ACTIVITY & ADVENTURE PERU

Top 5 Adventures In Peru

Paragliding over Lima Top 5 peru adventures, Inca to Inuit

Peru’s diverse and vast terrain makes it one of the World’s best and varied adventure playgrounds. Often seen purely as a gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, few take the additional time to explore the abundance of thrilling adventures Peru has to offer.

Offering wave lined coasts, desert dunes, snow-capped peaks and amazonian jungle there is something for everyone in Peru.

If you’re looking tick some adventures off your bucket list in 2016 here are our top 5 adventures in Peru.

1. Paragliding Off The Green Cliffs Of Miraflores, Lima

Lyndsay Paragliding in Lima

Many travellers simply pass through Lima treating it as a stopover destination on route to the seemingly more adventurous destinations such as Cusco and Huaraz. Stick around for even a day and you’ll find a slice of adventure ready and waiting for you on the green cliff tops of Miraflores, Lima. The most popular neighbourhood in Lima, it’s undoubtedly the greenest part of the city and offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean along the beautiful Malecon Verde. If, like me, you want to kick start your Peruvian adventure with a rush of adrenaline and breathtaking views, opt for a quick but thrilling paragliding ride over the cliff tops.

Lima’s cliffs provide an excellent updraft to the wind coming from the west of the ocean, allowing paragliders to fly at around 700 ft high reaching highs of 1,500 ft. You’ll find the takeoff and landing site right by Love Park, near Larcomar (the glamorous shopping centre built into the cliffside). The takeoff point provides stunning views of both the city and the sea with little turbulence.

Rides can be booked via email or simply by turning up at the takeoff site. Expect to pay around $50 US dollars for a twenty minute tandem flight.

TIP: Got a Go-Pro? Bring it along with you. It can be attached to your helmet and will provide you with another camera angle to your flight. Companies normally provide you with a memory card of your flight from their own Go Pro which provides a face-on camera angle.

2. SURF THE WORLD’S LONGEST WAVE

Jake Surfing

If you’re planning on passing along Peru’s North coast either en route to Ecuador or South to Lima, be sure to stop off in Chicama, grab your wetsuit and be prepared to surf a wave you’ll never forget. Peurto Chicama is where hundreds of miles of desert meet the waves, with just towering cliffs separating the two. Puerto Chicama is little more than a surfing outpost with nothing much there apart from condos and a few basic hostels catering for surfers, but the wave is insane! Chicama is a point break that locals claim has been ridden from the point to the pier, a distance of 2.2 km.

You arrive on the cliffs and scramble down to the beach for the kilometre and a half walk to the point break. The point is the best part of the wave and consequently gets busy with surfers jostling for position, but the wave for almost the entire first kilometre is excellent. Chicama is only really worth surfing when there is good swell.

TIP: If the swell is poor head to Huanchaco instead where there is almost always good sized waves.

3. Get Lost In The Amazonian Jungle

Jake on boat

There are two access points to the Amazon in Peru. Iquitos, in Northern Peru, is normally the most popular entry point, however if you prefer getting off the tourist trail, head to Puerto Maldonado where you can access the Jungle amongst fewer tourists. If Cusco is on your Peruvian itinerary you can catch a short flight North East to Puerto Maldonado. Book one of the Ec0-Lodges dotted along rivers in the Amazon basin, where you can stay for 4 days in the heart of the Amazon. Most Eco-Lodges provide a jungle guide for 4 days where you and a small group will be guided in and around the Amazon Jungle, seeking out crocodiles, monkey’s, snakes and tarantula’s.

TIP: Be sure to buy 100% deet insect repellent in your home country ahead of your arrival in Peru. Mosquito’s are rife in the jungle and from our experience anything less than 100% won’t cut it. Just be sure not to spray it on your clothes as it can burn through some materials.

4. Sandboard Across The Peruvian Desert

jake Sandboarding

There is an abundance of spots to sandboard across Puru, with the main hot spot being Huacachina in the South West of Peru. Huacachina is little more than a village around a desert lagoon that has been built upon the tourist trade, but it has a big reputation. Huacachina is the undisputed Peruvian king of sandboarding. Each morning and late afternoon Huacachina is brought to life by a cacophony of noise that can only be described in biblical terms. It sounds like the world convention of Hell’s Angels has descended on this tiny oasis, but it is in fact dune buggies that carry boarders out into the desert in search of the perfect dune.

The buggies are amazing open engined machines that look like they are straight from the set of Mad Max. These 5-plus litre beasts are modified for the desert and are an absolutely blast to go for a ride in.

Sandboarding trips can be booked from all hostels and hotels and cost around 30 PEN (£6) for two hours boarding. For this, you’ll get a buggy, board, board wax and an epic time!

TIP: If you can surf or snowboard already or have already sandboarded in the past, it’s worth either hiring a snowboard from your hostel or asking your driver for a newer board with good velcro straps.

5. GET LOST IN THE ANDES

Jake at top of Santa Cruz

Embraced by the Cordillera Mountains and its 722 individual glaciers, Huaraz sits at a mere 3,500 meters above sea level in contrast to the 33 surrounding peaks which surpass 5,500 meters. It’s easy to see why even die-hard fans of the Himalaya’s concede the extraordinary beauty of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. The combination and variation of glacial wilderness, verdant mountainsides, translucent turquoise lakes and hidden waterfalls make it one of the Andes’ most stunning ranges (and also one of the world’s best-kept secrets!).  Unlike the Inca Trail which we had to book up to 7 months in advance along with thousand’s others, walkers only share the Santa Cruz hike with a handful of other groups, with no need to book ahead of arriving in Peru. The Santa Cruz trek stretches around a long valley sprinkled with ultramarine lakes, enclosed by sheer walls of granite that are sculpted by thousands of feet of flowing waterfalls.

If you have 4 days to spare whilst in Peru we cannot recommend the Santa Cruz hike enough. Having now done both the Inca trail and Santa Cruz trek we would definitely recommend the Santa Cruz over the Inca Trail as there are no crowds to contend with and the camp sites are more picturesque.

TIP: The Santa Cruz trek will take you to a very high altitude, the trek peaks at 4,750 meters above sea level so be sure to take in a couple of warm up hikes to acclimatise before you embark on the trail.

Planning a trip to Peru?  or perhaps you’ve already been? We’d love to hear about your plans or recommendations.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Hosting Deutschland
    19th July 2016 at 7:10 am

    G Adventures runs a number of departures in Peru encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here .

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