El Camino del Apu Ausangate Treks -3,5 or 6 Days
On these treks you will be accompanied by llamas and horses that carry your gear. They are owned by the shepherds of the Chillca community, who are proud to share with you their land and the spirit of this inspiring world. On the hikes and in the unique lodges, daily meals will be prepared by experienced chefs, introducing you to a great variety of delicious Peruvian cuisine. Authentic music from members of the communities will accompany some of your nights in the "Tambos. This trip will be a lifetime experience!!!!
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. There are solar panels, so hot water is available for showers.
From the beginning of the planning, it was their 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. The 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.
Day 1: Cusco – Chillca
An early morning departure from Cusco along the fertile Vilcanota Valley to the town of Checacupe. After a brief visit to the colonial Church of the Immaculate, we begin the ascent of the Pitumarca Valley, and along spectacular Japura Gorge, which leads to Chillca, where we’ll be greeted by the community. From there it is a short, easy walk to the first lodge. Once at the lodge you’ll have time to relax and enjoy the native music provided by the local musicians of Chillca. Overnight at comfortable Chillca Lodge.
Day 2: Yanacocha Lake
After breakfast, led by our guide, we begin the ascent to Yanacocha Lake. Following our picnic lunch, we’ll return to the Lodge over the Vista Trail, which features some of the most spectacular views of the Vilcanota Range. We arrive at the lodge in time for a hot shower and a delicious Andean dinner, before enjoying a restful night.
Day 3: 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. Once we reach the small Paloma lagoon the countryside will be dotted with these animals as well as a large number of alpacas. After hiking along a second lagoon and crossing a long series of moraines we will reach Machuracay Lodge, at the bottom of Apu Ausangate.
Day 4: Machuracay - Anantapata
After a demanding ascent of the Palomani pass at an elevation of 5,200 m. /17,000 ft., we will descend to Ausangatecocha, where breathtaking 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 Anantapata Tambo.
Day 5: Anantapata - Huampococha
A spectacular part of the trail finds us hiking in the middle of mountains with red, ochre, and blue strata like Vinicunca (recently known as the “Rainbow Mountain”). This section offers us a glimpse of a marvelous geological wonder of natural beauty. Be on the lookout for groups of fascinating vicuñas, as they are frequently spotted in this isolated area. We will sleep that night in the Huampococha Lodge, in the heart of large rock formations near a lagoon where “huallatas” (Andean geese) make their nests.
Day 6: Huampococha - Cusco
After our final 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 “vizcachas” (members of the chinchilla family). By the time we get down the valley, our bus will be waiting for the return trip to Cusco
2023 Fixed Departures : March 16-21, May 25-30, June 1-6, 15-20, July 13-18, July 27-Aug. 1, Aug. 17-22. Check for more. or upon request for private departure
2023 Price for fixed departures (min. of 2 people): US$ 1850 per person in double, US$2270 in single.
2023 price per person for private departures: 1 person = US$6786, 2 people = US$3375, 3 people = US$2275, 4 or more people = US$1850. Single supplement = US$420.
3 Day Trek
Day 1 - Same as above
Day 2: Chillca – Machuracay
The hike begins at 8:30 am, going through the broad Upis Valley, where impressive glacier-covered mountains loom above, offering majestic views. The trail narrows as we make our way past a waterfall that drops from Santa Catalina Mountain. This trail is mostly used by the area’s wandering llamas. Once we reach small Paloma Lake, the landscape is dotted with grazing llamas and alpacas. After hiking along a second lake and crossing a series of glacial moraines, we reach Machuracay Lodge, located at the foot of Apu Ausangate, the Sacred Mountain.
Day 3 - Machuracay - Cusco
Following a demanding ascent of Palomani pass, elevation 5,200 m. / 17,000 ft., we’ll descend to Ausangate Cocha Lake. Breathtaking views of the glaciated south face of the sacred “Apu” will amaze you, as we continue toward the red sandstone formations of snow-capped “Nevado Del Inca”. As we descend into the valley, our bus will be waiting for the return trip to Cusco.
2023 Fixed Departures : March 17-19, May 26-28, June 2-4, June 16-18, July 14-16, July 28-30, Aug. 18-20, Sept. 16-18. Check for more.
or upon request for private departure
2023 Price for fixed departures (min. of 2 people): US$ 950 per person in double, US$1160 in single.
2023 price per person for private departures: 1 person = US$3405, 2 people = US$1720, 3 people = US$1135, 4 or more people = US$950
The "Apu" is the bearer of life and the guardian of one of the most pristine mountain ecosystems in the world. This five day breathtaking trek in the Cordillera Vilcanota, will take you on a route they 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.
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
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. 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. B/L/D
Day 3 Machurcay / Anantapata
Today we take on our first mountain pass (16,587 ft./ 5,100 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 for an overnight stay in the Anantapata Tambo. B/L/D/
Day 4 Anantapata / Huampococha
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 your way to the fourth Andean Lodge you 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.
Day 5 Huampococha / Cusco
After a last climb over the Anta pass; we will gradually make our easy 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 karst 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
2023 Fixed Departures : March 17-21, May 26-30, June 2-6, June 16-20, July 14-18, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 18-22, Sept. 16-20.
Check for more.
or upon request for private departure
2023 Price for fixed departures (min. of 2 people): US$ 1600 per person in double, US$1950 in single.
2023 price per person for private departures: 1 person = US$5620, 2 people = US$2790, 3 people = US$1815, 4 or more people = US$1600. Single supplement = US$320
For 2021, the policy is to require full prepayment 30 days prior to arrival, but if you cancel 15 days or less prior to arrival there is a 100% cancellation penalty.
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 : 2 Passengers in Fixed departures / A Fixed departure may be converted into a Private group with a minimum of 4 passengers
Services included on treks:
Services Not Included: