Discovering the South American continent on foot is a journey of a lifetime. From the Peruvian Andes where ancient Inca trails lead to some of the most mystical monuments in the world, to the remote corners of Patagonia with its hidden fjords, floating glaciers, and golden pampas, this is adventurers’ dreamland. Enjoy our curated choice of top ten hikes in South America, handcrafted for active travelers of different aptitudes and aspirations, visiting the continent for the first or the fifteenth time.
Top 10 Hikes in South America, in a List
Discover roaring glaciers, imposing peaks, and serene lakes as you traverse the majestic Argentinian Patagonia on this classic one-week hiking adventure. Marvel at the spectacular landmarks of nature’s power at the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Hike under ice-capped peaks like the Fitz Roy Massif and the magical Cerro Torre over Laguna Torre. Relax in picturesque villages like El Chalten and encounter local wildlife at Los Huemules Reserve, home of the endangered huemul deer.
From the Pampas grasslands to the fabled Cape Horn, journey by sea and land to discover Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia in one go.
Loop around the far end of the continent on this 13-day adventure that couples hiking in two national parks with a cruise around remote islets and fjords. Explore Chile’s Torres del Paine and Argentina’s Los Glaciares, then find the spot where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans kiss to meet some Magellanic penguins.
Patagonia’s staggering beauty shines through in this 14-day itinerary that winds across two famous national parks in the region’s opposite corners. In Chile’s Torres del Paine, conquer the iconic 40-mile W circuit by hiking beneath gray granite peaks and blue-tinted glaciers.
In Argentina’s Los Glaciares, come close to the sky-high Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy mountains, and face the grand Perito Moreno Glacier. Wrap it up with some city buzz and tango moves in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s bustling capital.
Head off the beaten trail to discover the land of volcanoes, forests, and lakes, Chile’s dazzling La Araucania region. On this 9-day journey, hike in the national parks of Villarrica and Huerquehue, and the private nature reserve of El Cañi, home to dinosaur-era araucaria (monkey-puzzle) forests.
Across volcanic landscapes, admire imposing volcanoes like Quetrupillan and Lanin, cross lava flows, find pristine lagoons and dip in hot springs. Staying in MTS camps along the way, enjoy full immersion in the beauty of Chile’s Lake District.
An ultimate adventure for seasoned trekkers, this 12-day itinerary ventures deep into the wilderness of northern Patagonia. Hike by dreamy plains, impressive glaciers, and turquoise lakes in Patagonia National Park, then circle the base of the region’s second highest peak, San Lorenzo.
En route, take in the local way of life while passing abandoned gaucho huts and then joining in for a barbecue. With adventures like thrilling river crossings that include rope systems and harnesses, this is one of the most unique programs.
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On this week-long escapade, conquer the 40 miles of the famous W circuit and learn why National Geographic dubbed Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park as one of the most spectacular places in the world.
Gape at the three magnificent granite peaks that lend the park its name; hike through the astounding French valley admiring sky-soaring peaks of the Paine horns, and take a boat to get up close to the striking Grey Glacier in the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.
Soar to incredible heights in South America’s Himalayan counterpart. With 27 peaks over 19,000 feet, Peru’s Cordillera Blanca (the White Mountain Range) graces many a bucket list.
On this challenging 13-day trek, you will hike on pre-Incan trails, conquer seven mountain passes and camp at over 14,000 feet, all the while surrounded by sky-high peaks like the pyramidal Alpamayo and the 22,204′ Mount Huascarán.
Trek in the footsteps of the Incas on this 10-day adventure that loops to and from the UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Cusco. Marvel at the Peruvian Andes as you take the less traveled Salkantay Trail, an ancient footpath that abounds with dreamy vistas of snowcapped mountains and tropical rainforests.
Enjoy insights into local living, from a traditional Pachamanca-style lunch to visiting a coffee plantation. Crowning the journey is the mystical Machu Picchu; will have a full day to explore this numinous lost city. Staying in luxurious lodges along the way warrants a good night’s rest between experiences.
One of the world’s most famous and rewarding treks is the iconic Inca Trail experience in the Peruvian Andes. Through otherworldly landscapes of mountains and lush jungles, on mythical Inca footpaths, you reach one of the world’s most intriguing archaeological sites, the sung-about Machu Picchu.
With daily hikes ranging from seven to nine hours and altitudes over 12,000′, this challenging 9-day experience – carefully crafted to avoid crowds and deliver the most remarkable views – rewards every ounce of effort lavishly.
Delve deep into the ancient wonders and cultural highlights of Peru on this 8-day journey. Ponder the fascinating era of the Incas in the ancient capital of Cusco and at sites like the terraced Moray, the monumental fortress at Ollantaytambo, and the famous citadel of Machu Picchu.
Enjoy a range of immersive experiences, from tasting uchucuta hot sauce, visiting the Maras salt pans, and dining at haciendas to staying in atmospheric hotels and lodges.
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