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.

hiking
4 days ago

Peru Treks was the BEST!

“Hard” is an appropriate rating but worth every minute of the experience! There are several tour operators that organize refugios and porter bags along this route, but I was able to book refugios along the trail online with a bit of research while carrying my own backpack (kept light at 10-12 kilos by not having to carry a tent or sleeping bag). For this segment I stayed in Humantay Sky Lodge (Booking) in Soraypampa prior to commencing the hike and Salkantay Hostels (Expedia) in Challway to finish. The online price for Soraypampa was far overpriced: I would recommend showing up and negotiating a good local price rather than reserving online. Challway also has plenty of options for on-the-spot accommodations but I was happy with the rate, the room I was given and the peace of mind knowing I had a place waiting when I arrived. The uphill portion: tour operators suggest it takes 3 hours to reach the Pass but if you’re carrying a pack I’d recommend planning on 4 hrs. The way down is substantially longer but less strenuous. Starting at 7:30a with a 30 min lunch and many pictures stops along the way, I reached Challway at 4pm. Most of the tours left between 5:30 and 6:30 with a longer break for lunch, also reaching Challway around 4pm. Mixed feelings about using porters: if you come prepared with a light pack definitely recommend to carry your own bag; I had to change clothes 4 times given the conditions: from fog to sun to snow to rain... if my bag was on a mule it could have been miserable to deal with all the temperature changes. Although I packed my own lunch, it would have been very possible to stop in Huairaspampa to get fed (where the tours stopped for food around 11:30a - 12:30p). If backpacking with a full pack, it’s definitely possible to stay in several spots along the way: there were several small homes that make their yard available for camping and probably offer meals we well. This “Segment 2” portion of the route is known to be the most strenuous of the Salkantay trek. Many people have problems with the altitude, but also the downside slope poses challenges with mud and loose rocks. All in all, the downward slope is mostly gradual; and likewise the upward portion is never gets too steep. Note: My phone died so I was only able to record the first 7km on AllTrails

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
19 days ago

Just completed this 5 day/4 night trek through KB Adventure Tours out of Cusco for $180 (that’s the bus option whereas the train and bus option (which I would recommend) is $240. Their online prices are higher than in person. Meals were pretty good given the price and accommodations were ok. Incredible scenery and challenging high altitude hiking the first few days, but well worth it. If you want to do a tour I’d recommend the 4 day/ 3 night as you bypass walking on dirt roads with buses and cars whizzing by you (via bus from Santa Teresa to Hidroeléctrica).

The hike over the Llactapata pass is steep on the way up and steeper on the way down. Challenging but the reward is reaching Machu Picchu.

Wonderful day walking along the Santa Teresa River Valley

This part of the Salkantay trail is mainly fairly steep downhill.

Challenging trail with fabulous views from the pass

hiking
25 days ago

Tough hike especially the second day through dead womans pass. Some of the stairs are crazy but the views are amazing. Definitely worth it.

hiking
25 days ago

Bucket list hike! Challenging, beautiful and so much history!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
30 days ago

Me and two of my other friends, who speak very little to no Spanish and did very minimal planning, did this trek in three nights and three days. We chose to not have a guide, we didn’t do any elevation conditioning but are all generally active. We rented all of our gear like sleeping bag, tent, stove and everything from a shop called Roslys in Cusco. This was nice so we could travel light flying to Peru but also the gear was a bit old (not too bad though) and heavier then the gear I own at home. The trail is completely safe and easy to navigate. It’s so commercialized there are kiosks with bottled water in many places along the trail. Also lots of glacial water access to fill bladders bring a filter or steri pen. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you have properly acclimated to Peru’s elevation before doing this trek. We spent two nights and three days just hanging out in Cusco first at 11,000 ft. We also took diamox (elevation medicine) twice a day every day. It’s common for tourists to ignorantly jump in get excited and overdo it right off the bat. Even if your super fit, still, RELAX at first and you will be so glad you did. We decided to skip the first part of the hike from Mollepata to Soraypampa and glad we did we heard it’s incredibly steap and not that great of scenery. One couple we spoke to said it was so hard they had to take a rest day after doing it and they didn’t like it. DAY 1 (travel day no hiking) So to start we took a van from Cusco to Mollepata for 12 soles after being very confused on where to find the collectivo. It felt random and we were a little unsure but it was safe and a beautiful drive. It took about 2 hours. When we got to Mollepata it was very rural and it felt empty. There was only one taxi available to take and they charged us 70 soles total. We didn’t feel like we had much options so we did it. The driver was very nice and took us to a place to buy park entrance tickets for 10 soles. Then driving to Soraypampa we had to stop and get our tickets checked. Our driver was so great though and the drive was about an hour up windy dirt rodes. A more expensive taxi for this makes sense, I would try for 50 soles though. We got to Soraypompa at 13,000 feet and it was pretty empty. It’s a small town with fields that you have to pay to camp in. Right by the parking lot we got a home cooked meal for 15 soles each at a restaurant I can’t remember the name of. Most people sleep in the domes since they’re on the guided trips but we got a spot for our tent at one of the places for 10 soles. We had trouble sleeping at this elevation my heart was beating faster then normal and I was anxious/excited for the hike. It was also very cold. DAY TWO Next day we hiked from Soraypampa to Chaulley. This was the hardest challenge we have all done but the views are out of this world. The trail itself is not that difficult but the altitude is serious. I found success in walking like a grandma, very very very slow. Pace yourself. If you feel out of breath stop and take a break. It took us 4 hours to reach the pass. It’s all mostly uphill and the moments before the pass were very difficult. We all lost our appetite that day and drink ALOT of water. But no one got sick or a bad headache so we made it. The descent was also hard and it took us another 4-5 hours to make it challauy. It was an incredibly long day but the scenery diversity is pretty incredible. High alpine to the jungle! Chaulley is an amazing little town and it sits I think at 9,000 ft so an elevation break! It’s catered completely to tourists but it’s adorable. There’s wifi showers hostels a bar and also places to pitch your tent. Bring ear plugs. DAY THREE The next day we did Chaulley to Santa Teresa. About a half hour on the hike right before a bridge you can find a trail that takes you to the left side of the river but we stayed on the vehicle access rode. We messed up by doing this. The access rode is not so pleasant dusty and cars are driving by you the entire time. The other trail looked much more enjoyable and they both meet at the playa anyway! We continued and walked to Lacabamba. I recommend the coffee plantation there we took a break and sat on the balcony it was lovely. We didn’t know this but many people from there get a ride to Santa Teresa because the rode is just a vehicle rode. The woman at the coffee plantation called us a taxi because we had no idea how to get a car.We payed 10 soles a person and got ripped off. Try for 10 total for the whole car!! The car took us to Santa Teresa where all the guided tours also were also staying. We went to the hot springs there and bartered to hop on one of the tour guide buses for 10 soles a person which was nice but very commercialized. It ended up being a loud party spot. We were very confused because we thought we had to hike all the next day. They played 90s music until 1:30 am. We slept ok though because one of us brought a sound machine and we wore ear plugs. We also drank a couple beers. Turns out most everyone was getting rides to Aguas Calientes so that’s why they were partying. We took a taxi from Santa Teresa to the Hydroelectrica (15 min ride) because we heard the hike was not nice. Try for 15 soles total for this ride. We got ripped off again. We thought we had to take the train to aguas Calientes but the next train didn’t come until 2pm so we thought we had to wait all day until we saw hikers walk by we learned we could hike to aguas. The trail is very nice very flat and in the jungle. You follow train tracks (with one short cut path in the beginning you’ll see the sign). BRING BUG SPRAY! The hike took us 4 hours. We stopped and got juice from one of the restaurants, highly recommend. Overall this was an incredible experience and we loved the adventure.

