#5 best hiking region in the world is the …

Central Andes

Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia

Hiking holidays in Peru are hot right now. More popular than ever. Political stability since the leader of the Shining Path terrorist group was captured in 1992 resulted in a booming tourist industry.

The second highest mountain range on Earth is fantastic. Broad valleys and endless vistas. You are always above the tree line. Arid desert to the west, Amazon jungle to the east.

Our contributors have hiked most of the major treks in Peru the past few years. The peaks, glaciers and canyons are outrageous. Everyone is thrilled with the Andes.

Unfortunately, management of treks is atrocious, the Peruvian government seemingly bent on ruining their fantastic tourist draw. Do your homework before booking a flight to Lima. Or sign on with a trekking company with which you have had a strong, recent recommendation.

Ruminahui in Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

The weather in the Andes can be deadly, of course, but sometimes you get weeks of sunny blue skies, especially in the Cordillera Blanca out of Huaraz, Peru. The best weather for the high peaks out of Huaraz (the best jumping off point for hikers in the Central Andes) is the drier “Andean summer”: May-Sept.

In fact, there are good hikes somewhere in this region year round.

More information on our new Central Andes information page.

Our favourite hike in the Central Andes is the little known Ausangate Circuit in Peru, our #4 best hike in the world. Quite a few trekkers have decided on Ausangate (instead of the over-hyped Inca Trail) based on our recommendation. And all have been happy with that decision.

See our Ausangate Circuit Information page.

The best guidebook for the Central Andes, by far, is Lonely Planet:

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Central Andes

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Central Andes

Note that Bolivia is not nearly as popular as it should be due to lack of infrastructure for tourism, security concerns and political instability. Honestly, unless you know the language and culture well, it’s better to hike Peru. Or much neglected Ecuador.

2 Replies to “#5 best hiking region in the world is the …”

  1. You should be careful who you call a terrorist group, considering that the United States Government spreads more terror around the world than any other group or country. Especially if you want to travel to Latin America perhaps you should do some research on the poverty and suffering the United States has inflicted upon these people. I strongly support anyone who stands up and fights for their rights. Who fights for basic human dignity which the United States is happy deny people so that they can have control of natural resources in the region. John Pilger’s doco war on democracy provides a good overview.

  2. @rhett, as a peruvian, I find your comment outrageous and insulting. The shining path IS a terrorist group. They follow a marxist-leninist-maoist communist ideology, that has killed thousands of peruvians (mainly poor peasants in the Andes) trying to takeover democracy and install a pol pot style regime. The US has not inflicted any suffering to Peru or its people. Get your facts right before posting comments.

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