Adventure Sports

ANDINISM (Mountain Climbing in the ANDES)

This adventure sport is practiced specially in the Andes of the department of Ancash, located in the northwestern part of country. The peaks of the Peruvian Cordillera (mountain range) covered with perpetual snows rise at approximately 6,000 m.a.s.l. (19,685 feet), and there are still several that have never been scaled. 
Andinism is mostly practiced in the following regions in Peru:

Cordillera Blanca (go to Ancash)  (Tours in Ancash)
Located in the department of Ancash, the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountain Range) along with the Cordillera Negra (Black Mountain Range) form the Callejón de Huaylas, a high Andean valley with one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Peru. The Cordillera Blanca, considered the highest tropical mountain range in the world, is formed by 27 peaks at over 6,000 m.a.s.l. (19,685 feet), a perfect setting for mountain climbing. Expert local guides for safely climbing these high peaks are found in the city of Huaraz, the capital of the department. 
Also located in this region is Nevado Alpamayo, the most beautiful snow-capped mountain in the world, with a summit in the shape of a perfectly designed pyramid. The highest among the Cordillera Blanca peaks is Nevado Huascarán at 6,768 m.a.s.l. (22,204 feet), which is also the highest mountain in the country. 

Cordillera Vilcabamaba (go to Apurimac)
Located between the Urubamba and Apurímac rivers and extending 100 km. (62.14 miles), the Cordillera Vilcabamba, with its gorgeous scenery of high snow peaks of over 5,000 m.a.s.l. (16,404 feet). This is the perfect site for mountain climbers, who can scale up to the highest mountain in the range, Nevado Salkantay, at 6,271 m.a.s.l. (20,574 feet). 
Andinists climbing these various mountain peaks will find along the route several archeological sites of great beauty, such as, Vitcos, Rosaspata and Vilcabamba. 
The best season for mountain climbing in this region runs from April through October. 

Volcanes de Arequipa (go to Arequipa)  (Tours in Arequipa)
The volcanoes mastering the landscape of the department of Arequipa, located in the southwestern part of the country, are also an adventure site for mountain climbers. Generally, the dry season is the best time to scale these volcanoes which include, among others, the Misti at 5,825 m.a.s.l. (19,117 feet), Chachani at 6,075 m.a.s.l. (19,931 feet), and Ampato (6,310 m.a.s.l. (20,702 feet).

The basic equipment includes, a mountain tent, knapsack, double boots, extra socks, sun glasses, winter cap, dehydrated food, nylon ropes, pitons, mosquito net, feather sleeping bag, thick trousers and gloves. 


Running river rapids either in a kayak (one-man rubber boat) or in rafts (groups in rubber boats) is called canotaje in Peru, the most popular adventure sport in the country. 
The Urubamba river in Cusco, the Colca river in Arequipa, and the Cañete river in the town of Lunanhuaná, south of Lima, are common sites for canotaje. This sport can also be practiced all year round in the Lurín river in Cieneguilla, east of Lima, and in the Santa river in Huaraz, in the department of Ancash. 

Urubamba River (go to Cusco)  (Tours in Cusco)
This river flows along most part of the Sacred Valley of The Incas, but the splendid rapid circuits for kayaking and rafting start from the town of Wambutio to Pisac, Calca to Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo to Pisac. The best season for practicing this sport is from April through November. 

Santa River (go to Ancash)  (Tours in Ancash)
This is the river that divides the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra by flowing down the Callejón de Huaylas. Rapids are excellent for canotaje adventurers, mostly in the area between the towns of Anta and Caraz. The altitude in this region is 3,052 m.a.s.l. (10,013 feet). These rapids are Class II and III, and the best season to run them is between May and September. 

Colca River and Majes (go to Arequipa)  (Tours in Arequipa)
Canotaje in the Colca river is only recommended for experts and expeditions. However, when the river changes its name in the coast and turns into the Majes river, canotaje is feasible with rapids going from Class III through VI, the highest ranked corresponding to the Colca river. 

Cañete River (go to Lima)  (Tours in Lima)
The Cañete river, located at 137 km. (85. 2 miles) from Lima, runs through Lunahuaná (300 m.a.s.l./984 feet) the meeting site for canotaje enthusiasts. The climate in this region is dry and the rapids, which rank from Class II through IV, are easy to run. 

Trekking is an adventure sport that involves taking long walks through different trails and routes throughout the country. In Peru there are many places to do so and enjoy the beautiful landscape. 
The following are the best known circuits in the country:

Camino Inca (go to Cusco)  (Tours in Cusco)
Getting to Machu Picchu by hiking the Caminos del Inca is a dream for many adventure sportsmen/women. The three-day hike in which trekkers must climb 4,200 m.a.s.l. (13, 779.36 feet) starts in Qoriwuayrachina, at a short distance from the town of Chilca. 
There is a series of Inca buildings along the Caminos del Inca route. When trekking is done in groups and heavy equipment is needed to camp in Chilca, it is best to hire local escorts, who are route experts and very good in backpacking the equipment.
When trekkers reach the Puerta del Sol after the three-day walk and wonder at the view of Machu Picchu for the first time, they feel completely rewarded in their effort. 
The climate varies according to each region. The average temperature in the first part of the hike is 16ºC (59ºF), and in the low regions, 20ºC (68ºF).

