It’s not an exaggeration when we say that Peru is paradise for campers. This country has so much to offer to all adventurers, from its beautiful Pacific coast and Amazonian rainforests to Sechura desert and many breathtaking volcanic mountains. The best time to visit Peru is between May and September, especially if you’re looking to visit the Amazon. If this sounds interesting to you and your camping buddies, here are some of the spots you need to put on your radar.
Camping around Ausangate glacier is one of the most magical experiences you can imagine. The Apu Ausangate is the highest mountain in the Vilcanota Range, and even though its height of 6.392 masl sounds scary, you can easily spend a relaxing camping weekend there and throw in some light hiking.
El Misti is a picture-perfect volcano that rises over Arequipa, the second-largest city in the country. Even though this giant volcano is active, it hasn’t had a significant eruption for over 600 years, so you’ll be perfectly safe camping near. During your trek and camping experience, expect to run into many tourists, since many people who see El Misti from Arequipa choose to try to conquer it (few actually make it to the top). The climb up El Misti usually takes two days, so it’s a nice opportunity to hike and camp all in one.
If you’re in the mood for a short hike and camping trip, check out Humantay Lake. The trail to Humantay starts at the same spot as the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, but it’s much more accessible to beginners. Once you raise your tent at the lake, you’ll get to enjoy amazing views of the crystal clear water and snowy peaks that surround you.
This circuit trek is fairly long and demanding, but nothing a serious trekker and camper can’t endure. Huayhuash is remote and blessed with huge mountains, yet the number of visitors is still relatively low, so you’re guaranteed an intimate hiking and camping experience. Things do get cold while trekking and camping in Huayhuash mountains, so make sure to be well-prepared. The key to comfort is layers, so dress appropriately and you’ll enjoy the weather instead of dreading it. When talking about packing, it’s important to mention first aid. You never know what can befall you from blisters to bug bites and clothing malfunctions. However, if you know which first aid kit essentials to pack, you’ll be covered in all situations.
Of course, this is a must when in Peru. Many people think that hitting Machu Picchu is reserved for only the most experienced of campers and hikers, but this destination has a lot of accessible camping grounds perfect for all campers. You can actually choose from many types of camping trips, those that involve demanding hiking trips to those that concentrate on your lux glamping accommodation and relaxation. If possible, make sure to book a trip with a reputable agency and even though you’ll go through some heavy hiking, the food, accommodation and amazing views and stories will be all worth it.
If you want an extreme jungle camping trip, look no further than Pacaya Samiria. No matter if you’re looking for a weekend three-day camping trip or something more demanding like a ten-day expedition through the jungle, you won’t be disappointed. Expect to come face to face with jungle wildlife, primates being especially interesting for tourists. You can even make an excursion to suspended bridges and take a walk among the canopy.
A quick search online will instantly get you hooked on Santa Cruz trek. The blue lakes, the snowy mountaintops, the fresh air—it all looks so magical. This trek and camping trip is perfect for solo travelers, but make sure to be physically fit since the elevation is significant. Make also, since the weather is often wet and cold, having your own reliable tent is a great idea. You can catch a taxi to Vaqueria for very cheap and you’ll be right at the beginning of your trail.
If you’re a camper interested in some archeological work or exploration, don’t miss Choquequirao Ruins in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The closest you can get to the ruins by car is about 2 walking days away, so this is not a spot overrun by tourists. If you’re looking for a demanding yet fulfilling camping and trekking experience, pay this site a visit. A walk to the ruins and back will take you about 5 days, so you’ll get to experience everything at your own pace, including relaxing camping.
Playa de la Mina
If you’re more into sandy beaches than snowy mountains, Playa de la Mina is a perfect camping spot for you. Expect to wake up with the sound of the ocean and the smell of salty sea breeze every morning—very magical and refreshing. And don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, because the ocean is perfect for swimming and catching some sun.
Visiting Cusco is a great experience, but if you don’t like the hustle of the city and don’t want a firm roof over your head during your trip, you can hit the outskirts of the city and set up camp. Near the Sacsayhuaman walled Inca complex, you can find a designated campground that will serve as your home for a few days. From your camp, you can go exploring the site, visit various Cusco neighborhoods and have a fun low-key city stay.
Peru truly has something for every type of camper, from those who want to see amazing vistas and wild animals to those who want to stay closer to civilization. So, pack your backpack and get ready for a perfect outdoor adventure that will refresh both your body and mind.
Jack Kewell is a writer, science editor, naturalist, entrepreneur. He is focused on writing and illustrating books. Also, he is a regular contributor to Mountaintechblog