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Adventure and Sports Destinations of Peru

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Adventure and Sports Destinations of Peru

 

Do you know that Peru is an excellent setting for adventure and extreme sports?

Terribly diverse - such is Peru!

Its geography proves it!

 

It stretches from the warm great desert shores of the Pacific through the imposing Andean mountain range to the lush jungle of the Amazon. These scenes invite you to experience all kinds of extreme sports, where you can practice climbing in the Andes, sandboarding on coastal sand dunes, do river rafting, or trekking on the Inca Trail.

From surfing the longest waves in the world to walking through the Andes passing towns with living traditions, Peru is the ideal place for adventure sports. Over 12,000 lagoons, hundreds of snowy peaks exceeding 6,000 meters of altitude, and the deepest canyons on the planet are also part of this adrenaline-charged option.

 

What Adventures and Outdoor Sports Can You do in Peru:

Mountaineering, trekking, walking, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sandboarding, sand-tubular-buggy riding, paragliding, hang gliding, bungee jumping, canopy, zip-line, deep-sea fishing, and ATV.

 

All of these can be practiced in one of the best settings in the world!

 

In Peru, one can change scenery between the coast, mountains, and the jungle at a short distance.

 

PERUVIAN MOUNTAINS

 

Mountaineering and Snowsports of Peru

The Andes Mountain Range is, after the Himalayas, the highest on the planet. Its part is the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain chain in the world and the Peruvian capital of mountaineering. There is located the Huascaran National Park with the highest peaks of Huascarán (6,768 metres), Huandoy (6,395 metres), and Alpamayo (5,947 metres) plus 663 glaciers. The park offers good accessibility, adequate climate, and proximity to towns where can be found Tour Guide, Porter, and rescue services. So this reason, it is a favourite place for European climbers.

 

In general, the Peruvian Andes offer mountains of a high, medium, and low technical difficulty to climb as well as the opportunity to make first ascents and open new routes.

 

Peruvian Mountains:

  • The Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash situated in the department of Ancash
  • Vilcanota and Vilcabamba located in the Cusco Department
  • Carabaya located in the department of Puno
  • Chila placed in the Arequipa Department
  • La Viuda situated near Lima
  • Pariacaca located in the department of Junín

Mountaineering finds an incomparable setting in the Peruvian Andes. For this reason, Peru represents a true magnet for lovers of mountain climbing in America.

 

There are many reasons: a unique concentration of mountains (therefore, no crowds of climbers); a mild climate for most of the year; and relatively easy access to locations, however totally isolated from the urban bustle. A unique combination that makes Peru one of the most attractive mountaineering destinations on the planet!

 

Walking, Hiking, and Trekking in Peru

Peru is a true paradise for walkers. Basically, the entire Andes, including valleys and plateaus, is home to trekking circuits with a greater or lesser degree of difficulty. However, only some of them have been 'discovered' for business. The rest remains unexplored awaiting anyone who wishes to travel the magical roads of the Peruvian Andes having an extraordinary network of pre-Columbian trails, over 12,000 lagoons, the deepest canyons on Earth, glaciers, snow-capped peaks, forests, waterfalls, beautiful villages, and, above all, the most hospitable people you can imagine. Some of the treks are so steep that they get lost in abysses that take your breath away. Or, they are zigzagging like gigantic snakes moving through the mountain ranges. Others are flat and so long that they seem to be lost in the vastness of the desert. Also, there are hidden and imperceptible treks entering the thick vegetation of the Amazon Rainforest.

 

The most outstanding destinations are the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the mountain range of the Cordillera Blanca, the Huayhuash Mountains, the Llama Trek Olleros - Chavín, the route of Colca Canyon and its valley. In the Cusco Region, the most famous routes are the trek to Ausangate, the Salkantay route, the trail to Choquequirao, the route to the Mountain of 7 Colours, and the Lares Trek.

 

Peru and Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is the fastest growing adventure sport in the country. The biggest highlights of touring Peru by bicycle are a chance of getting to know some ancient Inca and pre-Inca routes, archaeological sites, picturesque towns as well as passing through diverse ecological floors in a few hours. There are places like Olleros, located only 70 km far away south of the capital of Lima, where a 3,600-metre descent begins.

 

In Cusco, there are some travel agencies specialized in adventure tourism offering various routes leading from the city towards the nearby archaeological sites. Near ​​Moray (the circular Inca platforms), there is another very interesting route passing through the salt mines of Salineras de Maras descending to the Sacred Valley of the Incas (also called the Urubamba River Valley). A whole pedal adventure has also been designed to take bikers through the Andahuaylillas area towards the Sacred Valley and some of its traditional towns.

