Mount Ausangate, at 6,373 meters (20,909 ft.) above sea level, is Peru’s fifth highest peak and one of the most beautiful in all the southern Andes. Located in the heart of the remote Vilcanota Range, it is venerated as Cusco’s sacred guardian Apu, the deity that protects waters and life, and watches over the women, men and children of the Andes. It is home to native highland communities that preserve their rich ancestral cultures and maintain their traditional way of life.
The Route to Ausangate will captivate you with its magnificent natural landscapes, featuring imposing glaciers, amazing rock formations, beautiful lakes and meadows, and unique wildlife and flora. The Route is perfect for travelers looking for adventure, new cultural connections and a renewing life experience. It also offers great opportunities for high mountain sports, such as trekking, rock climbing and ice climbing.
If you’re looking for an incredible adventure in one of the world’s most impressive landscapes, Andean Lodges offers you our exclusive programs and routes that traverse Ausangate’s ancient trails, as you enjoy all the comforts of our four excellent eco-lodges.
Regional Conservation Area
“Thanks to the location of this sacred mountain, we can find there a unique landscape of unparalleled beauty, with diverse ecosystems and glacier-fed, pure mountain streams that feed Andean lakes and rivers, which make Mt. Ausangate a very important place for ecological stewardship and conservation.”
We’ve combined efforts with Cusco’s Regional Government, the Association for Conservation of the Amazon Basin and local village communities around Apu Ausangate to gain recognition of the zone as a Regional Conservation Area, with the goal of conserving local vegetation, preventing the degradation of land and loss of wildlife, and promoting job creation and sustainable development that benefits local communities.
Ausangate’s ecosystem, flora and fauna
The Apu Ausangate ecosystem begins at 3,800 meters a. s. l. Its unique geography features snow-capped peaks, wetlands, meadows, shrublands and beautiful lakes, which offer habitat for many species of flora and fauna, some of which are at risk of extinction. The high mountain landscape has little vegetation. The climate is generally sunny, dry and cold, windy at times, and with a short rainy season.
This environment is home to over 110 species of bird, such as Andean Geese, Condors and the Giant Hummingbird, as well as several species of ducks and other migratory birds that seasonally inhabit the high lakes and wetlands. Thirteen species of mammals can be found, including vicuñas, vizcachas, fox, and the Andean cat, a species at risk of extinction with only about 1,500 estimated individuals dispersed across the region.