The legendary Inca Trail may be revered as one of the best treks in the world, but it's not the only way to arrive at the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. There are a handful of alternative routes to reach this impressive lost city, each offering something slightly different and appealing to different types of travellers. Read on for what we consider to be the best alternative ways to get to Machu Picchu...
Top five adventure activities in Peru
Peru is a thrill seeker's dream. With so many diverse ecosystems and terrains, it is the perfect adventure playground. With hiking, horse riding, snorkelling, rafting, zip lining, and surfing, there really is something for everyone. With so much variety on offer, we’ve helped you out and narrowed down our top five adventure activities to help you get out and explore the country’s natural wonders...
1. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The most famous hike in South America... This four day journey following the path of the royal Incas to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, offers the perfect combination of adventure and cultural immersion. Hiking across spectacular Andean scenery, lush cloud forest and subtropical jungle scattered with a fascinating mix of Inca stones, ruins and tunnels is an incredible experience. Rated by many to be one of the top treks in the world, permits for this trek sells out months in advance and so forward planning is highly recommended. Alternatively, when the Inca trail is full there are a number of treks to Machu Picchu such as the Lares trek and the Salkantay trek, which offer an equally rewarding experience.
2. White-Water Rafting
Peru has some of the best white water rafting in the world. Dissected by a chain of rivers, Peru is the perfect place to experience anything from the soft and relaxing class II-III rafting, to world-class thrilling grade IV-V rapids. As well as providing a heart-pounding experience, it’s the perfect way to see the country, immerse yourself in nature and explore the dramatic scenery of the area. Cusco is the rafting capital, offering a number of rushing rapids suitable for all abilities. Arequipa and its fast flowing rivers are better suited to the thrill-seekers and the rapids in the Cordillera Blanca range is perfect for those wanting to get off-the beaten track and raft through an area of Peru largely unexplored.
3. Wander the Amazon Jungle at night
Venture into the Peruvian Amazon and experience the mystery of the rainforest at night. A time when wildlife is most active, exploring the jungle trails at this time is incredibly exciting and opens your eyes to a plethora of wildlife species home to the Amazon. Crabs, tarantulas, snakes and exotic red-eyed tree frogs, among other night animals can be seen.
4. Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range
As the second highest mountain range in the world, after the Himalayas, this area of Peru is a climbing mecca and boasts some of the most stunning and wild landscapes in Peru. With hundreds of snow-capped peaks, verdant valley surroundings, turquoise glacier lakes, it is home to an abundance of flora and flora, and offers treks ranging from three to thirteen days varying in difficulty and topography. Located in the north of Peru the area is remote and a total paradise for those looking to get off the beaten path an experience an adventure like no other.
5. Surfing World-Class Waves
World-class waves along the Pacific Coast can be enjoyed year round in Peru. In the north of Peru, expert surfers can ride the longest left hand wave in the world in Trujillo, and beginners can find calmer waves in the beach town of Mancora. With consistent waves and crowd-free beaches this mighty 2,000 mile long stretch along the Pacific coast offers a wave for everyone.
To experience these adventure activities first hand take a look at our Peru itineraries below for inspiration:
Andes, Inca Trail and Jungle Wilderness
Combining the perfect mix of ancient culture with outdoor adventure, this itinerary takes you on a journey to some of Peru's unmissable highlights.
Family Adventure to Peru
From white-water rafting in the Sacred Valley, clambering around the ruins of Machu Picchu and exploring wildlife in the Amazon, there is something for everyone.