Peru offers a multitude of outdoor activities to suit everybody's interests. abilities, fitness, and wallet. Ones highlight is a trek, a multiday camping and hiking expedition surrounded by the world's highest tropical mountaineering, river rafting, mountain biking, surfing,or watching wildlife in the Amazon Basin. Sand-boarding, an unusual sport, is possible only in the huge dunes around Huacachina on the south coast.
Trekking and mountaineering are extremely popular among visitors to Peru, especially during the dry season from May to September. the best base for trekking in the andes is Huaraz. Nearby, Cordillera Blanca contains and is best-known trekking area.The highlight is Huascarán which at (22,205 ft/6,768 m) is the world's highest tropical mountain. With trails crossing passes at up to 16,405 ft (5,000 m) and camping spots commonly around 13,124 ft (4,00 m), these adventures are for fit, acclimatized visitors with good equipment, both day trips and overnight treks, ranging from three to 12 days,can be arranged. More strenuous treks, lasting for 14 days, circumnavigate Cordillera highest range.
Mountaineers have a choice of towering icy summits, ranging from the relatively easy Pisco to the symmetrical Alpamayo, or the challenging Artesonraju. All require technical ice and snowclimbing equipment, which can be rented in huaraz. The climbing season is from June to August. Some visitors opt to backpack alone while others hire guides, cooks, and muleteers.
Cusco, with its fabled Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, is also the center for several other marvelous treks. As the Inca Trail is now highly regulated, trekkers need to plan their trips months in advance in order to obtain a permit during the dry season. Other treks are equally gorgeous and require less advance notice.The six-day circuit of Ausangate (20,906 ft/6,372 m) with glorious mountain views, huge herds of alpacas and natural hot springs, is highly recommended. Serveral treks often end up at Machu Picchu via routes other than the more famous Inca Trail.
The Arequipa area offers some unique adventures. A trek into two of the world's deepest canyons, the Colca and the Cotahuasi, can be arranged. Both have great scenary, condor-spotting opportunities, and remote villages. Among the best outfitters is Colca Trek. Another special experience in climbing the arid Volcán Misti (19,101ft/5,822m) which dominates Arequipa's skyline.
The mountain trails with their jaw-dropping scenary are the perfect getaway for adventure lovers. They provide a stark contrast to the flat desert of the Panamerican Highway.
Single track dirt roads criss-cross the Andes, and a vehicle or a donkey are required to take you up for a descent of 9,843ft (3,000 m). Rental bikes are quite good, but if you require top-of-the-line wheells, bring your own. Most international airlines alow passengers to carry them.
The rugged high Andean rivers are the best place for white-water kayaking and raffting. Trips range from a few hours to over a week of descending through mountain canyons into the Amazon rainforest and camping in the wilderness. Outfitters can be found in Arequipa and Huaraz, but Cusco has the best selection. Short floats can be done in Class II and III rapids on the Río Urubamba in the Sacred Valley, while longer trips descend the Ríos Tambopata and Apurimac into de Amazon with rapids reaching Class IV and some very challenging Class V ones. Most are navigated by rafts with experienced guides; kayakers can also join a rafting expedition.