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This is by far the most difficult but the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done. As a native Texan, my body is not conditioned for this kind of climbing and this trail is hard even for those who are conditioned for it. The downhill sections are very steep and rocky as well. Be prepared for an extremely strenuous hike, but if you get a clear day when you reach Machu Picchu, which is kind of rare, the reward is well worth it. We had clear, blue skies and it was incredibly beautiful.

Grueling and difficult; beautiful and inspiring; and well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

amazing hike. so fun. tons of cows. water quality is poor due to large amount of cows. trail is poorly marked. do not go out here without a map. pay the $50 for a topographic map!!!

8/25 to 8/28. I solo'd the entire trip from beginning in mollepata to hidroelectrica. Its was one of the most diverse hikes ive ever completed. Collectivo to mollepata is a bit tricky to find but its possible. Corner of Av. Acropata and Apurimac, go right. They either hang out on the opposite side of the street near the gas station area or as you walk up theres a little spot on the right to park a van. You will see on the grill Mollepata, although it doesnt stick out like a sore thumb. Please note that if you start in mollepata and walk soraypampa (not take the bus halfway) to bring at least 3..5L because there is no real water source after mile 5 until mile 10, when the sun is out its baking. The bathrooms and shops that All Trails shows on the route were closed and look abandoned, at least when i was there 8/25/19. The other days have plenty of streams and shops. Day 1: Mollepata a Soraypampa Part 1: Mile 0 to Mile 6: Steep incline until mile 6. When you hit 12kft you level off and it becomes easier. Part 2: Mile 6 to about Mile 11: level hiking, some up and down. I took the road at about mile 8 to the end. Day 2: Soraypampa to Challey Part 1: Up to the pass took me 4.5 hours but i took my time. I really thought Day 1 Part 1 was harder, but thats me. Part 2: Steep declines on loose rock about 3 miles down from the pass to the end, it feels like it never ends. For me this was the hardest part of the hike. Scenery doesnt change much. Day 3: Challey to Lucmabamba Best hike of the trek. Its pretty simple with 95% declines and its beautiful. Walk through the jungle the entire way! From camp cross the river, take the trail to the road. Stay on the road until you finish the switchbacks, as it levels off you will see signs pointing down to the trail, take the second one, its 20 feet after the first one. Take this trail all the way! IF YOU STAY and CAMP IN THE LUCMABAMBA AREA, I IMPLORE YOU TO CAMP AT THE FIRST CAFE ON YOUR LEFT AFTER PASSPORT CONTROL. Its a beautiful family and they are so nice and welcoming. Ask for Rosalino. Day 4: Lucmabamba to Llactapata to Hidroelectrica Tough hike up to Llactapata but its beautiful views of the cloud forest. Tough decline on the way down. At the end you cross the rickety bridge then walk a mile or 2 to hidroelectrica! And youre done! Definitely bring bug spray XD

Salkantay trek day 2

Day 1 Salkantay trek

on Lares Trek

hiking
1 month ago

Once in a lifetime experience! Did it with the Guiding Peru company. Hiked with 8 mules carrying our gear which made it fairly easy though still challenging with the altitude. If you can do it you will not be disappointed!

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

What an awesome adventure ! Went through sas adventures. Omg Super hard but worth it

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