Peru’s mystical landscapes continue to captivate travelers from across the globe drawn in by the ancient architecture intertwined with the nation’s fascinating history. However, beyond the culturally enriching landscapes are excursions that provide a less cerebral experience, and more of a physically demanding yet exciting vacation! Thrilling encounters await in every new city you step into. If you’re eager to experience this rich nation in the most action-packed ways possible, be sure to add these four adventures to your bucket list for a luxury vacation to Peru that leaves you eager to return!
1. Explore Paradise On Earth At Huascarán National Park
There is an indescribable sense of wonder felt while walking through the lush mountains of Huascarán National Park, designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985 by UNESCO. At the highest peak, the slopes reach a staggering 6,768 meters above sea level (that’s over 22,000 feet), standing taller than any other tropical mountain range on Earth. Here, you will feel like you’re floating amongst the clouds while you hike the treacherous landscapes.
For an intense mountaineering trip, take on the challenge of a steep rock climbing adventure, spanning across multiple days, some of which are spent just acclimatizing to the altitude. The ascent is not technically difficult, but it does present challenges such as crossing large cracks in the rock. Ratings for climbing Huascarán range from difficult to extremely difficult depending on the route you choose, so while the mountain does require some skill, there is still a way to customize your trip to your needs.
Bikepacking is also an option of travel here, for those who love to spend time in the great outdoors, but prefer to do it on two wheels. Loved by bikers across the world, the Huscarán Circuit takes travelers across two of the most dramatic passes in the world, up the steep cliff sides, and through peaceful valleys many Quechua people call home. Exploring Huascarán National Park is worth including if you are passionate about witnessing natural beauty in all shapes and sizes. Simply put, Huascarán is literally paradise on Earth. If you’re seeking a luxury vacation to Peru that’s full of adventure in a peaceful environment, don’t miss out on opportunities like this one!
2. Get Unbelievable Views Of Machu Picchu From This Secret ountain
If you are looking for a more difficult hiking trek that pays off with postcard views of Machu Picchu, then allow us to introduce Huayna Picchu Mountain. Ancient, imposing cliff sides await you, as the mountain rises into the clouds as you look up from the base. The hike itself is suitable for any traveler who doesn’t mind a steep incline. There are few technically challenging issues that present themselves, but the slope does rise at an intense angle that leaves many people breathless. However, once you summit the peak, unique views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding area reveal themselves.
While you’re in the area, look into the nearby paragliding tours that take flight and see Cusco and the Sacred Valley from a bird’s eye view. Most travelers will be led by professional guides who love and know the region well enough to give you the best experience possible. As gusts of wind sweep you into the sky, the mountains surrounding the valley underneath you start to grow smaller as you soar above the clouds. Your luxury vacation can include outdoor excursions around Peru’s most iconic locations, whether you want to trek up the Inca Trail or prefer first class seats on a train to the mountaintop. Our team of travel experts will help find your perfect balance of relaxation to heart-pounding thrills, so by the time you arrive in the historic city you can thoroughly enjoy every single moment!
3. Discover These Secret Gems Within The Sacred Valley
After you descend from Machu Picchu, take the time to explore the world below with all that the city of Cusco has to offer! Explore the splendor of the Sacred Valley, take a trip to rainbow mountain, and more! Taking a step off the beaten path allows you to experience Peru in a more personal way, and the city of Cusco is a gateway to some wonderful, lesser known experiences for the willing adventurer.
In the heart of Cusco there is a single mountain that looms over the city which not only offers stunning hiking trails, but ancient alluring legends. Ausangate has been a notable feat of exploration since 1950, when Piero Ghiglione made a historic ascent to the highest peak before any of the modern roads or trails were carved out. Today, the ascent is frequented by willing hikers who enjoy a less treacherous, but still challenging five-day trek to the top. As you weave through the trails, colorful mountains, awe-striking cliffs, and charming alpaca families provide a delightful combination of sights to enjoy along the way. Named after an Inca legend telling the story of two brothers venturing out beyond Cusco, Ausangate provides you the opportunity to claim victory over one of the most difficult treks in Peru, while also feeling connected to the ancient civilizations that once wondered what secrets lay beyond the mountain.
