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15 Must Do Multi Day Hikes in South America

South America is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world, and what better way to experience them than by embarking on a multi-day hike? With its diverse geography and stunning scenery, the continent offers a plethora of hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience and interests. Whether you're seeking a challenging adventure through rugged mountains or a leisurely stroll through lush rainforests, South America has it all. Many of these hikes can be done guided or self guided, and also fully supported or self supported backpacking style. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best hikes the continent has to offer.

1. Ausangate + Rainbow Mountain Circuit- Cusco, Peru

Season: April - October

Distance: 43 + miles (70 km)

Length: 4-6 days

An overlooked gem in the Peruvian Andes. This trek is often overshadowed by the Inca Trails & Salkantay Trek that lead to Machu Picchu, but don't be fooled, this high altitude trek wont be a secret for long. You will be sucking for air on the 17,000ft passes but save some energy for snapping world class landscapes photos on your camera. The full circuit links on the famous Rainbow Mountain, hotsprings, falling glaciers, roaming alpacas and high Andean culture. Our version of this trek has exclusive campsites and the longer 4 & 6 Day options have some nights in our private rustic mountain huts. Learn More...

Tip - make sure to account for the high altitude on this trek, as the passes sitting at 17,000ft (5181m) above sea level can lead to attitude sickness if not properly prepared for. Allow your body to acclimate by spending 2-3 days in and around Cusco City or Machu Picchu prior to trekking.

2. W trek - Torres del Paine, Chile

Season: October - April

Distance: 50 miles (80 km)

Length: 5 days

Accommodations: Camping or Refugios (Mountain Huts)

This iconic hike is still a bucket list adventure, and should be on every hikers list. There is a fabulous hut to hut trekking system in the park that offers a comfortable stay at the base of the high granite peaks that make up Torres del Paine National Park, or if you prefer to camp there are options for that, everything requires pre-bookings. Be on the lookout for Pumas, guanacos and condors that call this Chilean park home. Also get prepared to see the bluest lakes, unique spiring peaks, sweeping glaciers and patagonian winds!  Learn More...

3. Huemul Circuit- El Chalten, Argentina

Season: October - April

Distance: 36 miles (57km)

Length: 5 days

Are you considering a few different multi day treks in the Patagonia region? Perhaps the W trek, or the O circuit in the famous Torres del Paine? Well if you are looking for similar beauty without the crowds the Huemul Circuit in Los Glaciares National Park is an off the beaten path gem. Still off the tourist radar, this diverse and challenging trek offers mountain passes, ancient forests, views of the Patagonian Icefield, iconic peaks, glacial lakes and a zipline crossing over the Tunel River. The trail starts and ends in the quaint mountain town of El Chalten, Argentina famous for the Fitz Roy mountain range.

4. Classic Plus trek (Fitz Roy Loop)-  El Chalten, Argentina

Season: October - April

Distance: 21 miles (33km)

Length: 2-3 days

A true stunner that captures all of the must see sites within the Fitz Roy range. On this 2-3 day loop hike that begins and ends in the quaint South American trekking mecca of El Chalten town. You will get to see Laguna de los Tres at the base of Fitz Roy peak, the iconic Cerro Torre and Lago Torre with the amazing floating glaciers and vistas that postcards are made of. Learn More....

Tip: For those looking for a bit more tack on the Madsen Mountain summit for some of the most unreal panoramic views to be seen.

5. Lost City Trek - Minca, Colombia

Season: December - March

Distance: 28 miles (46km)

Length: 5 days

Take a step back in time on the Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City Trek) to the ruins of Teyuna. An ancient city that lies deep in the Colombian cloud forest jungle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is only accessible via trekking. This trek is not for the beginner as it is quite challenging, and you will be roughing it as there are no true established accommodations, thus have you sleeping in hammocks or tents on most nights. Highlights include visiting the local indigenous villages such as Mutanyi, swimming in remote waterfalls, seeing native jungle animals, archeological sites, and breathtaking beauty. Starting and ending points are typically via the town of Santa Marta near the beautiful Tayrona Coast. Learn more...

