The mountains have always been central to Peru’s Andean civilizations. More than just staggeringly beautiful natural wonders, the mountains, called Apus, were revered as gods, sacred beings at the centre of ancient Andean spirituality. And no Apu was more important than the mighty Ausangate, the great peak that dominates the entire altiplano of Peru’s southern Andes, not far from the ancient capital of Cusco.
This challenging Peru adventure trek will take you on an unforgettable pilgrimage to this sacred place, pushing you to your physical limits tackling steep climbs, mountain passes, and very cold evenings at a dizzying altitude. This trek covers a breathtaking range of environments with a never ending-series of spectacular vistas over dramatic landscapes.
Throughout the trek, you will be accompanied by a guide with expert knowledge of the area’s geography, history, and natural environment, as well as a team of cooks, porters, and the very best equipment available, making your experience a rewarding achievement.
Early in the morning, meet your guide at your hotel for the drive into the surrounding valley. You will have time to stop at the archeological site of Tipon with its impressive water fountains, irrigation systems, and other marvels of pre-Columbian engineering.
You will pass through the ancient settlement of Pikillaqta, which was originally settled by the Wari culture. You will continue on to the beautiful lake of Huacarpay and the town of Andahuaylillas with its famously decorated church, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Andes.
Eventually your journey through this ancient landscape ends at the town of Tinki where you will set up camp and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Maximum altitude: 12,395 feet (3,778 m) Approximate time: 5 hours (by car)
Today is probably the most challenging on the Ausangate trek. You will start the day with a filling breakfast before setting out on an increasingly steep trail.
The trail leads you up to a high mountain pass at Arapa where you will be rewarded with outstanding views of the entire mountain chain. Crossing over the pass, you begin to approach a series of gloriously tranquil Andean lakes.
After lunch and a chance to rest, you’ll make another climb to the Ausangate pass before descending towards your campsite for the night at Ausangatecocha.
Distance: 9.94 miles (16 km) Maximum altitude: 15,255 feet (4,650 m) Approximate time: 9 hours Gradient: challenging
After another large breakfast, you begin your approach to the highest point of the trek, the pass at Abra Palomani. At this point you will be at a breathtaking 16,800 feet above sea level, enjoying unique views of the vast mountain chain that runs below you. From here you descend to the settlement of Huchuy Phinaya where you will enjoy a rewarding lunch and have a chance to rest your legs.
From here you will enjoy a gentler gradient through high Andean flat land until reaching your campsite in the shadow of the snowcapped peaks at Hatunpampa.
Distance: 10 miles (16 km) Maximum altitude: 16,814 feet (5,125 m) Approximate time: 9 hours Gradient: challenging
Starting out for another challenging day, your trail rises immediately towards the second high pass of Abra Janca, dominated by the peak of Colquecruz.
From here it’s a gentle descent towards your lunch spot before you reach the town of Pacchanta where you’ll be rewarded with a dip in the town’s mineral rich thermal baths – a perfect chance to relax after a long, demanding day of hiking.
Distance: 8.69 miles (14 km) Maximum altitude: 16,633 feet (5,070 m) Approximate time: 8 hours Gradient: challenging
Following the trail from Pacchanta, you eventually return to the town of Tinki, from where you began your adventure. You will celebrate the end of your epic Peru adventure trek with a pachamanca, a unique and ancient style of Andean cooking.
After enjoying your hard-earned celebratory lunch, you will take your private transport back to Cusco.
Distance: 6.21 m iles (10 km) Maximum altitude: 14,107 feet (4,300 m) Approximate time: 5 hours Gradient: moderate