Start out on the high altitude Ausangate Trek. (This is a shared service: there may be a few other trekkers travelling with you).
To the southwest of Cusco, the Vilcanota range is the last barrier between the old Inca Empire and the Amazon basin. Snow-clad Mount Ausangate, at 6,384m, is the undoubted king of this region.
This trek offers a wide array of attractions en route - glaciers, lakes, herds of llamas and alpacas, even vicuñas, picturesque villages and their traditionally dressed inhabitants. The trip takes you around Ausangate Mountain (not to its peak) and over 3 high passes, but youwill be well acclimatised after the Santa Cruz Trek.
At such high altitudes you may well be glad you are not camping. Instead you will stay at remote, simple but cosy mountain lodges, all of which have a large dining room, kitchen, and lounge by an open fire. Accommodation is in double/twin rooms and hot water bottles are placed in the bed. There’s a warm welcome from the staff and hot, nourishing meals appropriate for trekkers are provided.
Departing Cusco by bus, head south-east following the Vilcanota valley, stopping to visit the beautiful colonial church of Checacupe, before continuing the ascent of the Japura valley that leads to the communities of Osefina and Chillca (4,370m) where you we will be met by the local community. It’s an easy day to start off, with only a couple of hours’ walking (3.3km).