El Camino del Apu Ausangate Trek
This five day breathtaking trek in the Cordillera Vilcanota, will take you on a route we have named "El Camino Del Apu Ausangate" (The Road of the 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 trek will be accompanied by llamas and horses that carry our gear, which that are owned by the shepherds of the Chillca community whom are proud to share with us their land and the spirit of this inspiring world. On our hikes and in our unique "Tambos" or Andean Lodges, daily meals will be prepared by experienced chefs, introducing you to a great variety of delicious Peruvian cuisine and produce. As for entertainment, authentic, vernacular music from members of the communities will accompany some of our nights in the "Tambos. This trip will be a lifetime experience, do not miss it!!!!
The lodges are all built into their natural surroundings and are quite spacious. The constructions are symmetrically laid out; in the center are the reception, a dining-room/bar, and a resting area. 10 double-occupancy bedrooms are equally distributed to the left and to the right, on two levels and are divided I 2 single rooms for Tour Conductors and 8 double rooms for passengers.
The individual rooms vary slightly in size and include a separate bathroom. Each guest-room features two individual standard-size beds, all equipped with thermal duvets, and plain, essential furniture (beds, tables, chairs,…) made of local mahogany wood. The walls are painted in warm colors and decorated with native textiles. All rooms have windows with panoramic views of the Vilcanota mountain range, and tiled bathrooms including ceramic toilets, sink, and a shower.
There is a spacious central area in each "Tambo," with a bright combined living-room/dining-room (covered with a transparent polycarbonate-roof and a large glass front with spectacular views of great mountain sceneries). These rooms have inviting fireplaces, where clients can gather for social encounters, listening to music, reading, or playing games etc.
There is no electricity in the lodges, propane gas is used for the showers and for cooking, and firewood is applied for heating. Candles and lanterns are employed to enhance a special atmosphere that allows one to enjoy the magic of the Andean sky and the myriad of stars and constellations visible on a clear night.
Day 1 Cusco / Chillca
After an early breakfast passengers will depart from Cusco along the fertile Vilcanota Valley to the town of Checacupe (1 hour and a half, 100 km). After a visit to the colonial temple of the Immaculate, we start ascending the Pitumarca valley, along the spectacular Japura gorge that leads to Chillca, where we will be greeted by the community. ( 1 hour and a half, 42 km). From there it is a short and easy walk to the first "Tambo"(45 minutes). Once at the lodge there will be time to relax and enjoy the music provided by the locals of Chillca. B/L/D
Day 2 Chillca / Machuracay
Our hike begins at 08.30 in the wide valley of Upis where impressive glaciated mountains loom above the valley offering majestic views.
The trail narrows as we make our way towards the waterfalls descending from the Santa Catalina Mountain. This path is mostly used by the wandering llamas of the area and once we reach the small Paloma lagoon the countryside will be dotted with these animals, and also a large number of alpacas. After hiking along a second lagoon and crossing a long series of moraines, we will reach the Machuracay Tambo, located right at the bottom of the Apu Ausangate. B/L/D
Day 3 Machurcay / Anantapata
After a demanding ascent of the Palomani pass at an elevation of 5,200 m. / 17,000 ft., we will descend to Ausangatecocha. Tremendous views of the glaciated south face of the "apu" will inspire us as we continue towards the red sandstone formations of the "Nevado Del Inca". Overnight stay in the Anantapata Tambo. B/L/D/
Day 4 Anantapata / Huampococha
A spectacular part of the trail finds us hiking in the middle of mountains with red, ochre, and blue strata. This section offers a glimpse of marvelous geological wonder and natural beauty. Also, be on the lookout for groups of gracious vicuñas, as they are frequently spotted in this isolated area. We will sleep that night in the Huampococha Tambo, in the heart of large rock formations near a lagoon where "huallatas" (Andean geese) make their nests. B/L/D
From the beginning of our planning, it was our concern to reduce environmental impact to a minimum, by using alternative and eco-friendly technologies. Bio-degradable detergents are used in bathrooms and restaurants, and all human waste is processed in so-called "bio-digesters."Organic residues are collected in the community of Chillca and treated for compost, and all inorganic material is taken out to the recycling plant located near Cusco.
The communities of Chillca and Osefina own almost a fifth of the shares of the company. The profits generated will be used to improve education and living conditions in general. Our project has created 24 full-time jobs and 30 or more temporary employment opportunities. Furthermore, it creates a market for alpaca meat and fleece products, as well as traditional woven textiles manufactured by the women of the communities.
Duration : 5 Days / 4 Nights
Locations : Cusco / Chillca /Machracay / Anantapata / Huampococha
Level : 6 to 7 hours Moderate day hikes (approx. 15km)/ Need good shape and prior experience
Highest lodge : Machuracay Tambo, 4,800 m /15,800 ft. above sea level
Highest point : Palomachayoc Pass 16,700 ft/5,100 m. above sea level.
Description : Lodge to Lodge treks above 11,280 ft to 16,700ft in the pristine Andean southern mountains of Cusco
Minimum : 1 Passengers in Fixed departures / A Fixed departure may be converted into a Private group with a minimum of 4 passengers
Day 5 Huampococha / Cusco
After a last climb over the Anta pass; we will gradually make our descent. In this section the first crops and houses come into view. The landscape changes quickly as the red sandstone formations are followed by the carsten erosion of limestone, forming a one of a kind stone forest, and a perfect habitat for "vizcacha" (members of the chinchilla family). By the time we get down the valley, our bus will be waiting for the return trip to Cusco. Upon arrival to Cusco, passengers will be directed to their hotel. B/L
Departures : Every Friday from April to End of November or upon request for private departure
2019 Price for fixed departures (min. of 2 people): US$ 1528 per person in double, US$1861 in single.
Services Not Included: