Our walking vacations in Peru
While the ruined Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is the thrilling climax of many Peru walking vacations, the Inca Trail isn’t the only way to reach it. The Salkantay Trek reveals nature at its most raw, past glaciers and majestic peaks, through cloud forest where waterfalls tumble. The Lares Trek meanwhile immerses you in living Incan culture as you trek through high Andean communities. Both routes avoid the need for high-demand trail permits, and whichever route you take you’ll be accompanied by strong, capable porters. Our partners take their responsibilities towards them seriously, paying them a fair wage for their efforts.
Our top Hiking vacations in Peru
From US $3999 to US $424915 days ex flights
Taste Peru's diverse landscapes and fascinating culture
Small group2022: 26 Aug, 9 Sep, 14 Oct, 2023: 14 Apr, 5 May, 19 May, 2 Jun, 23 Jun, 21 Jul, 11 Aug, 25 Aug, 8 Sep, 13 Oct
From US $2349 to US $25798 days ex flights
An unrivalled combination of history and spectacular scenery
Small group2022: 25 Aug, 16 Sep, 21 Oct, 4 Nov, 18 Dec, 2023: 7 Apr, 14 Apr, 28 Apr, 4 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 Jun, 9 Jun, 29 Jun, 7 Jul, 13 Jul, 20 Jul, 27 Jul, 4 Aug, 17 Aug, 24 Aug, 15 Sep, 21 Sep, 6 Oct, 20 Oct, 3 Nov, 10 Nov, 1 Dec, 17 Dec
From £169510 days ex flights
10-days: Lima, Cusco, 4-day Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
From US $8985 days ex flights
Salkantay trek - an alternative Inca Trail adventure
Small group2022: 26 Aug, 2 Sep, 9 Sep, 16 Sep, 23 Sep, 30 Sep, 7 Oct, 14 Oct, 21 Oct, 28 Oct
From US $3049 to US $319914 days ex flights
Machu Picchu, Inca fortresses and cloud forest
Small group2022: 17 Sep, 2023: 29 Apr, 27 May, 24 Jun, 22 Jul, 19 Aug, 16 Sep, 30 Sep
More about Walking vacations in Peru
Inca Trail trek in Peru
Among the most famous walks in the world, the Inca Trail is just 43km in length but takes four days from Piscacucho to the Sun Gate entrance of Machu Picchu. Joining an organised tour ensures you can concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, while a team of porters does all the heavy lifting, plus the cooking, washing up and tent-putting-up-and-down-again. Traveling with one of our responsible tour operators is the best way to ensure porters’ rights are respected. Peak months are May to September. Trail conditions are more challenging in the wet season, but it’s less crowded.
Lares Trek in Peru
Each of the three main routes up to Machu Picchu has its own unique appeal. With the three- to four-day Lares Trek, it’s the opportunity to dig deeper into living Incan culture and High Andean communities. You’ll wander through several villages in the Sacred Valley and puna grasslands, and if you travel with a responsible tour operator your trip may contribute to local reforestation or community tourism projects. Other key differences on the Lares Trek are that you can book a private tailor made tour, and that pack animals are used to carry baggage rather than porters.
Salkantay Trek in Peru
Not for those new to hiking boots, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is more demanding than the Inca Trail, more accessible with no permits required, and arguably more scenic. It brings you up close and personal with Andean nature in all its glory, from glaciers to cloud forest, and you will be at high altitude for much of it – 4,000m and more. Even though pack animals will take most of the strain, you’ll want to get in shape before tackling this route. Our expert tour operators also recommend a few short day walks around Cuzco to acclimatise first.
Sacred Valley trekking in Peru
The Urubamba Valley – the Sacred Valley of the Incas – is strewn with ancient ruins and paths that lead to the jewel in the Incan crown, Machu Picchu. But the valley’s cultural integrity is at risk from poorly managed tourism, so instead of browsing trinket stalls for tacky souvenirs, we recommend taking a short taxi ride out of Pisac or Ollantaytambo to explore small villages and the day hikes emanating from them. The Maras salt mines are a lesser-known but interesting visit, and there are plenty of smaller Incan sites around where you can enjoy virtual solitude.