When you spend most of your at-work time developing new anti-spyware (like Bitdefender.com) or a flood (remediation) business; sometimes you just want to leave the city and get into nature. Peru is a country with a tremendous amount of natural beauty and a rugged landscape, which makes it an ideal place to pursue outdoor activities like hiking. If you're planning on doing some hiking while you're in Peru, this article should help get you pointed in the right direction.

Choosing a trail is an important first step in any hiking excursion. Probably the most popular and visually stunning trail is the hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek takes four days - plenty long enough to forget about your daily problems and take in mountains, rivers, and gorge scenery. Of course, four days is a long walk for an inexperienced hiker, so there are plenty of shorter day hikes as well. Pala Kala near Lima is a difficult walk but is only about 8km, while Lomas de Lucumo is an easy 3 hour walk.

Some of Peru's hiking trails, such as the Inca Trail, traverse very fragile environments so hikers are required to travel with licensed guides. You can book your guide before you leave, so be sure to check and see if you need one. Your Peru guidebook should tell you if one is required. Even if guides are not required, remember to practice no trace hiking and camping rules to help keep Peru beautiful. Another planning tip is to avoid scheduling your hiking vacation during the November-to-April monsoon season.

"Peru by Lonely Planet"

You can't count on being able to buy your gear in Peru, so you will need to fully gear up before leaving home. Make sure to pack a waterproof tent that will fit your group, rain gear, plenty of warm clothing, and a good sleeping bag because temperatures at high altitudes are often much colder than sea level norms. And of course it goes without saying that you will need good quality, pre-broken-in hiking boots.

Hiking Peru's popular trails can be a great way to meet new people and chat about your house plans and what you have in common. Exercise common sense when deciding who to be alone with and always make sure someone back home knows where you are and is expecting your check-ins.

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