the waves to yourself!
This activity is rapidly gaining popularity in here! Peru is a country with 70 peaks over 5,500 meters (18,000 feet), countless canyons, valleys, mountains and long coastal roads, making it an obvious candidate for one of the world's leading mountain biking destinations! Once the centre of activity of the Inca Empire, Peru's vertical terrain is interwoven with thousands of ancient trails that make cycling perfect!
However, the biking scene in the country is still relatively new, so do not expect trail maps. Instead, sign up for a tour that combines archaeological remains, jungle, trekking and cycling with Tierras Vivas!
For hedonists and adrenalin seekers of all ages, this new exhilarating activity is an exciting adventure in an exquisite landscape! The desert of the Huacachina Oasis is attracting more and more enthusiast into this sport!
Peru is a climber's dream!! There are many large and high rocks suitable for climbing. Both Huaraz and Cusco have excellent rock climbing districts nearby.