 

The immensity of the Colca Valley exceeds the depths of its canyon (4,160 metres). The impressively wide and green valley is surrounded by high mountains where condors nest and reign. The Colca Valley shows diverse attractions, for instance, its agricultural terraces, hot springs, traditional towns, and beautiful churches. Great natural scenery offers various circuits for adventure sports such as mountain biking. Some biking tours depart from the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve or from Patapampa (another national reserve) and then lead down to Chivay, a town serving as the entrance to the valley. From there, cyclist groups can travel following various trails enjoying the traditions of each town on the way, such as Yanque and Cabanaconde.

 

Canoeing and rafting

Peru has more than a dozen rivers exceeding 600 km in length. Only the 5 longest rivers total about 7,000 km of travel within Peru. The rivers cross land on the coast, mountains, and jungle, and the water force of some rivers allows practicing canoeing or rafting, a sport of pure adrenaline. Rapids are internationally classified on a scale from I to VI according to their difficulty. The best-known rivers for canoeing in Peru are Apurímac (class II and V), Cotahuasi (class V), and Tambopata (class III and IV). This sport is practiced on inflatable rafts or rafts propelled by rowing and generally steered from the stern, through the turbulent waters of the rivers.

 

On various rivers of a lower degree of difficulty, where canoeing or rafting is also practiced, kayaking can be done as well. Especially, on peaceful lagoons that can be found in various regions accross

the country. There, it is usually possible to rent boats.

 

Surfing in Peru

Peruvian beaches are known by experts for being the best in the world for wave riding since waves are permanent all year round. There can be found small, large, long, and tubular waves, high peaks, bells, and a large number of breakers very close to each other. The central coast has permanent waves during the winter (April to September), while the north coast offers its famous "floods" between the months of October and March.

 

The best beaches are: Cabo Blanco, Lobitos, Chicama (with the longest waves in the world!), beaches south of Lima, Huanchaco, Pacasmayo and Los Órganos.

 

There are proofs found on various pre-Hispanic cultures textiles and pottery attesting that ancient Peru was the first place of men riding on the waves using a reed fiber rafts! This over 2000 year practice keeps being used by fishermen from the northern coves of Huanchaco, Santa Rosa, and Pimentel, in the departments of La Libertad and Lambayeque, who enter the sea to fish on „caballitos de totora“ (short reed fiber rafts).

 

PERUVIAN BEACHES

 

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

The Paracas Bay (Ica) and Mancora (Piura) offer the best wind to practice these two intense sports. Both places are important tourist destinations having adequate hotel infrastructure and services as well as rental equipment and instructors.

 

From April to November, the beaches of Mancora with winds of 30 knots or more turn into true vertigo tracks. Tres Cruces or Lobitos has regular and strong wind. El Golf has beach break waves. La Laguna (2 km north of the surf point of Mancora), which is almost next to the sea, is ideal for jumping. Its landscape is beautiful and the sunset there unforgettable.

 

In the Bay of Paracas (south of Lima), the winds are reliable (up to 10 knots), the sea is shallow and the weather is pleasant - sunny all year round. With side winds towards the shore, a return to the starting point is assured. The U-shape of the place ensures that in case of a mishap the participant is always dragged close to the coast.

 

Sandboarding and Buggies

Gliding the sandboard downhill on the great sand dunes is an adventure sport widespread in several departments of Peru. Sandboarding started in Ica, then it spread from there to Nazca, which Cerro Blanco (2,078 m.a.s.l.) is the highest dune in the world, according to experts.

 

In many desert areas of the Peruvian coast, dunes are used to practice sandboarding, such as in Sarapampa (Lima), Camaná (Arequipa), and Acarí (Arequipa), where is placed the second highest dune in the world (2,068 m.a.s.l.).

 

Sandboarding styles for sliding have been almost copied from snowboarding techniques. It means, slalom (zigzagging of flags), boardercross (competition with obstacles between 2 or more participants), slopestyle (maneuvers with style on rails and ramps) and big air (giant jumps on a ramp).

 

The equipment consists of a board (sandboard) with grip on the feet, helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, special lenses for sand, and resistant to falls. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and to follow the advice of specialists companies, which rent boards, or travel agencies that operate adventure sports.

 

Due to the number of dunes and its slopes, Ica is a suitable area for sandboarding. The place around the Huacachina Oasis is the busiest place to do the sport.

 

 

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