Salkantay or Ausangate: Which Trek to Choose in Cusco?

Salkantay or Ausangate: Which Trek to Choose in Cusco?

Travel Guides

Are you planning to explore the majestic Andes mountains during your visit to Cusco, Peru, but unsure which trekking route to choose? Look no further! Both the Salkantay and Ausangate treks are outstanding options for hikers seeking unique adventures in the Peruvian Andes.

Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay trek is globally recognized as one of Peru's best hiking experiences, praised by National Geographic Adventure Travel. This route takes you from the magical Humantay lagoon to Salkantay Pass, passing through the relaxing Cocalmayo hot springs and culminating at the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu citadel. It's a physically demanding yet rewarding adventure for nature and history enthusiasts.

Salkantay a way to Machu Picchu

Ausangate Trek

For those seeking a more extreme challenge and closer contact with pristine nature, the Ausangate trek offers breathtaking views of Mount Ausangate and its surroundings. This less-traveled route guides you through high-altitude landscapes, glaciers, and intensely colored lakes, including the famous Rainbow Mountain. You'll also have the opportunity to interact with local communities and explore their rich culture.

Ausangate trek is an alpine hike

Key Differences between Salkantay and Ausangate

  • Challenge Level: Both routes are challenging due to altitude, but Ausangate reaches higher elevations, exceeding 5,200 meters above sea level in some sections.

  • Climate: While Salkantay spans from subtropical zones to higher altitudes, Ausangate remains in an alpine environment with colder temperatures and less climatic variation.

  • Landscapes: Salkantay offers a unique diversity from subtropical forests to panoramic views of Machu Picchu, whereas Ausangate focuses on high-mountain landscapes and vividly colored lakes.

  • Distance and Crowds: Salkantay covers approximately 74 kilometers and is busier due to its popularity as a route to Machu Picchu. Ausangate, with a typical trek length of 60 to 70 kilometers, offers a quieter and more secluded experience.

Final Choice

Choosing between Salkantay and Ausangate depends on your physical fitness level, personal preferences, and what you wish to experience during your journey through the Peruvian Andes. If you seek an iconic route blending nature and historical culture, Salkantay is ideal. For a more extreme challenge and deeper connection with stunning natural landscapes, Ausangate is the perfect choice.

At Huillca Expedition, we guarantee a memorable and safe experience in these majestic Peruvian mountains, whichever route you choose.

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Andes!

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