Peru is a paradise for travelers seeking outdoor experiences
With its rich variety of ecosystems, ranging from the tropical and subtropical forests of the Amazon basin, to the mountains and valleys of the Andes, and one of the driest deserts in the world, Peru offers the perfect setting for a broad selection of outdoor activities.
For those who love trekking and hiking, the most well-known trek in Peru is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hikers can choose from 2-, 3- and 4-day itineraries and hike the entire Inca Trail to the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, or decide just to walk a section of this spectacular route.
And for those looking for a less well-known alternative, there are many other beautiful hiking and trekking routes to choose from in the Cusco region and other parts of Peru. The Incas built more than 22,000 thousand kilometers of roads throughout their empire, and today those routes can be followed to extraordinary archaeological sites such as the Inca city of Choquequirao. Other routes in the Cusco region that offer fabulous scenery and the chance to witness the traditional way of life in the Andes include the Mount Ausangate circuit and the Mount Salkantay route. Beyond the Cusco region, the city of Huaraz is the starting point for treks into a mountain range often called the “Switzerland of the Americas”, where some of the highest peaks in South America can be seen. The mountains around Huaraz attract climbers and mountaineers from all over the world.
Birdwatchers also love Peru. With more than 1800 species of birds –almost 20% of all the world’s bird species and more than 40% of all Neotropical birds- Peru is one of the best places on the planet for birdwatching. The best places to enjoy birdwatching in Peru include Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park, both of which can be accessed from the city of Cusco.
Other outdoor pursuits that can be enjoyed in Peru amid matchless natural scenery include whitewater river rafting on the Urubamba, Apurimac, Colca and Cotahuasi rivers, accessible from both Cusco and the elegant southern city of Arequipa. And of course, in Peru’s Andean region there are endless mountain biking routes, suitable for both experts and beginners. Imagine yourself downhill mountain biking from the Andes to the Amazon basin!