The Seven Colour Mountain

March 25, 2016

Guardian of the Cusco region, Ausangate is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, with  6,384 meters high for centuries, has received many names; “The Roof of the Capital Inca”, “Vinicunca” (Hill of Colours), etc. Located in the district of Pitumarca Canchis Province, Cusco region, in southern Peru; Ausangate is considered the most important mountain of the Andean worldview.

AUSANGATE, the mountain of the seven colours

The way to Ausangate is one of the most amazing experiences you can have, enjoy the landscape, being accompanied by native birds and animals all the way is only a part of all that great opportunity offers, five days and four nights where you could meet with yourself, where you will receive protection and wisdom of what was once sacred to our culture, five days and four nights will definitely change your life.

The rich oral tradition that we enjoy allows us to listen to this little story, the classic story of the brothers who take distant roads: “They say Salkantay and Ausangate were brothers, who lived in Cusco and after a drought, the brothers ventured into strange lands to save their village. Salkantay went to the north and found the forest and the forbidden love of Veronica and many problems; Ausangate went to the south, the highlands and found great production and from the highlands sent potatoes, camel meat and corn, and could only save the people of Cusco “. As witnesses of this story, we can only tell that both mountains located in the Cusco region, silent narrators of a story that we can only imagine.

Since the first Italian expedition, led by Piero Ghiglione in 1950 he put his eyes on the “Apu Ausangate” there have been many who have tried unsuccessfully to conquer its summit; but what if we can enjoy it is “the Way of Apu Ausangate” five days where our lives changed completely, giving us a new perspective on everything around us and that we take for granted, ready for adventure ?, It is better than they are.

Cusco to Chillca

Waking up with the first rays of sun will start our adventure, from a bus to our service will cross the fertile valley roads Vilcanota towards the picturesque village of Checacupe, perfect for breakfast, where we’ll visit the colonial church and stretch our legs, time before continuing our journey to the beautiful valley of Pitumarca that will serve as a prelude to reach the spectacular Japura gorge where we will start a walk of about 90 minutes to guide us to our destination on this first day, the community of Chillca Count shepherds, llamas , alpacas and some brave sheep will welcome us home. Accompanied by the music of flutes and charango, the murmurs of the shepherds telling stories and sounds of small animals looking for their mothers, we’ll spend there our first night covered by the tranquility of heaven ande.

Chillca to Machucaraccay

Waking up with the sunrise, we’ll begin our journey on foot; for the next 8 hours or so, we will be observed by curious llamas and alpacas, which will follow us all the way, while we’ll cross its territory. The “Pampa de Uyuni” overwhelms us with its beauty whereas we will cross under the watchful eye of glaciers that guard. Our journey will begin to become more stretch it is, as we’ll get closer to the waterfalls, which tears that face mother suffering for her children, down the slope of the mountain Santa Catalina. After passing through two lakes, both monitored by the watchful eyes of alpacas and llamas, we’ll arrive at our destination of the day, Machuracay, located at the foot of Apu Ausangate.

From Machucaray to Anantapata

Welcome to the acid test and that luck is always on your side, just kidding, this is the third day of our adventure and also the most difficult, we’ll wake up with the sun as always, our way this time will be somewhat more complicated than pampas watched by llamas and alpacas, we will have a very demanding ascent until Palomani pass located at approximately 5,100 meters of altitude, Houston we have a problem, descent to Ausangate Cocha will offer a break to our lungs and a show in our eyes giving us a view only glacier on the south side of the Mountain, besides the red sandstone formations of the popular “Nevado del Inca/Snow-capped Mountain”. Finally, we’ll arrive at Anantapata where, guarded by the Apu, we’ll spend the night.

From Anantapata to Huampococha

Fourth day, closer to the end of our adventure, early in the morning we’ll start the road completely surrounded by layers of different colours; red, yellow, ocher, gray and blue, among others that allow us to see the wonders of geology; but we are not alone … or not … we are surrounded! With any luck, we will be able to see vicunas, these curious animals prefer to live away from the human eye, hidden between the pastures of the highlands. Surrounded by rocky walls of the mountains, we will spend the night in Huampococha, namesake site of the nearby lagoon that is home to loving couples of Huallatas.

From Huampococha to Cusco

The end of the road; we must make the last effort to cross the passage of Anta, after that we will begin the descent whose journey through time, the more you go down closer to houses and cultivated land begin to appear. Again we are not alone, this time, we will be observed by curious animals, the size of cats, Vizcachas are the guardians of the road that will cross until we reach Pitumarca. After four days away from everything and everyone, it is time to return to the present, time to return to reality, time to return to the imperial city, the bus will be waiting to bring us back to civilization.