Peru Adventure Travel – Peru’s diverse geographical landscape of mountains, rivers, forests, and deserts creates some excellent opportunities to embark on adventure tours in the country. Of course, treks are the most intense experience, but day-long biking, horseback riding, and water rafting tours are also among the options.
A very popular option is the trek to Machu Picchu. This includes the classic Inca Trail, which can be done in 1 to 4 days, or alternate routes such as Salkantay or Lares, and the less well-known Vilcabamba and Choquequirao. The Inca Trail requires a permit and travelers must plan well in advance as these are limited to 500 a day and sell out quickly. In addition, there are treks in the Andes that don’t go to Machu Picchu, including Ausangate, Vilcabamba, and others. Finally, there is an increasingly popular multisport tour of the Sacred Valley that includes Machu Picchu. This 4 day and 3 nights tour involves mountain biking from Cusco to Santa Maria of the first day; hiking on the second and third day, first from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa, and then from Patallacta to Aguas Calientes; and a tour of Machu Picchu on the final day.
If trekking or camping is not your thing, many other adventure tours exist for travelers looking for something that can be done in a day. In the Sacred Valley, there is a full day biking tour to Maras and Moray. The tour begins in Chincheros (1.5 hours by car from Cusco), continues along a mountain track past the Huaypo Lagoon to the Moray, where travelers can see the agricultural terraces. From here, the tour continues to Maras, location of the Inca salt mines. Closer to Cusco, there is a half-day tour of Sacsayhuaman and the surrounding ruins.
Horseback riding is another option for adventure tours. In the Sacred Valley, tours go along the Urubamba River, ascend to the altiplano, and reward equestrians with vistas of the eternally snow-capped Chicon, Veronica, and Salkantay. This town also passes through the town of Maras and Moray. Back in Cusco, a horseback riding tour takes riders through Andean landscapes that include farms, Andean villages, and Inca ruins.
River rafting is a possibility in the Sacred Valley and in Arequipa. On the Urubamba River, class II and III rapids offer a friendly introduction to the sport suitable for all levels of ability. Tours usually end at “El Resbaladero,” a strong class III rapid with whirlpools. On the Chili River 40 minutes from Arequipa, rafters will find class III and IV rapids along a 5 mile (8 km) stretch that goes from Charcani to Carmen Alto amid beautiful scenery.