Venture along the road less traveled, with a breathtaking five day trek in the Vilcanota's Cordillera. This route is known as the “Camino del Apu Ausangate”, located in close proximity of the highest Sacred Mountain in the Department of Cusco. The “Apu” is the Bearer of Life and Guardian of one of the most pristine mountain ecosystems in the world. Accompanied by lamas and horses that will carry your gear, you will trek along the spectacular landscapes owned by the proud shepherds of the community of Chillca. Each daily hike will lead you to the next unique “Tambos” or Andean Lodge, for a special cultural treat. Your meals will be prepared by experienced chefs who will excite your palate with a great variety of delicious Peruvian dishes and produce. Enjoy a little evening entertainment at the "tambos", dancing along to authentic, vernacular music played by local inhabitants.
From Cusco, you will board a comfortable coach vehicle for the scenic drive along the Vilcanota River. You will have the opportunity to visit the temple of Checacupe, before continuing towards the upper valley of Pitumarca. Your Andean Lodge to Lodge Trek along the fascinating Apu's Trail will officially kick off from Japura, where you will proceed on foot. This first leisurely trek will only be a short distance to reach Chillca. Locals and musicians playing Andean instruments greet you upon arrival at the first “Andean Lodge”. Sip on some cooca tea. indulge in a hot shower and settle in for the night. Tasty and nutritious local cuisine, such as Alpaca meat, is often served in your meals, however vegetarian or other preferences are always welcome.
Vehicle: 4 Hours
Hiking: 1.5 Hours
After breakfast this morning, you will embark on the first full day of hiking. Begin with a trek alongside thousands of alpacas and llamas in the glacier valley of Phinaya. On the way to more glaciers at Santa Catalina, you will climb by the inspiring Pjachaj waterfalls. Above, your scenic picnic lunch awaits. Spend some time to relax your legs and refuel your body. After lunch, surrounded by moraine walls, glaciers and lagoons, you will walk about 5 hours to Machuracay Tambo. Your bags, generously carried by a llama caravan, will meet you at the lodge, alongside the family that runs the property.
Hiking: 8 Hours
Today, you will conquer your first mountain pass at a striking 16,587 feet. Along the way, you are sure to be captivated by the spectacular panoramic views. Descending alongside the glaciers, your hike then continues to the Ausangate Cocha Lake, where you will stop to enjoy lunch. Following some time to rest, you will delve deep into the red sandstone sediment formations, a truly wonderful experience. Here, you will have the chance to observe vicuñas and sometimes even condors, soaring through the sky. Finish off another successful day of great hiking with your arrival at the third “Andean Lodge”, ready to relax and indulge.
Hiking: 8 Hours
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge this morning, as you prepare for another full day of adventure. Today's trail will begin towards another incredible mountain pass. Dropping down, you will hike past Lake Kayrawiri, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and the great valley below. Striations of color embedded in the hillsides detail the area with even more breathtaking beauty. From there, your trek continues on to Cerro Laya Grande, via the massive glacier del Inca. During this time you are invited to marvel at the most striking colors in the sediments of Yauricunca. Surrounded by the unique landscape, you will stop here for lunch. At last, your voyage continues to your the fourth and final “Andean Lodge”. Before arriving at your accommodation, you will have the chance to admire hundreds of Andean geese nesting in the cliffs of Anta, as well as the flatiron formations of Apu Labrayani near Huampococha Tambo. This special site, is where you will be settled into this evening at the Camino del Apu Ausangate.
Hiking: 7 Hours
Following breakfast this morning, you will pack up your things and take off on the last leg of your trek. Walking along spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, you will ascend to the final pass of your journey. From here, it's all downhill! As you continue, you will encounter some of the most capricious shapes of limestone formations of Cretaceous age. Keep walking until you have reached the end of the trail in Trapiche. There, you will be rewarded with a delicious lunch and then returned by shuttle bus to Cusco. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride back, as you reminisce on your experience of a lifetime through the Andes!
Hiking: 7 Hours
Vehicle: 3 Hours
Chillca Tambo Lodge is located in the Uyuni Pampa, at an altitude of 14,331 feet. It is nestled in a valley of meadows, furrowed by the ice cold waters of the Quencomayo River. This site is also a well known grazing place for a great number of alpacas from the community of Chillca. From the lodge, there you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Mount Jatun Jampa, a Sacred Mountain visible at the end of the valley.
Machuracay Tambo Lodge is the highest in the world, with positioned at a striking 15,797 feet. This property is the closest to the Apu Ausangate, on one side of the moraine and climbing route. For the reason of it's spectacular location, Machuracay Tambo Lodge is used as the base to climb up the Ausangate. Not only does the lodge offer a superb view towards the snow-capped mountain, but it is also surrounded by rocks among which lives a great quantity of wild vizcachas, accustomed to human presence.
Anantapata Tambo is situated at an altitude of 15,584 feet, at the very top of the Alcatauri Gorge. This setting is a beautiful Marshland area where you will likely see alpacas grazing the land. The gorge is nestled between the snowy peak of Mount Tacusiri to the North, and the Ausangate to the East. This comfortable lodge is noticeably different from the other Andean Lodges, as it was built with the Chillca community's very own funds. For this reason, many consider it to be the most important of the Lodges, since it is a testimony of the communities effort to willingly share their culture and landscapes. The property is also direct proof of sustainable tourism development in that High Andean area.
The Huampococha Lodge occupies a magical location, perched at an altitude of 15,748 feet. This lodge offers a panoramic view towards one of the most beautiful landscapes in the area. Surrounding the property, you can marvel at the lovely lagoon that bears the same name and the impressive Mount of the Inca. The lodge sits at the base of the Apu Callecalle's foothills, the summit of which is a set of intrusive blades of rock that reach up to the sky. These jagged points give the property a beautiful and rough profile. Huampococha is the ideal place for the observation of constellations and to listen to the Apus' myths and those of the alpaca shepherds' gods, a very special cultural treat.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.