The Andes

The Roof of Peru

The world could hardly offer a more spectacular natural stage for adventure sports, cultural discovery and archaeological exploration than the Peruvian Andes. Home to the world's highest tropical mountain (Huascarán) and the world's deepest canyon (Cotahuasi Canyon), this region spans diverse ecosystems, is studded with the remains of Pre-Columbian cultures and is populated by vibrant and hospitable people who carry on the traditions of their ancestors.

The "sierra", as the region is known, offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor adventure sports such as trekking, mountain climbing, river rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding, hang gliding, skiing, camping, fishing and horseback riding. While the sierra's most famous trek by far is the Inca Trail, an ancient Inca highway leading to Machu Picchu, the possibilities are endless. You could hike the high windswept plateau, along the edge of scenic canyons, through forested valleys or across rugged alpine landscapes. Mountain climbers of all abilities will find a challenge in Peru's numerous peaks, many of which surpass 19,500 feet. The Cordillera Blanca range, which includes Mt. Huascarán at 22,205 feet and beautifully pyramidal Mt. Alpamayo, offers superb mountain climbing as does the Huayhuash range. Other mountain ranges with excellent climbing include the volcanic range of Arequipa, the Vilcabamba range and the Vilcanota range. The Apurímac River Canyon and Cotahuasi River offer world-class river rafting through incredible landscapes and Lake Titicaca is a great place to kayak. Nearly the entire region is apt for mountain biking and there are routes which allow you to descend through distinct ecological tiers in just a few hours' time. Here you can ski down pristine glaciers and fish for trout in crystalline rivers and lakes.

Natural attractions abound in the Peruvian Andes, where vicuñas, pumas, spectacled bears, viscachas and deer still roam, condors and flamingos soar overhead and remarkable plants such as the Puya raimondii adorn the mountain slopes. Intriguing stone formations can be observed in the various stone forests and all across the country's rugged spine natural medicinal hot springs can be found, like those in Cajamarca where Emperor Atahualpa himself is said to have bathed.

To visit the sierra is to come face-to-face with ancient cultures and living traditions. Pre-Columbian ruins are scattered across the landscape and the Spanish left behind an impressive architectural legacy in the cities. Don't miss the temples of Koricancha, Chavín de Huántar and Kotosh, the fortresses of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo, or the ancient city of Wari. The prehistoric petroglyphs of Toro Muerto are fascinating, as are the burial sites of Las Ventanas de Otuzco and the Chullpas of Sillustani. Grand colonial churches, monasteries and mansions still stand in cities such as Arequipa, Cuzco and Ayacucho.

The people of the sierra, meanwhile, continue to work the land, raise animals, dress, speak, celebrate, cook, worship and weave in ways that have changed little over the centuries. Wherever you go they'll invite you to participate in their lively festivals and solemn rituals, savor their uniquely earthy cuisine, and experience the warmth of traditional Andean hospitality.

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Jirón Antonio Lobato 505, El Tambo, Huancayo, Junin, Peru
Review Score 8.0
The Hotel Acolla provides travelers with a comfortable and peaceful place to rest after a long day. Its affordable guest rooms come in...
from £24 per night
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Manzana D lote 4, Urb. Avitentel, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
On the banks of the Santa River, InterRoy Lodging is a backpacker hostel situated within walking distance of Huaraz's town square. The...
from £14 per night
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Jirón Cusco 215, Ayacucho, Peru
Review Score 7.0
Offering two-star accommodations along with fine dining in the heart of Ayacucho, Los Alamos' bright yellow building is easy to spot. ...
from £20 per night
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Pasaje Atahualpa 345, Cajamarca, Peru
Review Score 9.5
A beautiful old mansion in the heart of Cajamarca has been renovated, appointed with modern comforts and transformed into the El Cumbe...
from £26 per night
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Urbanización Avitentel Mz. D - 1, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
Review Score 7.0
Caroline Lodging is a family-run hostel within walking distance of central Huaraz and makes for a great starting point for exploring the...
from £6 per night
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Jirón Cesar Vallejo 384, Andahuaylas, Apurimac, Peru
Review Score 7.0
Housed in a modern multi-story building overlooking both the picturesque town center of Andahuaylas and the nearby mountains, the...
from £22 per night
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Calle Amauta 242, El Tambo, Huancayo, Junin, Peru
Los Jardines is a quiet and peaceful lodging located in Huancayo's El Tambo neighborhood. This family-run property offers guest rooms...
from £14 per night
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Pasaje Ucanan 232, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
Review Score 10.0
The Morales Guest House is a small bed and breakfast-like hotel in the Peruvian Andes. Owned and run by the knowledgeable and friendly...
from £23 per night
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Jirón La Mar 435, Cajamarca, Peru
Review Score 9.0
The Hostal El Mirador offers travelers comfortable accommodations in a charming traditional building of downtown Cajamarca. Its guest...
from £27 per night
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Jirón Grau 101, Ayacucho, Peru
Occupying a well-maintained three-story building in downtown Ayacucho, the Hotel Universo consists of 31 elegant and classically...
from £30 per night
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Prolongación Cusco 794, Huancayo, Junin, Peru
Review Score 8.0
The Casa de la Abuela Backpacker is a clean hostel with basic accommodations and a common kitchen. Guests can stay in private rooms with...
from £8 per night
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Jirón San Martin 873, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
Review Score 7.0
The Hotel Chavín Señorial offers comfortable and secure accommodations in the heart of Huaraz. All guest rooms come with a free...
from £24 per night
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Jirón Manco Cápac 485, Huancavelica, Peru
Review Score 7.0
The comfortable guest rooms and personalized service of the Hotel Ascensión ensure visitors an enjoyable stay in the city of...
from £17 per night
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Jirón José Gálvez 648, Cajamarca, Peru
HatunKay offers travelers the comfort of an apartment and the convenience of a hotel in a tranquil neighborhood of central Cajamarca....
from £39 per night
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Jirón Abancay s/n, San Pedro de Cachora, Apurimac, Peru
Review Score 6.0
An ideal starting point for treks to Choquequirao, Los Tres Balcones is a family-run hotel housed in a traditional two-story building...
from £33 per night
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Jirón Juan de la Cruz Romero 662, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
Established as a family business in 1991, the Virgen del Carmen Hotel offers basic but comfortable guest rooms appointed with private...
from £16 per night
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Jirón San Martin 1085, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
The El Tumi 2 hotel is family run for over twenty years and located in the heart of Huaraz, within walking distance of the town's...
from £16 per night
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Jirón 9 de Diciembre 257, Carhuaz, Huaraz, Peru
The Hostal El Abuelo offers tourists modern three-star accommodations in Carhuaz alongside a large garden planted with fruit trees,...
from £37 per night
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Jirón San Antonio 101, Independencia, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru
The Waullac Inn is perched on a hill in the outskirts of Huaraz, and offers enviable views of the town and surrounding valley. Guest...
from £17 per night
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Calle Real 1106, Huancayo, Junin, Peru
The six-story Galio Hotel is ideally located close to downtown Huancayo and at the same time with easy access to the city's beautiful...
from £26 per night
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This is a zero-star hotel.
Probably due to the type of accommodation, this hotel or vacation rental has not been evaluated by existing star rating systems. The stars for this property are therefore awarded by Pacarama based on its expertise and knowledge of the hotel market in Peru and Chile.
Prices are per night per room