Some adventures are simply better in hiking boots 

From the iconic Inca Trail that’ll take you through lush rainforests on your way to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the rugged wilderness of Argentina’s Patagonia region, the landscapes in South America are every hiker’s dream. Let your feet do the exploring as you take in indigenous cultures and soaring scenery on a walking and trekking trip that’s bound to change your perspective on the natural world around you. Because let’s be real, Mother Nature knew exactly what she was doing in South America. 

Our South America walking & trekking tours

7 Days From 1920

Travel to Peru to discover Peru's ancient civilisation. Trek or train to Machu Picchu,...

15 Days From 4017

Visit the Sacred Land of the Inca and delight in Peru's culture with two weeks through...

8 Days From 2220

Travel to Peru and retrace the steps of the Inca. Follow traditions from Lima to Cusco,...

15 Days From 7417

Trek through Chile and Argentina on this 15-day tour and take in Laguna de Los Tres,...

15 Days From 11505

Embark on all the classic hikes of Patagonia – including the Torres del Paine base hike...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

10 Days From 6019

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia to experience the 'W' Trek in Torres del...

6 Days From 4535

Hike the W Trek in Chilean Patagonia and discover the wild beauty of Torres del Paine...

8 Days From 4729

A Patagonian hiking trip to remember – explore the diverse nature of South America with...

12 Days From 5880

Join an active 12-day expedition in Peru to hike the spectacular routes of the Great...

11 Days From 9195

Trek the O circuit in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, on this...

Highlights

A group of travellers walking along the Great Inca Road in Peru

Trek the Great Inca Road

If you want to see Peru in all its glory, you trek the Inca Trail, but if you want to get under the skin of this magnificent country, you trek the Great Inca Road. Never heard of it? We got you. Escape the crowds and put your feet to work on this epic 12-day trip, following ancient trade routes and stopping in at remote Inca outposts and fascinating archeological sites as you navigate your way through the breathtaking Andes. 

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An aerial view of the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu with a group of travellers walking in the foreground

Hike to Machu Picchu

It simply doesn’t get any better than the magnificent Inca Trail: an iconic trek straight to the ruins of an ancient civilisation. Cross ‘hiking to Machu Picchu’ off your bucket list as you spend days adventuring through the country’s heartland in the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site itself. Make sure your camera is fully charged; you'll want to remember this trip. 

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A group of travellers inspecting the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina

Wander the landscapes of Patagonia

Chances are you’ve never seen a region as mind-blowing as Patagonia; there’s the jagged peaks of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre mountain ranges, the dazzling icescape of Perito Moreno Glacier and some of the best hikes in all of South America. When we put it like that, how can an avid adventurer spend 8 days wandering its mesmerising landscapes and not fall in love? Answer: you can’t. 

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A group of travellers standing on top of a mountain in Patagonia, Chile

Explore Torres del Paine National Park

Get lost in Patagonia’s beauty with a six-day trek through the stunning Torres del Paine National Park. Walk past glacial lakes and marvel at soaring mountain peaks as you set your sights on a landscape of untouched wilderness. Yes, watch where you’re putting your feet, but remember to look up - this national park is also full of striking animals (read: flamingoes) and you don’t want to miss a thing. 

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South America walking & trekking tour reviews

South America walking & trekking FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

We have two main styles of walking & trekking trips:

  • Centre-based – on a centre-based trip, you'll be based in the centre of the action, meaning you can enjoy the comfort of the same room every day (as well as only unpacking once) and the best restaurants and attractions in the area. Think Chamonix in the French Alps, Dobbiaco in the Dolomites or a rustic hotel in Yosemite Valley. We'll pick the best walks and hikes available either directly from your accommodation or just a short bus or train ride away. To put it bluntly – you'll be fairly comfortable while experiencing the best trails going 'round.

  • Point-to-point – on a point-to-point trip, you'll start in A and finish in B. We'll walk from one place to the other pretty much every day. However, we do throw in a rest day every now and then depending on the region and the miles we need to cover. Point-to-point treks include the Inca Trail, Mount Everest Base Camp, Hadrian’s Wall and the Mont Blanc Circuit. In most cases, we'll transfer your main luggage across to the next destination, so all you need to carry is the essentials (water, sun protection, waterproofs, extra layers, snacks, etc.).

We include accommodation as per the itinerary, as well as transportation to and from trailheads and to all other included activities (note: we often use public transport to mingle with the locals and get a feel for local life). We also include all hiking permits, whether it's in the Himalayas or US National Parks. On top of that, we provide highly qualified, experienced and passionate local leaders to guide you throughout the trip.

Our trips span the gamut of active adventures from relatively easy, leisurely walks to multi-day treks in high mountains. But no matter what degree of difficulty or distance you choose, we recommend that you have a reasonable level of fitness to ensure you get the most out of your trip. Try to commit to some type of physical training program for a couple of before you depart.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Long walks: go on regular 3-6 hour walks wearing the boots you’re taking and carrying a small backpack to get comfortable with carrying your gear for long stretches
  • Aerobic exercise: running, distance cycling and other aerobic classes at gyms (like pump, spin, zumba and circuit classes) are good for boosting your fitness and stamina
  • Strength training: doing body weight training like pushups, squats, dips, lunges, etc. helps to build up your strength, which is needed for steady mountain climbs (bootcamp sessions are perfect for this type of training)

It depends on where you're going, what the weather will be like and how difficult the walk that you plan to do is. Generally, it's a good idea to ensure you have the following essentials:

  • Comfortable walking shoes (make sure they're broken in if you buy a new pair!)
  • Backpack/day bag
  • Leggings, shorts or hiking pants
  • T-shirts
  • A loose, long-sleeved shirt
  • Sweater or sweatshirt
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Retractable walking poles
  • Reusable water bottle

Read more about what to pack for a walking tour

We're committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Read more about travel in South America