Does the vision of starry night skies, snow-capped mountains, glacial lagoons, and views only high altitude trails can deliver get your heart racing? If so, keep reading. Both Cusco and Huaraz are laced with a variety of long treks to tackle, treks that promise all of the ingredients listed above…and then some. Below, we point you to Cusco and Huaraz’s best long treks.
Long Treks in Cusco
The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu
This 8-day Cusco-based trek introduces you to the sister sites of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu as well as the stunning scenes of the Apurimac Canyon and the Cordillera Vilcabamba. It’s the perfect Peru trek for those seeking adventure as much as archaeology. The nature’s not bad either, ranging from amazing rock formations to ice flutes and cloud forest.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great Peru trekking option, and not only as a back up for when the Inca Trail permits have been sold out. This 8-day route is trek-worthy in its own right, pairing breathtaking landscapes with heart-pumping passes and lesser-known Inca and colonial sites to explore along the way. It’s off-the-beaten-trail trekking at its best with a motivational final destination like Machu Picchu to keep you going.
The Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
The best known of Cusco’s treks, the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is a bucket list item for many. And for good reason. The 5-day journey begins at KM 82 in the Sacred Valley and ends at Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) inside the Machu Picchu ruins. It’s the only Peru trek that truly ends at Machu Picchu. The 5th day of the trek is a guided tour of the citadel, complete with tales and tidbits about the mystery and genius surrounding the famous Inca site.
Long Treks in Huaraz
The Full Huayhuash Trek
The Cordillera Huayhuash is the stuff of Peru trekking legend with its knife-edged peaks that scrape the heavens at 6,000 meters above sea level. In fact, the Cordillera Huayhuash is where you’ll find not one, but seven of Peru’s highest peaks. The Full Huayhuash Trek brings you face-to-face with the awesome beauty of this part of Peru over the course of 14 scenic days.
The Santa Cruz Trek
If 14 days is a bit too long of a long trek for you, consider the Santa Cruz Trek, a 6-day Peru trek that takes you through “Peruvian Switzerland.” Yes, that’s really the nickname this stretch of the Cordillera Blanca has been dubbed by those who have trekked it. The route takes you past towering peaks, like Huascaran, Alpamayo, Taulliraju, Huandoy, Chacraraj, and more. You’ll traverse glacier-carved canyons and follow paths once trodden during the pre-Columbian and Colonial era.