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Hiking in South America

Find your hiking trail in South America

Hiking in South America is an adventure for outdoor enthusiasts around the world. The continent is famous for its diverse landscapes from ancient ruins and rainforests to rugged mountain terrains in the Andes. In Peru alone, you can experience jungle, mountains, desert, coast, and highlands.

Discover the the famous trails of Patagonia like the O-Circuit and W-trek or the historic routes in Peru like the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You can choose from a wide range of hiking trails in South America to enjoy the natural and cultural history of the continent. The trails vary in difficulty from easy day hikes to long-distance trails and even thru-hiking trails.

Best hiking trails in South America


Most popular hiking trails in Patagonia

Patagonia, stretching over Argentina and Chile, is famous for its dramatic landscapes. The region’s Torres del Paine National Park has the O-Circuit and W-Trek, both a perfect hiking experience in South America. The O-Circuit, covering approximately 110km, circles the Paine Massif and introduces you to the harsh conditions of the tough climate in the area while you hike from the ice fields to turquoise lakes, always looking at the iconic peaks of Torres del Paine. Typically taking about 8 to 10 days, this trek is suited for more experienced hikers.

In contrast, the W Trek presents a bit of a shorter hiking trail. Spanning around 70km over 4 to 5 days, it includes the Torres del Paine National Park highlights as the Base Torres, French Valley, and Grey Glacier. This trek is more popular among hikers as it is a bit easier than the O-Circuit, but still has the best views of the iconic landscape of Chile.

Peru’s Inca Trail and beyond

Peru is well known for the Inca Trail, a 42km path leading directly to Machu Picchu, one of the most famous trails in the world. You will hike along the best views of the rugged mountains and the rainforest, but the main attraction will be the sites of the ancient ruins you’ll pass. The Inca Trail is a beauty! Due to its popularity, it is recommended to book several months in advance.

Another great option for hiking in Peru, and an alternative route to Machu Picchu, is the Salkantay Trek. This 74km trail offers a less crowded path through diverse landscapes, including tropical rainforests on mountain trails, still passing through famous Inca ruins.

Exploring hiking in South America

Beyond the well-known hiking trails in Patagonia and Peru, South America has a wide range of hiking opportunities. From high-altitude treks in the Andes to scenic walks in national parks, the continent offers all kinds of trails. Hike the volcanos in Ecuador, thru-hike the greater Patagonia Trail along the continent, or explore numerous trails in Colombia and Brazil, showcasing the continent’s diversity. South America is a true adventure!

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