Peru is a veritable paradise for hikers. Practically the entire highland spine of the country, including valleys, plains and massifs feature trekking circuits varying in degrees of difficulty.
Only a handful of these circuits have been commercially "discovered" as trekking routes. The rest remain relatively unexplored, awaiting all those who wish to retrace the magical roads through the Peruvian Andes, with its extraordinary network of pre-Colombian trails and more than 12,000 lakes.
It is a land which features the world's deepest canyons, glaciers and snow-capped peaks, forests and thundering waterfalls, picturesque villages and above all, the most hospitable people imaginable. Some trails are so steep they lead into breath-taking gorges, zig-zagging through the mountains, others straight as an arrow, fading into the distant desert horizon; hidden and invisible amongst the thick undergrowth of the Amazon jungle.
The trails of Peru offer endless trekking possibilities, and many ideal combinations for hikers of all levels of experience.
If willing to practice trekking in Peru you should consider these recommendations:
- Climbers and hikers should get information on the state of trails and the degree of difficulty of the climbing route.
- Bear in mind that local inhabitants have different notions of time and distance. The classic response "aquicito nomás" (just around the corner) can mean long hours of trekking up steep slopes.
- Do not pull up or cut live plants or light fires within highland forests.
- Do not move trail signposts.
- Do not hunt or fish during the dry season (trout fishing ban).
- Always inform local authorities, trekking or mountain climbing associations in the area of your entry into mountainous areas.
- Never go on climbs or treks unaccompanied.
- Always bring back litter. Leaving it on the mountainside can harm the fragile environment.
- Sunscreen is recommended, plus warm clothing. High altitude sickness known locally as soroche can set in at over 2,500 m.a.s.l. Take precautions by resting the first day, drink plenty of liquids and avoid heavy food and alcohol.
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