Ancascocha trek: A relatively unexplored route in the heights of the Andes

Terra Explorer
December 18, 2020

The Inca Trail or Qapac Ñam in Quechua was the road network that connected Tahuantinsuyo, with a length of 5200 kilometers. It started in Quito (Ecuador), passing through Cuzco, and ended in what is now Tucumán, Argentina.


Today, it is not only limited to the famous section that culminates in the citadel of Machu Picchu but continues to be the bridge between many communities in the heights of the Andes.


The Ancascocha trek is no exception; it joins the towns of Limatambo and Camicancha. It bears this name in honor of the beautiful turquoise lagoon perched at the base of a snow-capped mountain, located halfway. During the three days that it lasts, we will not only dare natural landscapes of shocking beauty, but we will also feel detained in time.


It may interest you: Qhapaq Ñan: the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu


What does Terra Explorer offer you?


The Ancascocha Trek is a continuous ascent through forests of native trees that take us along this projected path along the bases of impressive snow-capped peaks, edges of sky-colored lagoons, and views of glaciers. We then descend through the slopes of a valley on the verge of the confluence of several rivers, while, among the hummingbird song, the wild fauna and flora reappear.


Finally, an impressive view of the Apu Verónica welcomes us to the town of Camicancha.


This trek ends just 15 minutes from the Ollantaytambo town, from where you can get on the luxury train to Machu Picchu. If you consider yourself more adventurous, in Terra Explorer, we offer you a trek that connects Ancascocha with the last 13 kilometers of the Inca Trail that will take you to Machu Picchu.


You can be interested in: Adventure Tourism, exploring the inaccessible



Day 1

We drive from the city of Cusco to the town of Limatambo, towards the Osotacancha community, in the quiet Sondor valley.


We begin to ascend gently through the Lechería gorge, parallel to the river that bears the same name, crossing fields of crops and livestock. Shortly after, the path becomes steeper until you reach a narrow and humid area that houses a spectacular Queuñas forest, a native Andean tree. After crossing the forest, we advance to the Huascapampa area, where our chef will be waiting for us with a delicious lunch.


We continue to our camp in Qewllacocha, a quiet area located in the high Andean highlands. At night we will have a star-filled sky above us.


Day 2


Today is a spectacular day and the most demanding on the route. We will continue our ascent through the Andean highlands to cross two mountain passes; the first is the Accojasa pass (4700mt.) where the snowy peaks of Huayanay will give us a surprising and spectacular welcome. After the Huayanay pass (4600mt), the second and last step of the route, we will begin the descent for the rest of the walk, thus arriving at the foot of the Huayanay mountain. We will take advantage of this beautiful place to have lunch very close to the glacier of this mountain. Then, we continue descending towards the valley with the spectacular view of the Ancascocha lagoon, the snow-capped mountains that surround it, original vestiges of an ancient Inca trail, among other beautiful natural settings.


We walk a little more until we reach our luxury camping, where a well-deserved rest and a delicious happy hour will be waiting for us.



Day 3


Today we descend continuously until the end of the route. We leave the arid punas to enter a leafy valley full of exquisite and abundant Andean flora, hummingbirds, and, hopefully, flocks of parrots. We will see the confluence of three rivers, and, suddenly, the snowy Verónica will surprise us with its spectacular beauty and impressive presence. As we continue, the valley is transformed into a narrow canyon that carries the waters of the Sillque river to the town of Camincancha, the endpoint of the route.


Here our transport will be waiting for us to take us to the town of Ollantaytambo, where we can board the train that will take us to the town of Machu Picchu or your hotel in the valley, or the city of Cusco.


If you still feel like continuing to explore and discover new places, you can extend two more days making the end of the Inca Trail.



Inca Trail


Day 4


In the morning we will take the train in Ollantaytambo to Km. 104 of the railway, starting point of our walk. We will first pass through the ruins of Chachabamba, and then we will start a four-hour ascent where we will have a spectacular view of the Urubamba Valley until we reach the magnificent ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). From here, we will continue our journey through one of the best-preserved sections of the Inca Trail, crossing a humid cloud forest folded with varied flora and fauna. Finally, we will cross the threshold of the Intipunku (Puerta del Sol), after which we will find an unforgettable panorama of natural beauty and human mastery: the magical city of Machu Picchu.


Then we will board a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes.


Day 5


Today we visit the citadel of Machu Picchu carefully. Upon arrival, we will have a complete guided tour of the site and then time to explore it freely. Optionally, we can go up to the summit of Huayna Picchu, where we can appreciate Machu Picchu from a different angle, with an impressive panorama of the surrounding mountain peaks and the magnificent gorge of the Urubamba canyon.


In the afternoon, we will take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes and then board the train that will take us back to the city of Cusco.


Now that you know more about Ancascocha, do you want to live an incredible adventure along this path? In Terra Explorer, we offer you different itineraries.  If you want to be part of our adventures and discover Peru in an authentic and spectacular way, get in touch with us and we will help you design the trip of your dreams!

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