If you’re someone who enjoys putting on hiking boots and carrying a backpack but desires a more secluded destination, there are numerous awe-inspiring hikes throughout South and Central America that are worth considering. Peru offers trekking holidays that include visits to Inca sites like Choquequirao, ancient civilizations such as Kuelap, or the stunningly remote traditional communities of the Apu Ausangate. As an enthusiast of exploring on foot and appreciating a slower pace, I can gladly provide recommendations for alternative routes that are ideal for avid walkers. And if you prefer a bit more comfort, I can suggest some exquisite mountain lodges along quieter paths to Machu Picchu, such as the Lares or Salkantay trails.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which is the most famous trek in South America, has become highly regulated and restricted in terms of the number of permits due to its enduring popularity. Despite the challenges it presents, this four-day trek is incredibly beautiful and attracts numerous people along its path. However, the daily number of hikers allowed on the trail is now strictly limited.
Chapada Diamantina National Park
Chapada Diamantina National Park, located west of Brazil’s Salvador de Bahia, offers a truly breathtaking landscape that is perfect for trekking. With its lush table-top mountains, cascading waterfalls, underground lakes, and caves, it provides an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts. Another incredible option is to visit Glaciers National Park in the rugged wilderness of southern Patagonia. You can spend a few days in El Chalten, where a knowledgeable hiking guide will lead you through remote glacial valleys towards the majestic Mt Fitzroy. Alternatively, you can explore the W circuit in Torres del Paine National Park across the border in Chile. This region offers stunning scenery and ample opportunities for trekking adventures. Moreover, you have the unique chance to combine your trekking experience with a wildlife encounter by tracking the elusive puma, one of South America’s most enigmatic wild cats.
Avenue of the Volcanoes
Continuing northward into Ecuador, you’ll find yourself in the awe-inspiring peaks of the ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes.’ We can recommend a fantastic new trekking program in this region, allowing you to conquer some of the more challenging peaks in this small but stunning country. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to stay in delightful, locally operated haciendas and lodges, immersing yourself in the local charm. To add a touch of relaxation, you can also embark on a leisurely journey aboard the newly reopened train line between Quito and Guayaquil on the coast, enjoying the scenic beauty of Ecuador.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of combining iconic rail journeys with exploring on foot, you can venture northward to Mexico. After a captivating train ride through the Copper Canyon, you can disembark and trek along pathways that delve deep into the canyon, leading you to remote settlements inhabited by the native Tarahumara Indians.
The possibilities for active adventures are endless, and it’s essential to not only discover an excellent list of options but also ensure that all the little details of your journey are meticulously planned and executed flawlessly.