7 outdoor activities in Cusco that Bring you Closer to Nature
There is no better place in the world to get out and experience outdoor activities, adventure and otherworldly scenery than in Peru. If you don’t step foot in the mountains, on a trail or breath the fresh air during your time in Peru you didn’t really get the full experience! Check out Adventure Travel in Peru: the best outdoor tours.
The outdoor tours in Peru are highly recommended to get the most out of your stay in Peru while protecting yourself from COVID-19. Cusco is not only a sensational, gorgeous destination, but you can really escape the crowds by participating in hundreds of outdoor adventures in a private or in a semi-private tour. You may only see minimal to absolutely no other tourists outside of your group while on these adventure tours. If you are looking for destinations and tours with minimal to no COVID-19 risk, then this blog has you covered.
Do you want to explore the ancient wonders of Peru in a more intense, personal and private way? If you are looking for an alternative to a busy, overcrowded tour bus that takes you from site to site, check out these possibilities. Now more than ever, we recommend you stay away from the crowds and visit Peru´s attractions in a way that brings you closer to nature, the Peruvian culture and keeps you safe and healthy.
Previous experience is NOT required for any of the following activities – everyone is welcome! Enjoy active adventure tours in Peru.
Adventure Travel in Peru: the best outdoor tours
1. Get on the Water: kayaking in Cusco
Here, you can quit literally dive into nature. If you are tired of walking and would like to feel the calming waves of the river, you should book a kayaking tour in Cusco! Kayaking tours take you down the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you enjoy the beautiful views of the landscape. While paddling through the water, you will experience the birdlife around the water and be able to observe the local fishermen.
2. Take more than a photo with you: painting workshop in Cusco
Have you already taken pictures of every single church and ruin in Cusco? How about taking more than digital pictures home with you? This artistic activity allows you to take in the landscape of Peru from a different perspective. We are all so accustomed to viewing new places through the lens of our camera because we are more preoccupied about taking the best picture than just taking the time to look. Leave your camera at home and see these sites with your own eyes!
By taking this day trip up to the Sacsayhuaman ruins or into the Sacred Valley, you will have a great, relaxing day and learn about scenery painting while creating your own picture.
Contact Dos Manos Peru for questions
3. Go by foot: Hiking in Peru in the Andean Mountains
Trekking to Machu Picchu
Trekking is probably one of the most personal ways to explore another country. Instead of taking a bus or train with all the other tourists, trekking provides a less-crowded, more adventurous option to explore Machu Picchu. You will experience Peruvian nature and dive into its flora and fauna while getting closer each day to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World!
The most famous Peruvian Trek is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail links a range of stunningly preserved Inca ruins, while the scenery itself is breathtaking. If the Inca Trail is fully booked, as used to happen in pre-covid times, there are several great alternatives!
The Salkantay Trek starts in the Sacred Valley and continues along rivers and forests within the impressive range of the Peruvian Andes before you go down to the warmer and beautiful lowlands. The 5th and last day will be spent in the amazing Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. At the end of the day you take the train back to Cusco.
Check out the tour itinerary and prices for the Salkantay Trek (5 days)
Inca Jungle Trek
The Inca Jungle Trek also takes you from Cusco to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. You will experience the Peruvian landscapes by mountain bike on your first day and will then reach the city of Aguas Calientes walking through the Andean highlands and forests. River rafting is offered on the third day! On the last day of your trek, you will visit Machu Picchu and go back to Cusco by train at the end of the day.
4. Get on a Mountain Bike
A faster alternative to walking, while still experiencing nature first-hand, is mountain biking in Peru.
There are several options with different destinations (Ollantaytambo, Maras and Moray, Lares, Manu, Quillabamba) as well as different tour-lengths. Whether you feel like a day trip around the Cusco area or you want to go on a two day tour, there are lots of options to choose from.
Check out some mountain bike itineraries below:
The itinerary for the 1-day tour to Ollantaytambo
The itinerary for the 1-day bike tour to Maras and Moray
The itinerary for the 2-day biking tour to Manu
The itinerary for the 2-day bike tour to Lares
The itinerary for the 2-day bike tour Ollantaytambo
5. Let yourself be lifted up: Zip Lining In the Sacred Valley
If you have the urge to feel free and let go, the Sacred Valley Zip Line will give you a shot of adrenaline by letting you fly through the Sacred Valley! The tour is safe, fun, and designed for all ages. Zip-lining through the Sacred Valley will be an unforgettable experience as you observe the snow-capped mountains, natural green highlands, and vast fields from a unique perspective.
Here is more info about Zip-Lining in the Sacred Valley
6. Horseback Riding in Cusco
One way that is going to have you dive into Peruvian culture and nature is to travel on horseback! This outdoor activity is not only relaxing, but your four-legged travel companion will take you to the most important archaeological sites in the surrounding area of Cusco.
Starting from the hills above Cusco, you can explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman and the less frequently visited sites lying in the hills above the city in a half day tour. If you are more adventurous, you can take a full day tour on a horse and visit some sites a little further away from Cusco. We will pick you up and take you to the horse ranch in Pumamarca.
Your horse will take you on a guided tour to the Quillahuan ruin, the Lagoon of Inkatambo, the Temple of the Moon, Cusilluchayoc, Qenqo and Sacsayhuaman near Cusco.
7. Learn Spanish outdoors in Peru
Did you know there is even a possibility to learn Spanish in Peru while experiencing the outdoors?
Our partner AMAUTA Spanish School offers the exceptional opportunity to participate in an outdoor Spanish language program, in a picturesque town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your Spanish classes will be either in the morning or in the afternoon, leaving time to explore the Sacred Valley and to participate in activities.
Field trips to the beautiful salt mines in Maras and a visit to the villages of Moray and Ollantaytambo are included. These Spanish programs are located in beautiful areas with comfortable housing.
Contact our partner school AMAUTA or read more about the Spanish in the Sacred Valley.
If you make plans for your trip to Peru, don’t forget to include the Adventure Travel in Peru: the best outdoor tours.
Looking for more travel inspiration?
Check out section of Peru itineraries.