Adventure-lovers will find the Andes to be ideal for trekking, camping and mountain-climbing. The highlands are riddled with more than 15,000 lakes, snow-capped peaks soaring over 6,000 meters, the world's deepest canyons, bucolic valleys and picturesque villages. The entire Andean chain offers wonderful opportunities for whitewater rafting, superb trails for mountain biking and gusting winds for fans of hang-gliding and paragliding.
The beaches of Paracas (south of Lima) and along the north coast are ideal for sports such as surfing, windsurfing, sandboarding, fishing and scuba diving. There is also good fishing to be had in the Amazon jungle, where birdwatchers will also have a field day gazing at the different species found there. Whether basking in the noonday sun or watching the star-studded night skies, Peru is the ideal place to enjoy a unique and unforgettable stay.
Mountain climbing in the Andes only took off in Peru in the early 1930’s thanks to the pioneering European expeditions that launched the great Andean travel adventure in search of new climbing challenges.
Since 1932 expeditions led by Austrian climbers Borchers, Schneider and Kinzl have reached such destinations throughout the country, including the most southern summit of Mount Huascarán (6,768 meters above sea level) which is Peru's highest peak. The Peruvian Andes provide an incomparable spot for mountaineering and make Peru a special attraction for those in love with the South American mountains or those who are anxious to discover a new unknown. There are many reasons why climbing here are so attractive. Namely this is due to a unique concentration of mountains and relatively few mountain climbers, mild weather almost all year-long, and relatively easy access to sites that are nevertheless cut off from hectic city life. It is an ideal combination that makes Peru one of the most attractive destinations for mountaineers worldwide.
Although few people are aware of this fact, it was in ancient Peru, and not in Polynesia or the South Sea Islands, that the first evidence was found of men riding the waves with the help of external aids, as found on textiles and pottery dating back to pre-Hispanic civilizations.
This art, believed to date back at least 2,000 years in Peru, is still practiced by fishermen in northern fishing villages such as Huanchaco, Santa Rosa and Pimentel. It is here where fishermen venture out onto the waves on totora reed rafts during their daily fishing trips.
The Maui surfboard made its debut on the Peruvian coast in 1942. Since then, surfing has gathered enough fans to become one of the most widely practiced sports around. The waves off the Peruvian coast are well known all over the world. Some of the best breakers such as Punta Rocas (south of Lima) or Cabo Blanco (to the north) are part of the surfing world championship circuit.
Peru has ideal beaches that will satisfy the most demanding surfer all year round. The central coast features constant waves during winter (April to September), while the north coast sees heavy seas (or "crecidas") between October and March. At the same time, as there are only 12 000 surfers in Peru, compared to 700 000 in Brazil for example, one can always find empty beaches and perfect waves in Peru. All surfers have to do, is choose their favourite point and hit the waves.
Peru features more than a dozen rivers that are more than 600 km long. The five largest rivers alone total 7,000 km within the country of Peru.
Polish adventurer Yurek Majcherzyck and his friends introduced rafting into Peru, and after several attempts, managed to paddle down the thundering Colca River and its 300 rapids in the heart of Arequipa. Ever since then, a group of Peruvian rafting enthusiasts have made major efforts to open up new routes around the country.
The sport depends on rubber rafts which are powered by paddles and generally steered by the helmsman through the foaming rapids.
Internationally, rapids are qualified on a scale of I to VI according to the degree of difficulty (Class VI rapids are impossible to run, and portage is necessary). If you are new to the sport, it is best to check out their degree in order to be most safe.
Mountain biking is the fastest-growing sport in the country. Thousands of bikers head out on their bicycles throughout the year and head down canyons and up trails all over the country.So get on your bike, open yourself up to a new adventure and try some mountain biking in Peru.
Most all around the country (with the exception of the coastal desert and the Amazon plain), is apt for mountain biking. However this greatly depends on the degree of difficulty and logistical needs. Circuits are divided into three categories: