Ausangate Trek Highlights
Here are the top highlights that you’ll enjoy on the excursion:
- Feel the spirituality high in the mountains and understand the importance of the Ausangate Mountain to the local communities.
- Observe incredible wildlife and various species along with local fauna.
- Take in some of the best views you’ll ever see.
- Take part in a real mountain adventure and overcome the challenge.
- Form your own connection with the Andean mountains and recharge your energy.
Very High Altitude
One of the things that makes this trek more challenging is the altitude. You’ll reach Condor Pass at 5,400 masl, so you need to make sure you’ve prepared for the high elevation in advance. You can do this by arriving in Cusco a few days before to acclimate. Failing to take this into consideration could leave you feeling sick on the trek or even unable to go.
There’s no doubt that on this trek through the Andean mountains you’ll see some incredible sights. Expect to see lakes, snowy mountain peaks, and rolling hills. Don’t forget your camera to capture it all.
The weather in the mountains can change a lot. In the days you’ll feel the sun beating on your face. Make sure you use a lot of protection from it as you’re much closer to it up here. In the nights it will get chilly, so make sure you have the right clothing. It may also rain, so a lightweight poncho is a must in your backpack.
Being away from the city means you’ll be going back to basics. You’ll be camping along the route, so won’t have proper bathrooms or showers. In some spots you’ll find places to buy water and maybe some simple snacks, but it’s best to take enough with you from the start.
To Feel Tired
Even though this trek isn’t the most difficult in the region, you’ll be walking long distances at high altitude. The days can feel long, so know that you’ll feel tired along the way.
Where is Ausangate?
Ausangate Mountain is about 100km to the south-east of Cusco. It’s 6.385 masl and towers over the nearby mountains. It can be seen from the city of Cusco and is the highest mountain in the region.
The Ausangate Trek is moderately challenging, so is suitable for most hikers. You do need to be in a good physical condition but it isn’t as tough as some other treks. You’ll be hiking long distances and at high altitude, so you need good stamina
The most difficult obstacles to overcome will be the high altitude and possibly tough weather conditions, especially in the rainy season.
Now for a few facts about this adventurous trek.
- The average altitude along the trek is 4,000 masl.
- This route doesn’t attract many tourists, so it’s very quiet.
- The temperature at night can go as low as -15°C.
- You won’t see many vehicles as most of the route is far away from any roads.
- You don’t need a specific permit to go on this trek, so there’s always availability.
- The mountain, Apu Ausangate, is seen as the owner of all the Cusco region.
Read on for some useful tips to help you get ready for your trek.
- Spend time in Cusco before the trek. Going on small hikes around the city and the Sacred Valley will help you prepare for the high altitude.
- If you’re worried about the altitude, talk to a doctor back home about the possibility of a prescription for some pills to help you cope. You can also consume coca tea once in Cusco to help.
- Starting an exercise and stretching regime weeks before you come will help greatly. Include long hikes over weekends to aid your body in building muscle and stamina.
- Don’t drink alcohol in Cusco before your trek. This can make the effects of the altitude far worse and make you very ill.
- To stay hydrated at the altitude and in the strong sunlight you need to drink water frequently along the route.
- Go at your own pace on the trek. Your guide will always be with you and there’s no need to rush. Again, this can make you feel sick if you overexert yourself.
Finally, when you’ve got your trek booked, take a look at these recommendations to make sure you’ve got all you need.
Use a Packing List
Make use of our packing lists for treks to make sure you have everything you need without going over the weight limit. It can be tough to know exactly what you need when leaving town for a few days.
Get Travel Insurance
This is a must as most tour operators won’t allow you on their tours without one. You’ll also find that if you fall ill or have an accident and aren’t insured, the healthcare in Peru is expensive.
Plan Your Trip Beforehand
The further ahead you plan the better prepared you’ll be. This also gives the tour operator or agency you choose to travel with the chance to make sure they have a guide free for your trip. Hoping to book upon arrival in Cusco could mean you miss out as there isn’t anyone available.
Consider Weather Conditions
Some people like to hike in the warm sun, and others in colder climates. From May to October is the dry season in Cusco. The sun is warm in the day but the nights get very cold. If you decide to come between November and April, you’ll be trekking during the rainy season. This can make the trail a little slippery and the general climate is a little warmer.
You’ll be well-fed on the trip, but packing extra snacks means you can get a quick boost of energy whenever you need it on the trail. Think of high calorie energy snacks like chocolate, nutrs, and dried fruits.