Climbers hiking up the snow slopes of PumahuancaClimbers hiking up the snow slopes of Pumahuanca

Climb Pumahuanca (5,350m/17,548ft)

Duration: 2 Days / 1 Night
Level: Basic (PD)

Pumahuanca rises above the city of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The perfect peak if you are short on time but still want to get up a peak close to Cusco. This is a great climb for beginners, technically easy and a good workout over two days. You will enjoy this side trip from the busy tourist areas to see the Sacred Valley from above!

View from the airplane of Salkantay mountain, Vilcabamba range, Cusco, Peru.View from the airplane of Salkantay mountain, Vilcabamba range, Cusco, Peru.

Climb Salkantay (6,279m/20,595ft)

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Level: Advanced (D+)

The great Apu Salkantay is one of the more difficult mountains to climb in Peru and is rarely attempted. Salcantay is the highest mountain close to Machu Picchu. The first ascent was in 1952, and until 1988 about eighteen teams had made the summit of Salkantay.  For many years after, no teams were able to climb the mountain. Some people disappeared or died while trying in the attempt, giving this peak its savage reputation. 

Since 2013 Sky High Andes has led five successful expeditions to the summit of Salkantay, being the only guides in Peru that are experts on this mountain. The easiest route is the North Face, but you still get over 800m of exposed ice/snow climbing mostly around 60-70°. I have also made the summit by the East ridge which is more difficult. Salkantay is for mountaineers who want a challenge and wish to climb the most sacred of the Andean summits.

A perfect day on the top of YayamariA perfect day on the top of Yayamari

Climb Yayamari (6,050m/19,844ft)

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights
Level: Basic (PD)

Yayamari is a large, heavily glaciated mountain in the remote Cordillera Vilcanota range. Perfect for your first climb over 6,000 meters because it is the easiest big peak to climb in Cusco. The name Yayamari means “Father of the lakes” in Quechua because of the many lagoons around the mountain. We will walk along lake Sibinacocha, the largest lake at 4,900mts altitude anywhere in the world. You can see the largest tropical glacier in the world, the “Ritipampa de Quelcaya”, lying SE of Yayamari.

The big glacier of Nevado Chumpe (Jatunriti) in the Vilcanota rangeThe big glacier of Nevado Chumpe (Jatunriti) in the Vilcanota range

Climb Chumpe (6,110m/20,040ft)

Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Level: Basic/Intermediate (PD)

Nevado Chumpe is also known as Jatunriti which means “big ice mountain” in Quechua. Piero Ghiglione called it Yanaloma on the first ascent in 1955. It is a large, broad mountain on the northern side of the Cordillera Vilcanota range. The third highest peak in Cusco after Ausangate and Salkantay. You will gain good glacier travel experience on this mountain. Close to the summit we have a bit of steeper climbing over a crevasse. This mountain is easier than Ausangate making it the perfect option for you to get above 6,000 meters (20,000ft).

Traversing the summit crest of Nevado CaracolTraversing the summit crest of Nevado Caracol

Climb Caracol (5,625m/18,450ft)

Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Level: Basic/Intermediate (AD)

The peak of Caracol is a more technical alternative just across the valley from Campa. There are a few steeper sections but most of the snow climbing is 50° – 60°.

A rope team arrives to the summit of Campa peakA rope team arrives to the summit of Campa peak

Climb Campa (5,500m/18,040ft)

Duration: 3 Days / 2 Nights
Level: Basic (F)
Have you wanted to climb a mountain for the first time? Campa is the easiest mountain to climb in the Cusco region so it’s perfect for your first time to climb a peak. The summit offers a spectacular panoramic view of the giant peaks of Ausangate and the Vilcanota range. Climbing Campa is also a cultural experience to see the alpaca herding village of Pacchanta in the high Andes. This village boasts hot thermal baths and clear views of the starry night.

Sky High Andes climbs the summit of AusangateSky High Andes climbs the summit of Ausangate

Climb Campa (5,500m/18,040ft) & Ausangate (6,384m/20,939ft)

Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Level: Basic / Intermediate (AD)

Nevado Ausangate is the 5th highest peak in Peru at 6,384m, and the highest mountain in the Cusco region. Ausangate is the most well-known peak for mountaineering in Cusco and can be seen from many places in the city. The first ascent to the summit in 1953 was led by the famous Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. He was part of the first team to conquer the north face of the Eiger and protagonist of the book/movie “Seven Years in Tibet”. The normal route is moderately technical and you need good stamina to break trail on the summit plateau. We are experts in climbing this iconic mountain where I have made the summit twelve times to date. If you are thinking to climb Ausangate, we have a proven record to get you to the top!

Climbing Campa first will give us a steady acclimatization to go higher. And motivate us with fantastic summit views while being surrounded by the giants of the Vilcanota Range.

Ausangate Half Circuit Trek (3 days 2 Nights)

Duration: 3 Days / 2 Nights
Level: Beginner

This route is half of the Ausangate full circuit trek. Perfect if you want to see the these incredible mountains, but do not have time to do the full trek. Our shorter route takes you to the highlights of this trail and finishes at the village of Pacchanta. Enjoy the thermal baths at night, as the alpenglow fades on Ausangate and the stars of the milky way shine brightly.

Nevados Callangate behind the village of PacchantaNevados Callangate behind the village of Pacchanta

Ausangate Front Range Trek (4 days / 3 Nights)

Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Level: Beginner

This trek is a shorter alternative to the normal Ausangate circuit trek. The Front Range Trek gives you impressive views of Mount Ausangate and Callangate while on a rarely traveled trail. You can experience all the highlights of the Vilcanota mountain range, including the thermal baths in Pacchanta. To finish, we camp by the large turquoise Lagoon Singrenacocha, more impressive than any lagoon on the normal circuit trek.

Hikers on the Vilcanota Circuit Trek with Sky High AndesHikers on the Vilcanota Circuit Trek with Sky High Andes

Vilcanota Circuit Trek (7 days / 6 Nights)

Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Level: Beginner

On this rugged trek you explore deeply into the remote Vilcanota mountain range. Our trail circles the 20,000ft mountains anchoring the center of the range, instead of just Ausangate like the normal trek. This route is longer than the normal trek but better because we get far off the beaten path. You hike between the big glaciers of the range, and visit the most impressive lagoons: Sibinacocha and Singrenacocha. You will see vicuñas and many bird species that are not seen on the normal Ausangate trek. The Vilcanota Trek is similar to the Huayhuash Trek in length and beauty.

You can combine this trek with easy climbing peaks like Campa (5,500m) or Chumpe (6,110m).