Bucket List: Peru

Peru (and the Central Andes)

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Sylvia and our guide on the Santa Cruz Trek

Region: South America/Andes

Logistical Difficulty:  Moderately HIGH (for Peru; Bolivia/Ecuador is High)

Hiking Difficulty: HIGH

Degree of Risk: Moderately High

Estimated time required (including travel and logistics): Two weeks

Brian and Sylvia have already completed three major treks in Sylvia’s native Peru; we also tried our hand at the 19,000 foot volcano Misti. We have at least two more major treks planned here. Peru is relatively easy for us because of Sylvia’s local connections and our relative experience travelling in the Andes.

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The ‘Rainbow Mountains’ are part of the Ausungate Trek A.A.T. Peru is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

Why Hike Here?

  • Outstanding high alpine hiking
  • This is the closest you can get to really BIG (20,000 ft) mountains outside of Central Asia
  • Unique cultural treasures of Peru
  • Perhaps you have heard of this place?
  • Sylvia’s connections in Peru, and her fluency in Spanish
  • We already have some experience hiking in the Andes
  • Peru is relatively inexpensive
  • You can hire guides, cooks, mules, drivers at low cost
  • Weather generally favorable during ‘Andean Summer’
  • Hiking generally not difficult apart from the altitude

But First Consider…

  • Altitude is a major factor here
  • Most hikes hit fifteen thousand feet or more
  • Treks located in very remote areas
  • Some safety concerns here, though most Peruvian Treks are safe
  • Travel in this area is long and laborious
  • Bolivia (especially) and Ecuador have very poorly developed tourist infrastructure
  • Not exactly wilderness; expect to see farmers, livestock, and lots of manure
  • Tenting and pooping outdoors is mandatory on many hikes. You can have someone carry and set up a tent for you; we haven’t heard of any service that will poop for you

Hikes that we HAVE done:

We tried this one but didn’t finish:

Hikes we still want to do:

  • Ausungate (Pronounced Ah-sun-gah-tay)
  • Alpamayo

We’re still not sure if we want to try this one:

  • Huayhuash (warning: This is an extreme challenge!)