Speed through the Sacred Valley on an epic off-roading ATV tour. This is not an average four-wheeling road trip, here you will face steep hills and treacherous terrain, but that’s what makes it especially thrilling. Kick up the dust in the road as you speed across the terrain and embrace the sense of freedom that comes with operating your own vehicle. One perk of these ATV tours is that you will get to see some beautiful attractions in addition to your drive, such as the Maras Salt Mines or Moray Archeological Site.
Remember those colorful mountains from the Ausangate trek? Get up close and personal by visiting Vinicunca, located to the southeast of Cusco. This hidden gem gained enormous popularity within the last decade after modern mountaineers became enamored with the fascinating phenomena that causes the multi-colored appearance. It has since become a viral location across various social media platforms, so be sure to capture a few photos after your journey to the site! Be warned, though, the mountain presents a difficult uphill battle as you ascend the peak. While it may not be the best trek to bring kids to, it certainly is an exciting and breathtaking challenge for anyone who’s willing to face the giant!
4. Sail The Wild Rapids Of This Peruvian Waterway
The beautiful waters flowing from through central Peru are a stunning sight to behold. But don’t be fooled, the waters of the Urubamba River can provide some exhilarating sailing opportunities for the brave traveler. Heart pounding adventures await at this unbeatable river rafting excursion through these treacherous waters.
Sailing the Urubamba River is a thrilling fight against the rapids that leaves everyone on the boat laughing and cheering. Winding its way across the Andes and the jungle, Urubamba’s waters are fast and fierce, making it a perfect candidate for white water rafting. There are several locations to set sail from, so don’t worry about your experience navigating rapids. Tours designed for beginners and families are available, but if you want a greater challenge, you can choose a part of the river that has some more stomach-turning drops.
5. Climb To The Highest Treetops And Walk On The Wild Side Of The Rainforest
For an equally as exciting journey on dry land, climb up to the treetops in the Amazon for a stunning canopy walk. Seeing the rainforest from up above provides you an amazing perspective to take in all the unique wildlife that populates this lush environment. Plus, the swinging bridges and suspended walkways make this accessible adventure feel like an exhilarating walk in the sky.
Hidden near the Napo River one hundred miles from Iquitos are the Explorama Lodges which serve as a multipurpose destination, featuring luxury accommodations and immersive activities such as the canopy walk. The idea comes from biologists who began studying the wildlife of the treetops by climbing trees, using hot air balloons, and crafting makeshift platforms in the 1970’s. Several decades later, Explorama developed their canopies to provide anyone interested in Amazonian biology with a safe way to reach the top of the forest.
Fourteen platforms connected by a series of tree-top suspension bridges make up the world’s longest canopy walkway at 500 meters (or 2,640 feet)! A thin netting surrounds every bridge to keep you safely enclosed while observing species such as lizards, birds, and local flora.
6. Surf’s Up On The Sandy Desert Dunes Of Huacachina
Let your hair flow through the wind as you race down the steep slopes of sand in the dunes of the Huacachina Desert! Sandboarding and dune buggy tours are one of Peru’s most unique adventures, and one of the most popular thrill-seeking excursions in all of South America! All ages are welcome to join along for the ride, with professional drivers escorting you through the ups and downs of the desert. Dune buggy rides are only the first part of this adventure, but driving to your destination will never be quite this fun. Hard turns, steep drops, and high speeds all await you on the journey through the desert.
Then, after the most exciting (and bumpy) drive of a lifetime, spend the day sandboarding. This adventure is exactly what it sounds like: snowboarding but in much drier climates. Huacachina’s slopes are massive, the largest in all of South America! Mechanically, sandboarding looks just like the snowy counterpart, however you will reach incredibly fast speeds due to the incline of dune as well as the construction of the board. Go head first on your stomach, or show off your athletic skills by hopping up on two feet and shredding the sandy waves.
A luxury vacation to Peru should never be boring. For the traveler that wants to experience all the thrills of hiking through the Andes, touring the jungle, or racing through the desert – there are truly endless adventures for every kind of adrenaline rush. As you plan your dream vacation with a Kuoda travel expert, be sure to include a few of these bucket-list adventures for the trip of a lifetime!
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