The Ausangate Trek holiday, Peru
Description of The Ausangate Trek holiday, Peru
Not far from Cusco, yet little-visited and with a fascinating, almost-Martian landscape around it which serves to increase the sense of remoteness, the Ausangate is a truly spectacular destination for a trekking holiday in Peru, and the highest altitude trek in the region.
This five-day walk around the northern face of Ausangate sees you exploring a section of the Vilcanota range, which divides the highland empire of the Incas from the steamy jungles of the Amazon. The scenery is absolutely stunning of course, and dotted with indigenous villages and isolated farmhouses.
Trekking here doesn’t require any special equipment, but walking poles will help and you’ll want to be a regular walker, with a decent level of fitness, as you will be moving at altitude.
Despite the remoteness, you won’t be camping. Instead, accommodations are arranged in a series of basic yet comfortable, community-run lodges, where you’ll have a proper bed, bathroom and hot meal every evening. They offer an excellent opportunity to get to know local people.
After five days on the trail, with condors flying above herds of llamas and alpacas, glaciers, waterfalls and picturesque valleys, you’ll return to Cusco. Here, if you’d like to top your trip off with a visit to Machu Picchu, the operator can (for a supplement) make all the arrangements for you. And what finer way to end your holiday than with the crowning glory of that ancient Incan ruin.
This Peru trekking holiday is ideally suited to those with a taste for adventure, for getting off the beaten tourist trail, and drinking in glorious scenery and culture that most miss.
PlanetWe realise how travel and tourism can bring both benefits as well as damage to a destination, whether it’s to the environment, economy, or cultural or social structure of a country. Our love and passion for Latin America makes us strive to protect the destinations we take you to visit. As members of AITO, we’re committed to AITO’s Sustainable Tourism Guidelines, which means that we ensure that environmental and cultural demands are kept as low as possible.
We work with local operators, who have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for the surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the environment, including by refilling water bottles, disposing of rubbish in a responsible way, not disturbing local communities and wildlife, and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. In addition, we carefully select accommodation and give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices. We’ve also partnered with Water to Go UK in hope to reduce waste by offering clients a 50% discount on filtered water bottles.
On the Ausangate Trek, the use of motorised vehicles is kept to a minimum and walking is the main mode of transport, thus reducing carbon emissions. Moreover, expert guides point out all the places of interest, as well as wildlife that can be seen on the way, including condors, vicunas, bobcats and even pumas. At the same time, the tour leaders will help clients to respect signage, and to follow instructions regarding not leaving litter behind and to treat the flora and fauna with respect.
During the trek, you will spend four nights in basic mountain lodges where there is no electricity or heating, limiting the negative effects on the environment.
PeopleWe pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and memorable experiences in Latin America by helping them to immerse in the culture of the destinations we visit. We work with local foundations, including the LATA Foundation, which is a UK-based charity with social and environmental projects throughout the continent.
We carefully select our partners and work with local suppliers to support the communities. In addition, we aim to have our clients interact with the local communities as much as possible. During this holiday we visit colourful traditional villages, local markets (such as in Chinchero and in Cusco), and stay at locally owned accommodation. The Anantapata Tambo lodge for example was built with the Chilca community’s own funds. All the lodges you will stay at are community-run. At the end of the Ausangate trek, you will be met by the local community of Osefina and Chillca.
Moreover, our expert guides work hard to create good relationships between our clients and the local community by providing any necessary advice when and where needed. They will for example encourage our clients to buy arts and crafts from local markets, explain the importance of giving gifts responsibly and the best ways to do this, as well as acting in a respectful way while taking photographs.
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