Neighbours Peru and Bolivia share similar history and geography and are home to some of the best off-the-beaten-track experiences in South America. So if you fancy immersing yourself in their incredible landscapes away from the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares, then off-road activities are one of the best ways to do so whilst having maximum fun as you go!
The Sacred Valley is a magical place for both Inca ancestry and today’s adventurer on four (or two) wheels. Quad biking tours – known locally as ATVs – offer great views of the majestic Andes with stop-offs at local attractions such as the salt mines in Ollantaytambo.
Archaeological Incan gems await via the multi-day trek options to Machu Picchu, all of which take you through breathtakingly scenic jungle terrain where you can witness alpacas and condors, indigenous people, plus glacial lakes and ice-capped mountain peaks on certain hiking routes.
Huacachina is located in the middle of the Ica desert, just ten minutes from the city, and is the only desert oasis in South America. You will be able to appreciate an incredibly dark green lagoon, contrasting against the imposing dunes. Here, you can enjoy tubing, sandboarding (sunset is recommended), and ATVs.
Considered one of the best natural attractions in Ica and the only protected area in Peru with a marine ecosystem, this national treasure provides vast wilderness and paragliding options for those wishing to take in its beauty from a bird’s eye view.
Part of the reserve is the Ballestas Islands, Peru’s (smaller) version of the Galapagos. Another layer of adventurous seclusion is thrown into your trip by the fact you can only get there by boat, and on the way in you will sail past El Candelabro, a wonder of an ancient geoglyph crafted into the side of a hill. The islands are home to thousands of sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos, and various migratory birds.
The main cities in lesser visited northern Peru – forming part of the Moche Route – are Trujillo and Chiclayo. These places house pre-Colombian archaeological sites and ruins, including the vast Adobe Palace complex of Chan Chan, the Huaca del Luna and Huaca del Sol, as well as the Tucume Valley with its impressive array of pyramids and tombs.
At the Pacific coastline of Trujillo you’ll leave all roads behind you with beaches that boast some of the world’s best surf conditions, in addition to great sandboarding opportunities!
Located in southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni lays horizontal for as far as the eye can see near the peak of Andes at an elevation of 11,995ft above sea level. One of the most mesmerising visual places in Latin America, these vast salt deposits are the largest in the world, spanning more than 4,000 square miles.
Hired 4x4s will take you across cacti-covered islands, dormant volcanoes in search of vibrant flamingos and other wildlife. In the wetter parts of the year, you will likely be treated to large bodies of standing water that act like mirrors to the sky – the perfect place for your off-road trip.
If you’re feeling super off-road brave, then the so-called Death Road might be the two-wheeled challenge for you! Climbing to 15,260ft above sea level at La Cumbre Pass before heading to a continuous downward stretch toward the Amazon rainforest, this incredible ride is made daily by thrill-seekers looking to get the most amazing views of the area. That said, if you do take a peer off the side of the road, you’ll be looking down at a 2,000ft drop into the surrounding forest… so ride carefully!