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
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 travelers 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 travelers 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.
We have two main styles of walking & trekking trips:
Center-based – on a center-based trip, you'll be based in the center 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
- A loose, long-sleeved shirt
- Sweater or sweatshirt
- Retractable walking poles
- Reusable water bottle
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 travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them toward the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.