Best time to visit Peru

Trekking to Pongo de Mainique in Peru 2024

Check out this truly fantastic way with great nature, extreme views, and encounters with local culture—a great experience for all!

Best time: May–October

Trekking to Pongo de Mainique
Trekking to Pongo de Mainique

Pongo de Mainique is a water gorge which offers a unique chance to challenge your bravery and see the most dense diversity of fauna and flora on Earth. You can either get completely soaked while rafting or canoeing there or just plan to walk around and enjoy nature The trek itself to this spot is also worth doing, especially is you are visiting Peru during the dry season between May and October.

There are quite a lot of things to think about in order to trek to the Pongo de Mainique, so taking an organised tour may save you some time. The best place for departure is Cusco, where you can jump on a bus to Quillabamba. This road is a total contrast between civilisation and wild jungles. You may also enjoy the steep precipices through Abra Malaga—a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,256 metres. From Quillabamba trekkers follow the Urubamba River to reach the village of Ivochote. This road is supervised by hundreds of loud jungle birds, macaws in particular, and the irresistible aroma of coffee and banana plantations. In Ivochote you finally hop on the boat and some rafting will take you to the Pongo de Mainique.

In addition, it is recommended not to stop trekking, and continue your way to the nearby hot springs or even the ancient city of Machu Picchu, which has one of its entrances right on the hills above this gorge.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Pongo de Mainique in Peru?

To have the best experience trekking to Pongo de Mainique, plan your visit between May and October when the weather is warm and dry. This is the peak season when tourists flock the region to spot a diverse fauna including jaguars and parrots, amidst the tropical forests. This ideal time will also make it easier for trekkers to explore the region and its many natural wonders, both on foot and via rafting along the iconic Urubamba River. Show more

What is the route to take when trekking to Pongo de Mainique?

Embarking on a challenging yet scenic journey to Pongo de Mainique itself entails taking a bus from Cusco to Quillabamba and then trekking through the Urubamba River to the village of Ivochote. From here, visitors can catch a boat to their final destination. It is a great idea to enroll on an organized tour as it takes care of transport, permits, and essential equipment such as rafts for navigating through the rapids in the river. Travelers opting for this experience will be thrilled by the stunning landscape and vast wildlife endemic to the region. Show more

What type of flora and fauna can be found in this region?

The natural beauty of Pongo de Mainique is unparalleled enhanced by the enthralling diversity of its fauna, which ranges from the iconic jaguars to the resplendent red, blue and green macaws. The location proves to have an enriching experience for nature lovers as it is teeming with amphibians, reptiles, hummingbirds and even more. Additionally, diverse and colorful wildflowers, towering trees and orchids, make trekking and rafting even more vibrant for visitors from around the world. Show more

What are some additional activities to do in the area?

Apart from the Pongo de Mainique trek, tourists can indulge in several other activities in the vicinity such as rafting along the Urubamba River, soaking in hot springs nearby or visiting the iconic ancient city of Machu Picchu. A visit to Machu Picchu allows people of all ages to learn about the Inca civilization and get immersed in the rich history and culture of the region. This ensures that visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to attractions to visit in the region. Show more

Is it advisable to take an organized tour or go solo when trekking to Pongo de Mainique?

Organized tours are highly recommended for those wishing to explore Pongo de Mainique on foot. This journey can be very challenging and require specialized equipment like rafts to traverse the Urubamba River. Opting for an organized tour ensures that travelers will not only have a guide by their side who will provide safety measures and the proper equipment but also that they will be spared the hassle of making arrangements themselves. In contrast, those venturing out solo may find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges that Pongo de Mainique has to offer, thus putting themselves in significant danger. Show more

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