6. Valley Of The Volcanoes Trek, Ecuador

Season: June - September

Distance: 60+ miles (110+ km)

Length: 8 days

This stunner is generally done in Lodge to lodge fashion, which makes it a great option for those who are beginner as well as seasoned trekkers. Hop from village to village and pass the most stunning collection of volcanoes to be seen. Follow historical trails and dive deep into the Andean cultures while witnessing the iconic Cotopaxi Mountain, Quilotoa Crater, the impressive Cayambe and Chimborazo volcanos, and the most ecologically diverse rainforest near the town of Banos home to the second tallest waterfall in Ecuador Pailon del Diablo. Travelers arrive in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, situated high in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of over 2,800 meters. The city is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, rich cultural heritage, and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

7. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park Trek - Lençóis, Brazil

Season: May - August

Distance: 27 miles (43 km)

Length: 5-6 days

Explore the one of a kind landscape in Brazil’s most treasured National Park Lençóis Maranhenses. This 6 day adventure takes you to a stunning natural landscape rippled with sand dunes mixed with hundreds of turquoise freshwater lagoons. Quite unique among the many trips which dissect the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, this trip will have you not only exploring some of the most irresistible and scenic highlights of Lençóis on foot but will also include an overnight stop in the heart of the park itself, a rare treat indeed. Covering 27 miles over three blissful days of walking, you will immerse deeply into both the natural and cultural wonders of this impossibly pristine landscape, taking the time to enjoy the company of its communities while staying in private homes along the way. Throughout, all physical effort will be more than rewarded with numerous opportunities to indulge in the crystalline waters and turquoise lagoons which this National Park is famed for, the perfect antidote for any weary legs!

Visit between May and August to witness the desert lagoons in full splendor, as the rainy season has just ended.  From September on, most of the lagoons are typically dried up. Tours can be booked here via the custom trip link.

8. Summiting Huayna Potosi- LaPaz, Bolivia

Season: April to September

Distance: Mountaineering

Length: 3 days

Want to summit a 19,000ft + mountain? Well Huayna Potosi in Bolivia offers up a beginner level climb that can be accomplished by most first time climbers with no prior experience, some go as far as saying it is the easiest 6000m (19,000ft +) mountain in the world. Acclimation is necessary to be successful, so it is recommended to spend a few days in the city of LaPaz or surrounding regions prior to taking on the summit climb. A guided trip will outfit you with all the necessary gear, a guide and accommodation in the refugios at both the basecamp on night 1 and the highcamp on night 2. 

9. Chapada Diamantina National Park Trek - Brazil

Season: March - October

Distance:  43 Miles (70km)

Length: 4 days

Brimming with unimaginable beauty, otherworldly underground pools and cutting canyons of ancient trees and great cliff edges, Chapada Diamantina National Park is the ultimate destination for all manner of hiking routes, just a few hours’ drive from Salvador. During this four-day trek, we will enter into an Eden of crystalline streams, blue lagoons hidden deep within prehistoric caves and hilltop lookout points which will have you transfixed on the blockbuster landscape below. Be sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes, as over 43 Miles (70km) of blissful trails and rocky climbs will be conquered as you dissect this vibrant area of wildlife and biodiversity. As if bathing in mineral-rich, hidden lakes and gazing across tabletop mountains like a scene from the latest fantasy film were not enough, then enjoying the hospitality of friendly locals while you stay in their private homes will surely round off a hiking trip to truly remember!

10. El Cocuy National Park Trek - El Cocuy, Colombia

Season: December - March

Distance: 34 miles (54 km)

Length: 3 days

Explore the often overlooked El Cocuy National Park on this 3 day hike in the snow capped peaks of Colombia. Full of majestic lagoons, explore one of the most spectacular and remote hiking regions in South America. This region is still widely used and inhabited by indigenous communities, and they consider the park to be sacred so be sure to respect the land. The three days of hiking starts with a trek through the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountain range  visiting Ritacuba Blanco Glacier, Laguna Grande and Pan de Azucar rock formation. Overnight in the local Hacienda La Esperanza to round out your time in the park.

11. Huayhuash Trek - Huaraz, Peru

Season: April - October

Distance: 74 miles (120 km)

Length: 8-11 days

This lengthy trek is often touted as having the best alpine scenery in the world, making it easily one of the most sought after multi day treks in the world. Its remoteness leaves its trails relatively light in traffic, and it is over 8 hours by bus from the nearest international airport, Lima. The long distances, high altitudes and numerous mountain passes through the Cordillera Blanca Range make this trek a challenge, but those who are fit enough to make it through will be rewarded with the greatest of memories. The range is famous for Siula Grande mountain that sits at over 20,000ft and was  the location of the famous mountaineering movie "Touching the Void." For those who are looking for some added challenge you can add on an extra day to summit Diablo Mundo. Learn More....

