Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Peru with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Unbelievably beautiful and fulfilling. For me a hike of a lifetime.

day two was hard as i feared

Amazing journey through spectacular scenery ranging from alpine desert to rainforest. Unforgettable NatGeo experience!

hiking
9 days ago

An incredible experience, the trail, the views, the guides, the porters, the chefs and the food!! The great friends made during the hike. And of course Machu Picchu!!!

Hiked in April and was a truly amazing trip. Quite hard, but worth it. It rained 2 of 4 days, but we managed to stay out of torrential downpours. The only thing I'd wish I'd known was how much horse poo would be on the trail.

We hiked this trail for our honeymoon and it was amazing. It is very challenging but worth it! Definitely bring Deet spray for chiggers, they’re worse than mosquitos.

Did the trek in Aug with REI adventures. Food and lodging was amazing. The hike took us 6 days with the longest day being 9 miles. Not very many people on the trail and the weather was perfect. Hardest day was getting up and over the pass at 15,200 feet. Take diamox if needed and acclimate a few days in Cusco or higher if able.

I’m so glad that we didn’t take classic Inca trail. Salkantay trail is definitely marvelous, holy, peaceful and not crowded at all. Our trip with “Alpaca Expedition “ makes the 4-day trekking flawless.

hiking
1 month ago

So hard but incredible trail

We did the classic 5 day hike to Machu Picchu with Salkantay trekking in May. Highly recommend they were wonderful! Food was amazing! This hike pushed us past our mental and physical limits. We’re from very low sea level. We arrived a few days early to help acclimate to the elevation but it’s still hard to breathe no matter what. Just take it slow and go at your own pace! Reaching the pass was the hardest day with the highest elevation of over 15,000ft. But once we reached the top it was the most beautiful sight! We even saw an avalanche happen right before our eyes at the top of the pass! Truly an experience of a life time.

We did this for our honeymoon and it was an incredible trip! We did the 5 day which is spectacular and the Salkantay company was amazing!

Fantastic trek! It’s much more difficult because of the altitude but so worth the effort. Parts were quite scary because the steps were so steep up or down but when you have no other choice, you make it through.

1 month ago

Great comments in here, and all true. My wife and I did a private trip with Apamayu Expeditions. They were first class. The trek was difficult at times and tough on the knees, but conditioning ahead of time, time at altitude in Cusco before setting off, and any advance stair work you can do will pay off in spades.

As for the crowds at Machu Picchu, our guide was brilliant. We took off on day four later than all the big groups who were in a rush to get to sun gate. By getting there we’ll after the morning bus groups had arrived, we were able to avoid the big bus tour groups as they had already moved down. The bus folks in the morning have to leave before the afternoon group is my understanding. We had the Inka bridge mostly to ourselves.

Hope this helps someone. Definitely worth doing, good luck.

Great experience. Challenging with the high altitude and steps. We did a 4 day/3 night trek with Alpaca Expeditions.

Walked the Lares trek, similar in many ways, highest altitude 4600 metres, walking was easy breathing was harder! Fantastic experience. Didnt see any other groups but plenty of animals, (Llama’s) and locals. Kiliminjaro next!

backpacking
3 months ago

Guided journey, 3 days. Lares to Cucani and overnight camp. Days 2, Cuncani to Ipsay pass. Day 3 Huacawasi pass to Mantanay, then end at Yanahuara. Altitude 15,700 at pass. Snow at pass. Alpine lakes, too numerous to count. Will llamas and vicunas.

The trail was well worth the effort with ancient sites and fabulous flora and some fauna. We found the trail loaded with wild orchids. The ancient sites along the trail were spectacular. I do agree with other hikers that Machu Picchu itself is completely overrun with people. Once you arrive at the end of your 3 day hike, the crowds do overwhelm you. Don't let the crowds deter you. Machu Picchu is a breathtaking site and was worth the visit.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved the trail. Machu Picchu itself is too busy with tourists who bused in. I would definitely do the hike again though.

Completed the Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu July 18-21! Incredible journey to say the least! This trail is typically dry in July however we had 2/4 days of our trek soaking wet with rain and a bit of snow at the top of dead woman’s pass. This trek was very tough due to the altitude and ups and downs I would recommend being in good cardiovascular shape for this one, but it was so worth it to see all of the Inca ruins spread throughout the entire hike. Much like everyone else’s reviews the end destination of Machu Picchu was super crowded and overwhelming with people after spending a few days on the hike, still worth seeing but the trail was more enjoyable in my opinion. My family and I traveled with the company G Adventures and we would highly recommend them as guides for this trek as they were knowledgeable, prepared, and very enjoyable!

