Peru Mountains

Peru's mountains offer you an incredible getaway, and some outdoor bragging rights. Next to the Himalayas, the Andes are the highest mountain chain on Earth. They run down the center of Peru and form four separate mountain ranges, or 'cordilleras,' which are known as the Blanca, Negra, Oriental, and Central. If you're looking to hit the trail and explore the outdoors, then you couldn't ask for a better destination.

Cusco Peru

Southern Highlands

As well as the Inca Trail — and the increasingly popular alternative, the Salkantay trek — there are countless other hikes to tackle from Cusco. You can continue your Incan exploration with a journey to the ruins of Choquequirao or follow the Ausangate trek through green pastures, glaciers, and a collection of otherworldly rainbow-striped mountains.

Closer to Cusco, you'll find Inca ruins and mountain vistas from Saqsayhuaman in the city itself and from Plaza San Cristobal. For accessible mountains, rich culture, and a little travel luxury, Cusco cannot be beaten.

Aguas Calientes Peru
Aguas Calientes

Southern Highlands

Machu Picchu can be accessed a number of ways from the town of Aguas Calientes, including by road, horseback, and by foot through the forest. There are also a number of nearby peaks — such as Putukusi — that you can summit for a birds-eye view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aguas Calientes is as close to the action as you can get.

Many other trails and mountain viewpoints surround Aguas Calientes, and there are waterfalls and hot springs to enjoy here too. Come for Machu Picchu and stay to discover the secrets spots this small riverside town has to offer.

Chivay Peru

High Plains

From Chivay, you can reach a number of spectacular viewpoints carved out of the mountains to afford views of the deep canyon. And, for a totally different perspective, you can take a hike down into the canyon. For those who want to stay away from the edge, fantastic views can be had from inside the town's cafes, too!

Chivay is also the perfect place to learn more about how life has thrived in these steep valleys for centuries. The steep agricultural terraces near Chivay that are still in use today actually pre-date the Inca.

Huaraz Peru

Central Highlands

After a few days acclimatizing in the city, you won't find it hard to organize a trek into the mountains. Top trekking guides are abundant in Huaraz and offer all kinds of guided trips. There are 25 official trekking routes in neighboring Huascaran National Park alone. Take a day hike to the teal-hued Laguna 69 or organize a multi-day voyage deep into the Cordillera Huayhuash in the southern Cordillera Blanca.

Whether you tackle multiple mountain peaks or take just one afternoon out to find one of the many glacial lakes that dot the mountains, you'll always be rewarded with spectacular views in Huaraz.