12. Santa Cruz Trek - Huaraz, Peru

Season: April - October

Distance: 31 miles (50 km)

Length: 4 days

Lying in a region still relatively untouched by modern day tourism, Huaraz still holds its charm and is a well known destination for mountaineers, climbers, and trekkers around the world. Films such as “Touching the Void” took place here as well as the iconic Paramount pictures mountain logo, is a profile from one of the peaks you will see on this 4 day hike. From the start of the trek to the mountain pass at Punta Union Pass the vegetation and landscape change greatly, making for a very diverse hike from start to finish. You will feel small as the snow and glacier capped peaks tower over you at every turn. Learn More...

Tip: If you have some extra energy don't miss the worthwhile effort to reach Lake Arhuaycocha a side trip from the main trail.

13. Colca Canyon Trek (Llahuar route) - Arequipa, Peru

Season: October - April

Distance: 20 miles (32 km)

Length: 3 days

Visit an oasis at the bottom of one of the deepest canyons on earth, with natural hot springs to soak your tired legs as the sun sets. This demanding hike takes you on an alternate route as you descend the canyon 4,000ft to Llahuar “Lodge”  (basic cabins) on night one. The next day has you traversing over to the Oasis at Sangalle before you ascend back out of the canyon on a grueling trudge back up 4,000ft! We recommend this extended version over the 2 day in and out version that is much more popular. Learn more...

14. The Quilotoa Loop Trek - Ecuador

Season: May - September

Distance: 23 miles (37 km)

Length: 3 - 5 days

The Central Highlands of Ecuador is home to the Quilotoa Loop Trek. This trek is popular as it can be done in different lengths and at the pace the trekker wishes. Traditionally it is done over the course of 3 to 5 day as you trek from village to village in the high Andean hills that are loaded with rivers, valleys, vast countryside, volcanos, the famous crater lake - Quilotoa, small Quechua communities, alpacas, dynamic landscapes and quaint accommodations.

15. The Condoriri Trek - LaPaz, Bolivia

Season: April - October

Distance: 23 Miles (38km)

Length: 3 - 5 days

The Cordillera Real dominates the backdrop to the bustling city of LaPaz. This mountain range stretches nearly 120km across Bolivia and is full of glacial lagoons, snow capped peaks reaching heights over 20,000ft (6,000m). High altitude trekking requires proper acclimation so spend a few days in or around LaPaz prior to trekking, many people opt to spend some days at the beautiful Lake Titicaca. 

The final spot goes to: The Roraima Trek - Venezuela

Season: The Roraima Trek can be hiked year-round, but the best time to visit is from December to March, during the dry season. The rainy season, which lasts from April to November, can make the trail muddy and slippery, and may result in frequent rain showers.

Distance: The Roraima Trek covers a distance of approximately 35-40 miles (56-64 km), depending on the specific route taken.

Length: The Roraima Trek typically takes around 6-8 days to complete, depending on the pace and itinerary of the hiker. Some tour companies may offer shorter or longer itineraries, but 6-8 days is the average duration.

The Roraima Trek is a popular hiking route in Venezuela, known for its unique natural features and breathtaking landscapes. Roraima is a mountain that sits on the border between Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil and is considered one of the oldest geological formations on the planet.

This challenging hike covers a distance of approximately 35-40 miles (56-64 km), depending on the specific route taken. The trek typically takes around 6-8 days to complete, depending on the pace and itinerary of the hiker.

The altitude of Roraima mountain is approximately 2,810 meters (9,219 feet) above sea level, which can be a significant challenge for hikers who are not acclimated to high altitude environments.

The trail includes a variety of terrain, including savannahs, dense forests, and rocky terrain, and includes steep ascents and descents. Some sections of the trail may require scrambling or climbing over boulders, making it important for hikers to have a good level of physical fitness and endurance.

Looking to book one of these guide treks? Or a greater package trip to one of the destinations? Let our travel experts arrange the custom trip of a lifetime!

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