This was the most challenging hike I’ve ever done to be honest. Rewarding when you climb 4 miles straight up switch backs the second day. We did the first stretch down and over and slept in the little oasis hostel at the bottom of the canyon. That pool was incredibly rewarding. Definitely remember a headlamp and bandaids for blisters. Also, look out for condors!

The hiking trail to Machu Picchu was breathtaking. The Inca sites along the way was a true highlight the the trip. Unfortunately, Machu Picchu itself is completely overrun with people bused in. Everyone in our hiking group agreed the trail leading to Machu Picchu was much better than the end of the destination.

Vous devez avoir un bon guide et être en forme. Excellente alternative à Inca Trail plus populaire.

I did the 4 day trek the beginning of January 2018. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. The trek (especially Dead Women’s Pass) was better than Machu Picchu. I can’t imagine just taking the train up to Machu Picchu, as it completely bypasses the experience of the pilgrimage.

Definitely do your research about how difficult the trail and altitude are. Be sure to acclimate for a few days prior. It is extremely difficult, but this is part of the reason it is so rewarding. It is a very spiritual and magical place.

A pretty epic trail with variety of terrain and scenery. Make sure you’re acclimatized first so you can really enjoy it.

be one with the pachamama up in the clouds and be forever changed.

Challenging hike but very rewarding. Many many steep steps especially on day 2,3 and 4. Climbed 2 mountains on day 2. Intense and non-stop nature with fantastic views!

4 months ago

Completed in 4 days, with the 5th day at Machu Picchu. Had trek guides “Tour Leaders Peru” and they were energetic, had excellent equipment, and generally fantastic — local guys who spoke great English and were very passionate about the money from the trip going directly back into the Peruvian economy.

It’s of course simpler to have a trek guide and also porters for your stuff, as we did. I am a moderate hiker at best and the trail was tough for me. I trained weekly beforehand on similar inclines for a few hours at a time with a weighted backpack and my hiking boots (15 lbs as I didn’t need to carry food/tent). Acclimated for 2.5 days beforehand in Cusco, which is necessary. Took Diamox just in case, and the altitude was still tricky going up Salkantay. Was passed by tons of people going up on horses.

If your knees are bad, like some of the people in my group, the hours of downhills on slippery rocks is going to be tough. Poles were absolutely necessary — heading both up and down. Pack in layers as you’ll go through many different climates, the first night in tents it was so cold some members of our party couldn’t sleep.

Would recommend just buying a train ticket into Aguas Calientes instead of hiking the last set of miles bc it’s not a comfortable hike, although flat, due to the loose rock, and you’ll also be exhausted at this point. We hiked it and it was miserable.

I heard that this trail may be permitted (like the Inca) in about a year or two.

Hardest physical thing I’ve ever done but also most rewarding. Every day I saw magical landscapes that made me inadvertently gasp. I may never do another hike this demanding again in my life, but am proud to have done this one. Made the grandeur of Machu Picchu even more amazing when you realized how people traveled to the ancient city.

Just finished this trek in a 5 day trip towards Machu Picchu. I live below sealevel, so had to get used to the altitude. Went from Lima (msl) to Arequipa (2500m) to Cuzco (3300) and started the trek at Soraypampa (3800m). Which was fine altitude wise but if your not a trained hiker/runner and your daypack is too heavy (like mine ... 8kg) because you want to take your big-ass camera ... Do yourself a big favour BUY DECENT POLES!

They helped me a lot. Furthermore there are a number of opportunities to buy water and snacks so do not load up your backpack. Take the camera, a water bottle, a snack or two, a raincoat/poncho, gloves/beanie/buff and layer up (clothes) so you can layer down as well.
Leave enough room in your daypack to be able to stow the clothes you take off,

You will climb from moderate pampa, to a cold snowy mountain pass and descend to warm pre-jungle.

It’s super!

Leave some energy for the Machu Picchu (1670 steps) climb or even consider taking the bus up if you have to walk back (2hrs) to HydroElectrico afterwards.

Have fun

backpacking
5 months ago

Incredible sights. The hike was very difficult. However if you train correctly then it becomes difficult. The scenes and the mountains were jaw dropping. If you add another day or two then you can also see rainbow mountain which is just as beautiful. I highly recommended this hike to anyone. There are no people on the trial so you get to really take all of the environment in. I will never forget this hike and will trek it again in the future.

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