A five-day breathtaking trek in the Cordillera Vilcanota, on a route we call the “Camino Del Apu Ausangate” located in close proximity to the highest sacred mountain in the Cusco region. The “Apu” is the bearer of life and the guardian of one of the most pristine mountain ecosystems in the world. Our treks will be accompanied by llamas and horses that will carry our gear. These are owned by shepherds of the community of Chillca who are proud to share their land with us, as well as the Spirit of their inspiring world. On our hikes and in our unique “Tambos” or Andean Lodges, daily meals will be prepared by experienced chefs who will introduce you to a great variety of delicious Peruvian dishes and produce, and for your entertainment: authentic vernacular music, played by local inhabitants, will liven up some of our evenings at the "tambos."
We’re a Cusco-based company, founded in 2006 in association with the people of the peasant communities of Chillca and Osefina. Our goal is to offer unique trekking and lodging experiences on the Apu Ausangate Route, with a focus on community-based rural tourism, and to promote the development of these communities. Additionally, we’re proud to count on an operations team composed of trained community members, including guides, kitchen personnel, housekeepers, security guards, and maintenance personnel. We also work with women weavers of the community, who are keepers of ancestral knowledge. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the tourism and Andean mountaineering market and is a pioneer in creating trekking and climbing routes in this amazing natural setting.
An early departure to travel in our comfortable coach bus along the Vilcanota River to visit the temple of Checacupe, then through the upper valley of Pitumarca. At Japura, we'll trek a short distance to Chillca. Community members and local musicians greet us at our first Andean Lodge, sharing their native Andean music as we sip coca tea. Our 8 double rooms have hot showers and full bathrooms. The lodge features tasty, healthy Andean cuisine, such as Alpaca steak, with vegetarian dishes and other dining options available.
After breakfast, we trek along the glacier valley of Phinaya, seeing hundreds of alpacas and llamas. On the way to the glaciers at Mt. Santa Catalina, the trail climbs past the breathtaking Pjachaj waterfall. Our picnic lunch awaits us above. Then, surrounded by moraine walls, glaciers and lakes, we walk about 5 hours to Machuracay Lodge. Your bags are carried by llama caravan. At the lodge, we’re met by the native family that manages it.
Today we take on our first mountain pass (16,587 ft./ 5150 m.) enjoying spectacular panoramic views. Descending alongside the glaciers, we hike to Ausangate Cocha Lake where we’ll have lunch. Here, the landscape shifts dramatically, with red sandstone formations where we’ll see vicuñas and occasional condors. After a great day of hiking, we arrive at the third Andean Lodge to relax, take in the splendid views and enjoy a restful night.
After breakfast, we hike the trail up to the next mountain pass. Dropping down, we hike past Lake Kayrawiri, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and the great valley below. Colorful bands of soil adorn the hillsides. Then, we continue on to Laya Grande Hill via massive Glacier del Inca, to encounter the amazing colors of soil strata at Mt. Vinicunca (the world-renowned “Rainbow Mountain”). We have lunch there, with time for photos and a rest stop in this spectacular landscape. On our way to our fourth Andean Lodge, we might see hundreds of Andean geese nesting in the cliffs of Anta. Hiking past the flatiron formations of Mt. Apu Labrayani, we arrive at Huampococha Lodge, where we’ll spend the night in comfort.
We hike up enjoying an outstanding view of the mountains to reach the top of the last pass. It’s an easy downhill from here. We hike past the strange shapes of a Karst limestone rock forest and continue to the end of the trail at Trapiche. There, we have lunch and return by bus to Cusco, reminiscing about the unforgettable experiences we’ve shared in the Andes.
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