TREKKING in South America: routes and tips for your trip

From Argentina to Peru, Colombia to Chile, and Brazil to the Equator, South America truly is an immense El Dorado for any fans of travelling and adventure. Get lost in the Amazonian jungle. Scale the highest peaks of the Andes Cordillera. Set up camp in Patagonia.

One thing is for sure: Exploring this incredibly diverse continent won't leave you disappointed. Set out on a hike to the world's edge!

5 ideas for hiking in South America

Argentina: independent high-altitude hike around the Fitz Roy

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: medium
> Recommended period: November-February
> Average duration: 2 to 3 days
> Total distance:35 km
> Total elevation gain: 1,110 D+

Here in the Andes Cordillera, the Fitz Roy is a great training trek for hikers wanting to take on Everest. Whilst climbing this peak, which rises to an altitude of 3,405 metres, is reserved for professional mountain climbers, it is possible to enjoy other circuits in the Los Glaciares National Park.

The starting point for this hike is found in El Chalten, a destination highly favoured by hikers and backpackers in South America. During this very easy loop circuit, you'll discover the incredible Lago de Los Tres, and its stunning emerald-blue colour. Welcome to the world's edge!


Colombia: hiking circuit for discovering the Lost City

> Environment: jungle, mountain, river
> Difficulty: medium
> Recommended period: December to April
> Average time:4 to 5 days
> Total distance: 47 km
> Total elevation gain: 1,950 D+ and 2,250 D-

The Ciudad Perdida hike (or Lost City) will lead you straight to the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta jungle, discovering the remains of an ancient pre-Colombian city. Take on the 1,253 steps and you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable panoramic view of the jungle and the ruins of this ancient city.

Ciudad Perdida is a hugely popular hike lasting 4 to 6 days, offering total immersion in the middle of the Colombian jungle. A real adventure surrounded by wild nature which does require some preparation and the compulsory company of a local guide.

colombia hike ciudad perdida

Bolivia: climbing Nevado Chachacomani

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: advanced
> Recommended period: May to September
> Average duration: 4 days
> Elevation gain:5,750 D+

Starting in the little village of Cruz Pampa, this hike will take you up the slopes to the one of the towering peaks of the Andes, totalling a staggering altitude of over 6,000 metres. You'll spend the night camped out in a bivouac, at the base of Nevado Chachacomani. In the early hours, well before dawn, you'll cross over towards the glacier to begin the final stages of the hike.

This hike is extremely challenging in technical terms, but does reward you with a breathtaking view over the Andes Cordillera, giving you an awe-inspiring impression of the immensity of the environment, leaving you feeling like you're truly at the world's edge. A truly inspiring sight, which is well worth the effort to get there. Please note, this hike is only suited to hikers with significant experience in high-altitude mountaineering. It is essential to use the services of a guide.

Peru: on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu

> Environment: jungle, mountain, river
> Difficulty: easy to medium
> Recommended time of year: March to May
> Average time: 4 to 5 days
> Total distance: 40 km
> Total elevation gain: 2,836 D+

Picture this: Deep, luscious green valleys in the heart of the Andes Cordillera, and mist-shrouded peaks revealing themselves as and when the clouds allow. The Inca trail is a must-do hike in South America, and especially when in Peru. It's pretty much the adventure of a lifetime for many backpackers.

As much as it is a tourist favourite, this 5-day hike does require you to be in very good physical shape, with at least minimal preparation. Set out with lightweight equipment, and adapt your rhythm to the weather conditions and altitude. At the end of the trail, the eternal Inca citadel will finally reveal itself.

hiking route machu picchu

Guatemala: climbing the Acatenango volcano

> Environment: volcano, mountain, forest
> Difficulty: difficult
> Suggested season: November to March
> Average duration:2 days
> Total distance: 15 km
> Total elevation gain: 1,726 D+

Climbing the Acatenango volcano, with an impressive altitude of 3,970 metres, is a must-have on any to-do lit when travelling in Guatemala. This high-altitude hike is popular for its incredible views over Fuego, a volcano which has been erupting almost regularly for several years now. Generally, this hike covers 2 or 3 days, starting in Antigua with one night in a bivouac, and an overnight ascension of the peak. The conditions and elevation gain make this a challenging hike.

Hiking in Guatemala

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