Avid hikers, this one's for you! Follow the Camino del Apu Ausangate through the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range, accompanied by llamas and horses loaded up with gear. You'll overnight in traditional tambo lodges, enjoy authentic Peruvian cuisine, and gain a better understanding of life in Andes.

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Aug 17, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
Aug 31, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
Sep 10, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
View all departure dates

Highlights

  • Stay in comfortable, traditional tambo lodges each night
  • Travel the Camino del Apu Ausangate
  • Indulge in traditional Peruvian meals every day
  • Hike through stunning scenery and past sacred mountains

Overview

Fast facts
Duration 5 days
Max. elevation 16,817 ft (5,126 m)
Start/finish Chillca / Trapiche
Difficulty Challenging
Best season March to November
Accommodation Lodges

The Ausangate lodge-to-lodge trek is a group trek that departs every Friday from March to November (the drier, winter season). Private groups can depart any day in the year. The main attraction of this route is experiencing the local cultures, people, and seeing a more remote, beautiful part of the Andes whilst staying in comfortable lodges each night. Keep in mind, you'll be consistently trekking above 4000 m so please ensure that you have properly acclimatized before embarking on this adventure. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Trekking time Overnight
Day 1 Drive from Cusco to Japura, Trek to Chillca 2 hour Chillca
Day 2 Trek from Chillca to Machuracay 7 hours Machuracay
Day 3 Trek from Machuracay to Anantapata 7 hours Anantapata
Day 4 Trek from Anantapata to Huampococha 7 hours Huampococha
Day 5 Trek from Huampococha to Trapiche, Drive to Cusco 2 hours  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Cusco to Japura, Trek to Chillca

Chillca Tambo Lodge

Welcome to the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range! On your first day, wave farewell to charming, cobblestoned Cusco and make your way southeast by car along the Vilcanota River. Along the way, you'll find the impressive Temple of Checacupe — the perfect spot to stop for photos. Continue to the upper valley of Pitumarca, then the hamlet of Japura, where you'll start the day's trek to the musical, charming town of Chillca.

Arrive at Chillca Tambo to the sounds of local music and the taste of traditional coca tea, which is said to help with altitude sickness. Here you'll find some of the highest potato fields in the world, as well as a sweeping view of the Phinaya Glacial Valley where thousands of llamas and Alpacas from the community graze. In the distance, impressive, snow-capped Mount Jatun Jampa stands tall and strong.

Driving time: 3 hours
Hiking distance: 
2 miles (3.2 km)

Day 2: Trek from Chillca to Machuracay

Llamas and alpacas grazing in the valley

Lace up those hiking boots and load up your llamas for your second day of trekking! Hike into the Phinaya Glacial Valley — home to thousands of llamas and alpacas — as you make your way toward the Santa Catalina Glaciers. Climb alongside the Pjachaj Waterfalls. Pause for a traditional lunch just above the falls. And then continue trekking on paths surrounded by moraine walls, glaciers, and lagoons in a land that witnessed the beginnings of ancient cultural settlement in the Andes.

Your final destination of the day is Machuraccay Tambo — a traditional lodge that happens to also be one of the highest lodges in the world. Drift to sleep at the foot of Mount Ausangate, the Incas’ most sacred mountain and the highest peak in the mountain range.

Hiking distance: 6.6 miles (10.6 km)

Day 3: Trek from Machuracay to Anantapata

Enjoy panoramic views as you trek across the mountain pass

Start the day by tackling your first mountain pass, where spectacular panoramic views await. (Don't forget your camera!) Then make your way down through red sandstone formations, heavily eroded by ice. Keep an eye out for vicuñas and condors — they're sometimes spotted here! Your final destination of the day is Anantapata Tambo, where a spectacular sunset view over Ausangate Mountain is your reward at the end of a long day of trekking. 

Hiking distance: 7 miles (11.3 km)

Day 4: Trek from Anantapata to Huampococha

Rainbow Mountain

On your fourth day in the mountains, wind your way through the brilliantly colorful sedimentary soils of Vinicunca Mountain — also known as Rainbow Mountain. Hundreds of Andean geese nest on the nearby cliffs of Anta and the massive Glacier del Inca is on the way, so keep your camera handy. Pass the flat formations of Apu Labrayani and make your way down to Huampococha Tambo lodge — where a local weaving demonstration awaits!

Hiking distance: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)

Day 5: Trek from Huampococha to Trapiche, Drive to Cusco 

A local man plays the conch shell

On your final day of trekking, hike uphill for sweeping mountain views, cross twisted limestone formations that date back to the Cretaceous Period, and cross a final mountain pass. It's all downhill from here as you make your way to the trail's end at Congomire and board a bus bound for Cusco

Hiking distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Drive time: 3 hours

About the lodges

Each night, you'll be staying in a lodge nestled at the head of a valley or with a commanding view of the glaciers. Each lodge was built in partnership with the local communities and is maintained by them, as well. The lodges have 8 rooms with private bathrooms and a common area for dining, relaxing, and gathering around the fireplace at night. 

Dining room
Looking out from the dining room
Machuracay Lodge
Machuracay Lodge (Day 2)
Anantapata Lodge
Anantapata Lodge (Day 3)
Breakfast at the lodge
Breakfast at the lodge

Map

Map of Ausangate Lodge-to-Lodge Trek - 5 Days
Map of Ausangate Lodge-to-Lodge Trek - 5 Days

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Aug 17, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
Aug 31, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
Sep 10, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire
Sep 21, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,600 USD Inquire