Salkantay and Ausangate: Two majestic glacier mountains in the navel of the world

Terra Explorer
December 15, 2020

Can you imagine hiking the most beautiful snow-capped mountains of the Andes while camping near deep blue lagoons, enjoying hot spring baths, going through passion fruit plantations, and watching flocks of red-headed parrots? You can experience this and much more in Peru thanks to the luxury adventure travel tours offered by Terra Explorer.


Si deseas alejarte del ritmo agitado de la ciudad y conectar con la calma de la naturaleza, no hay nada mejor que explorar los nevados Salkantay y Ausangate, consideradas en la cosmovisión andina como dioses o montañas sagradas.


Are you interested in enjoying adventure tourism exploring unique routes? We invite you to learn more about these remote destinations in the Andes.





A dramatic and imposing mountain, the fifth-highest in Peru and located about 100 kilometers southeast of the city of Cusco, at the height of 6,372 meters above sea level in the Vilcanota mountain range. From high above, it protects the imperial city.


The source of the Vilcanota river is very close to Ausangate. For this reason, it is believed that from this mountain, masculine water originates, fertilizing mother earth, the “Pachamama.”





At 6,271 meters above sea level, in the Vilcabamba mountain range is Salkantay mountain. Its name comes from native Quechua language; Salqa, which means wild and Antay, which means to create avalanches. Like Ausangate, this is a sacred mountain, and Apu or a God.


According to the National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, the hike to this glacier is one of the 25 best treks in the world.


The Myth of Salkantay and Ausangate



According to the legend told by the inhabitants of the area, Salkantay and Ausangate were two brothers who lived in the city of Cusco, and a time came when they both had to take different paths.


The town where they lived suffered a long season of drought, so they decided to venture into strange lands to find a way to save theirs. Salkantay went towards the Amazon, where he meets Veronica, who becomes his forbidden love.


While Ausangate headed south, towards the Altiplano, finding a great variety of food production. From there, he decides to send products such as meat, corn, and potatoes, thus saving his people.


Today, the only witnesses to this legend are both mountains. Sacred since the beginning of time, they continue to protect their surrounding villages.


What luxury tours do we offer in Terra Explorer?



Our team of adventure travel experts has designed fabulous itineraries, including uncrowded and hidden trails to awe-inspiring destinations. If you are looking for a trek through the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay or Ausangate, we invite you to try some of our exclusive routes:

Ausangate family hike 4 days & 3 nights


It is the perfect hike for people who want to explore the beauty of the mountains of Peru without having to cover long distances every day.


You will have the opportunity to have lunch with stunning views of the snowy Ausangate; camping surrounded by sceneries that are out of this world, hike an ascent towards a viewpoint that has outstanding view of the mountains; enjoy a bath in hot springs; and for two nights, camp in total comfort at Azulcocha, a turquoise and blue lagoon perched at the foot of Ausangate; among other activities throughout the four days of exploring these highlands.


Salkantay and Machu Picchu hike 5 days & 4 nights


For 4 days, you will cross mountain passes going over 4600 meters while enjoying the view of the mighty Salkantay and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The landscape will change drastically as it descends into a cloud forest, leaving aside the arid highlands and entering into areas of coffee and tropical species plantations.


Hike through banana, passion fruit, and avocado farmlands while observing flocks of red-headed parrots.


During the fifth day, you will have the opportunity to have an exceptional tour of Machu Picchu and climb the summit of Huaynapicchu, from where you can appreciate the Inca citadel differently.


Would you like to find out all of the exclusive trails we have designed for Salkantay and Ausangate? We invite you to check out our itineraries. Remember that we also create trips according to your needs and interests.


Now that you know more about the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Ausangate, would you like to see them? In Terra Explorer, we have several itineraries for you. If you want to be part of our adventures and know 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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