The best trekking routes in South America

mejores trekking de sudamerica

This post is also available in: Español

That the fever for trekking or hiking came in its day to stay is a reality. So much so that the roads and trails of our country seem to be falling short of the growing demand from tourists from countries such as Spain, Germany, and Italy, mainly, who, with their backpacks, are beginning to discover some of the best trekking South America offers.

Its landscapes, trails, culture… these routes are authentic natural wonders of countries like Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina or Ecuador. That is why today we show you the most incredible trekking routes in South America, some of the most known and spectacular paths.

Best trekking in Peru

Inca Trail Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail in Peru is the most popular route to Machu Picchu. It is a two-day excursion in which you can enjoy the Wiñaywayna Archaeological Zone and the Sun Gate, which are the entrance to the Inca citadel.

Although you can also do the Inca Trail in 4 days, and in which you can discover the city of Llactapata and the Pacaymayo valley. You will finish both tours with one of the most magical sunrises, the sunrise at Machu Picchu.

This is a route that can be done throughout the year, except in February. And it is of medium-high difficulty since the walks are long and there are many ascending and descending steps during its 45 kilometers .

Hiker Inca Trail Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay Trek is one of the best walks from Cuzco and one of the best trekking in South America. You will discover the snowy mountains, the Andean landscapes, the tropical forests and the jungle until you reach Machu Picchu.

It’s the perfect trek to get away from the world for 4 days! Although there is also the possibility of doing the Salkantay Trek in 5 days, which is the same route but with more calm, having one more day. It is a total of 70 km of walk, of a moderate to difficult difficulty and with a difference in the level of 5000 meters. So it is a route recommended only if you are used to doing trekking.

And if you also want to live a different and unique experience, you can do the Salkantay Trek Premium Igloo for 4 days and stay in a Skydome to watch the starry nights from glass igloos. Or the 5 days Salkantay Trek Premium Igloo, if you want to make the longest excursion!

Salkantay trek landscape

Inca Jungle Trek

If you like cycling as well as hiking, the Inka Jungle tour is one of the most original ways to get to Machu Picchu as it combines both sports. It runs between mountains, valleys and rivers for 4 days and you will be able to do other sports like rafting or zip line along the way.

And although the first part of the tour may be a little hard, the truth is that the level of difficulty is medium-low. So if you are starting out on the trek, this is your tour!

Inca Jungle Tour group of people

Best trekking in Colombia

Lost City Trek

The Lost City trek of Santa Teresa mixes hiking, nature and archaeology. You will discover the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada for 5 days and sleep in camps in the middle of the jungle – a unique and very special experience!

In total, there are 47 kilometres of round trip with a difference in the level of 2700 meters. This is a high-difficulty hike recommended only for the most physically prepared.

There is also the possibility of doing the Lost City Trek in 4 days, a slightly shorter option. It is perfect for those who do not want to miss the visit to Ciudad Perdida but in a faster way.

tourist in Lost city

Best trekking in Chile

W Trek Torres del Paine

Another of the best trekking in South America, besides being more impressive, is the W Trek in Torres del Paine. You can enjoy the incredible landscapes of Chilean Patagonia during 5 days and admire its colossal mountains, glaciers and all its fairytale forests.

There are 80 km and 3000 m of unevenness and the level of difficulty is medium during almost all the route, except for some more difficult areas that can be avoided. Moreover, if you do the Alternative Guided W Trek it will be easier since a guide will accompany you all the way.

Landscape Torres del Paine

O Trek Torres del Paine

The Torres del Paine O circuit is the most complete route to know the Torres del Paine National Park since it lasts 8 days. And although it may seem that it is the same as the previous route, there are some between the O and W circuits, one of them is that in this one you will be able to enjoy the northern area of the park.

The route is 130 km long with more than 6000 metres of difference in level, so the level of difficulty is medium-high. It is recommended that it is only done by travellers with mountain experience.


Best trekking in Argentina

Perito Moreno Minitrekking

The Perito Moreno Minitrekking is a tour of several hours in which the majesty of the Perito Moreno glacier is contemplated. You will be able to walk on it, see its cracks, lagoons and enjoy the Magellanic forest. Besides, walking on the footbridges you will be able to enjoy the spectacular view of the glacier from far away.

The tour lasts an hour and a half and is of a moderate level so that anyone over 10 years old and up to 65 can do it. Although we must not forget that it is a walk on ice, so the surface can be irregular in some sections and therefore dangerous. More exciting!

Minitrekking in Perito Moreno glacier

Big Ice Perito Moreno

Trekking in the Big Ice Perito Moreno has a higher level of complexity. You can walk around the impressive Perito Moreno for a whole day, getting into the heart of the Glacier to admire its incredible lagoons and caves.

Without a doubt, it is a unique sensation in the world. Although only accessible to people between 18 and 50 years old due to its high level of complexity. Don’t forget that you will be walking on top of a glacier!

Tour Big Ice Perito Moreno

Best trekking in Ecuador

Chimborazo Ascent

The Chimborazo Climb excursion is a two-day high-difficulty trek not suitable for beginners. It is one of the most impressive volcanoes on our planet and its summit is the closest point to the sun from the centre of the earth as well as being the highest mountain in Ecuador.

A guide will accompany you during the route in which you will reach two of the five summits, Veintimilla at 6227 m. and Whymper at 6263 m. It is recommended to be in good physical shape and be acclimatized to the altitude, as there is a difference in the level of 1400 meters.

Chimborazo Ecuador

Ascension Cotopaxi

The Cotopaxi Climbing Tour is another of the best high-difficulty trekkings in South America. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and the second-highest mountain in Ecuador.

You will reach a single peak at 5897m in two days, always accompanied by a guide to discovering the beautiful snow-capped volcano in the heart of the Cotopaxi National Park. Although your climb does not require previous experience in technical climbing and good physical shape.

Cotopaxi Ecuador

As we have already told you and you can see, you can find the best trekking routes in South America, which make the country a paradise for trekking lovers. And although we know that we have made your choice difficult… which of these excursions do you stay with? We like them all!


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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