Ausangate represents the most overlooked as well as untamed mountain in the Andean highlands of Peru. This trek takes us to 6372m above sea level, (let's see if you can count that high in feet) along glistening turquoise lakes and solitary paths. Isolation and silence are the most prominent features of this trek into barely discovered regions where everyone is an outsider who has the chance to come face to face with the sinewy forces of nature. Expect encounters with sunset pagaentry and views of the perennial white stuff.
Leaving Cusco at 9:00 am, we drive along the Cusco-Puerto Maldonado Highway, passing through Pikillacta, Andahuaylillas and Huaro (pre-Inca and colonial towns), to take the ascending road to the Pampas mountainous region. Lunch. Campsite at Tinki.
We start our trek by crossing the rushing Ocongate River, then through the highlands, up to the foot of Ausangate with an astonishing view of (dare we say, "nearby"?) snowcovered peaks. All our gear is hauled by pack horses and campsites are managed by porters, so we can pledge our attention to the hike. Lunch and campsite at Upis Hot Springs.
Our hike starts right after breakfast with the wilderness being the best distraction from the wicked climb. An abundance of birds, insects and extraordinary plants diverts our attention from any discomfort we may be experiencing. Lagoons are spotted along the way until finally we arrive at the town of Pacchanta for our lunch and a well-deserved rest. By the time we arrive at our campsite for the evening, a relaxing dip in the hot springs might be just the thing to alleviate any tension or tightness in our legs.
After breakfast, we take a short hike across the highland meadows, where we can observe nestled communities of sheperds and weavers. Walking in the opposite direction to us, they pass us on our way to Tinki. After lunch in Tinki, our bus returns to Cusco, arriving in the afternoon. Includes: * All transportation to and from Cusco * English-speaking guide * Pack horses * All camping equipment * Porters * All meals while on the trail * First aid supplies including O2 tank