26 April 2019
The Ausangate region is a very special part of the Andes Mountains.
The majestic sacred mountain Apu Ausangate is circled by a range of tall, snowcapped mountains and glaciers, crossed by valleys and meadows, rivers and streams, where rock and soil create unique formations of the most amazing colors and shapes.
The valleys of the Ausangate region are pristine. The glacial waters are pure and the lakes are unpolluted. Very few dwellings exist here, and no roads or electric lights are seen.
The mountains remain in their essential natural state.
In wetter areas, the sparse native flora can thrive. Birds and small mammals live there peacefully, such as Andean geese, ducks, giant hummingbirds, along with plentiful, charming vizcacha (a type of long-eared rodent). With much luck, a rare, endangered Andean Cat might appear.
Every visitor to Ausangate sees unspoiled nature in this region, protected by its remoteness, as well as by the stewardship and gentle way of life of the local native people, who see the mountain Apus as deities and protectors of life and the waters.
At Andean Lodges, we consider the conservation of the mountain environment of Ausangate region to be a very important goal.
Our company, the local communities and other stakeholders consistently meet to discuss and implement plans for conserving the high mountain ecosystem.
Although the Ausangate region has not yet obtained official designation as a protected national conservation area, we feel it is high time to consider protecting the region as a top priority, in order to avoid the pollution and overcrowding that often accompany development.
A few native communities and villages are located at lower elevations of Ausangate.
Herding llamas and alpacas has been a principal activity in the valleys since ancient times, in a land where farming is difficult at above 4,000 m.
Villagers graze their herds on the mountain’s meadows, where Andean camelids were adapted and domesticated in pre-Inca days; it’s a traditional activity and fully sustainable use of the land.
The llamas and alpacas provide local people with pack animals for transportation of goods, wool for textiles, meat and occasionally fuel.
However, camelid breeding has diminished somewhat in the Andes, as modern forms of transportation, textiles and foods replace uses for the animals.
At Andean Lodges, the local native communities of Chillca and Osefina have been integrated into all aspects of our business from the start. Local Quechua people manage our ecolodges