Have you decided to come to Cusco, but you still don’t know which route to choose? Here, we leave you two main alternative ways, according to your tastes and preferences: the famous Inca Trail and the tour to the sacred mountain Ausangate. Offer unforgettable experiences, but each is its own way.
Here are the differences between the classic Inca Trail and the tour to the imposing Ausangate so you can choose the best trekking option for you. Let’s start!
The Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world that runs through 6 countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile; its destination is the majestic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. This route is currently considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the Inca Trail, you will travel along ancient stone paths where the Incas passed, and you will witness diverse flora such as orchids, eucalyptus forests, and some plants from the tropical region. In addition, you will find beautiful mountains, different types of birds, and cloud forests, among others. The Inca Trail is home to the spectacled bear.
You will also explore several archaeological sites:
As one of the favorite routes for many travelers, the Inca Trail is a destination that receives crowds of tourists throughout the year. The best months to make the Inca Trail are from April to October. Every February, the route is closed for maintenance. The great variety of landscapes and the sensation of being in the middle of the flora and fauna of this place is one of the best experiences you should enjoy in Peru.
As well as the Inca Trail being the best known trek in the area, several trekking alternatives do not require any permits to do them. Among them is the Ausangate Trek, a perfect tour for people who want to explore the beauty of the mountains of Peru. It is undoubtedly an unforgettable tour for mountain trekking lovers.
Ausangate means “the one that gives life” and is considered a place to recharge good energy surrounded by extensive and beautiful turquoise lagoons like the Sibinacocha. In addition, you will get incredible views of peaks, snow-capped mountains, diverse flora, and the area’s fauna.
The Ausangate is a sacred mountain with great importance in the Andean cosmovision and is the tutelary apu of the Cusco region due to its energy and magic. This trek is famous for the pilgrimage of the Lord of Qoyllur Riti, which takes place every year in June to honor the harvest season and indigenous heritage.
To choose any of these incredible options, you must take into account the type of trip you want to do:
If you value your alone time, consider the Ausangate trek. This trek is recommended for people who love nature and want to get away from the big crowds to explore more pristine places in the Andes. While you will not see archaeological sites on this trail, you will connect with the environment more deeply.
On the other hand, the Inca Trail is for people who want to explore more archaeological sites and learn about the history of the Incas. It can be difficult to find tickets for this trek, but it is worth it. During this trek, you will feel like you are traveling back in time through ancient paths until you reach the wonder of the world, Machu Picchu.
Whichever hike you choose, we assure you that you will have an unforgettable experience in the imperial city of Cusco.
Which of these fascinating treks caught your attention the most?
Here we show you the best tours to the Inca Trail and Ausangate.