Callejón de Huaylas (go to Ancash)  (Tours in Ancash)
The Cordillera Blanca has an impressive landscape in the midst of valleys and peaks. High mountain experts have designed specific circuits to get to the most important sites:
From Lake Llanganuco to Santa Cruz; from Carpa to Pachacoto; from Olleros to Chavín; from Quebrada Honda to Llanganuco; and from Quebrada Alta to Quebrada Honda. 
To hike at ease, the dry season is best and runs from April through November.

Cañón del Colca (go to Arequipa)  (Tours in Arequipa)
After crossing the vast Colca valley, the impressive Cañón del Colca (Colca Canyon) comes to view. Great ancient farming terraces (andenes) and archeological sites are also found in the area.. Trekking can be done in a day or more, according to the schedules of travelers, but they will always find gorgeous landscapes in their way. The area where the deepest part of the Cañón del Colca is located has an observation post, the Cruz del Cóndor (Condor Cross), to admire the flight of this great Andean bird.
The best trekking time is between May and September. 

Observing the environment has turned into a favorite pursuit for nature and animal lovers. These nature enthusiasts travel to places where they can observe and take pictures of the diverse plant and animal species in their natural habitat, while avoiding any damage to the ecosystem.

Manu (go to Madre de Dios)  (Tours in Madre de Dios)
The Manu National Park, located in the department of Madre de Dios, in the southeastern part of the country, is one of the most important natural resources in the world. It forms part of the Reserva de la Biósfera del Manu (Manu Biosphere Reserve), which includes the Zona Reservada (reserved area) and Zona Cultural (a free zone inhabited by different human groups and open for tourist activities). This reserve has an extension of 1'881,200 hectares and the biggest biological variety in the world, with more than 1,200 bird species, 4,000 types of plants and flowers, and several species of mammals. 
The climate is typically tropical, warm and humid, with an average of 28ºC (82.4º F). Rain is stronger from December through March, and occasional in other times of the year. 

Lago Titicaca (go to Puno)  (Tours in Puno)
Located in the department of Puno, in the south eastern part of the country, Lake Titicaca has a surface of 36,180 hectares. A series of birds and a variety of plants inhabit the isles and surroundings of the Titicaca, considered the highest navigable lake in the world. The lake waters house a variety of fishes and amphibians, many of which are unique species in the world. 

Paracas (go to Ica)  (Tours in Ica)
Marine birds and sea lions can easily be seen dwelling in the famous Islas Ballestas. The excursions depart from the Paracas Bay at 260 km. (162 miles) south from Lima, a great natural reserve that covers 335,000 hectares of coastal land and sea. 

Iquitos (go to Iquitos)  (Tours in Iquitos)
The Jungle is clearly one of the most attractive regions for Ecotourism. This is why most lodges in the area have designed a series of circuits to observe the variety of plants, flowers and enormous trees shaping the Peruvian Jungle. Visitors can also cruise the Amazon river, having the largest flow in the world. 

The granite belt that surrounds the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca is a perfect rock climbing site. There are other places, such as the district of La Molina, in the eastern part of the city of Lima, where rock climbing is also practiced. One thousand meters of scattered rocks of different sizes and forms are found in this area, the essential requisites to climb them being physical fitness and concentration. 

A ceaseless dream in the history of humankind has been to soar into the air to sense the liberty of birds and the fascination in the presence of nature. Now, all of this is possible by practicing parasail. 
The basic equipment includes the nylon "wings" and the seat or harness; also, a helmet, a pair of high boots and a thick overall to protect pilot from scratches. 
Sites to practice parasail in Lima are the beaches of Pucusana and Punta Negra, and the coastal districts of San Isidro and Magdalena, among others. In the Sierra, the Huaraz airport, and the open valleys and gorges are perfect sites. The Jungle, however, is still to be explored. 

Mountain biking calls for traveling through new routes, visiting different places, changing scenery, and being in direct contact with the environment, and the only key instrument to do so is just a bike. 
Bikers must follow all Traffic Law regulations, which include circulating on the right side of the street, driving at an adequate speed, drawing attention to maneuvers, obeying prohibitions and traffic signals, among others.

Cusco (go to Cusco)  (Tours in Cusco)
Mountain biking circuits have recently been opened in the department of Cusco, such as the Sacred Valley of the Incas circuit, which takes a day or two and starts in the village of Chincheros. The city of Cusco holds stores that offer complete mountain biking equipment.

Paracas (go to Ica)  (Tours in Ica)
The Paracas Bay, south of Lima, as well as being an excellent site for mountain biking, has also the archeological site museum, Julio C. Tello, and a sea lion observation (Mirador de Lobos), as places of interest.