Machu Picchu Travel

Lagoons & Snow-Capped Mountains

Lagoons & Snow-Capped Mountains

Peru is certainly a place of adventure and history, where Cusco, previous capital of the Inca Empire, gathers most of the significant attractions of the region. In addition to the archeological sites, it’s fortunate location offers easy access to several natural wonders, where snow-capped mountains, beautiful lagoons, and spellbinding valleys will leave you breathless.

The Andes mountain range is recognized for its towering mounts that delimit a great part of South America, from nearly head to toe. Luckily, the vast Peruvian territory is located in these lands, granting it of valuable natural resources that makes it even more diverse.

There are different mountains in Cusco, where the most imposing ones were held as deities by the Inca culture. During the height of the famous civilization, they managed to establish a religious autonomy throughout the Andes, where they believed that the mountains were “Apus,” spirits that protected their lands, people, and crops.

Therefore, each one of them has a distinctive story beyond their everlasting beauty and greatness. On this blog, we want to portray the esoteric side of the adventures ahead, whilst trying to promote environmental awareness and fun!

Nowadays, Cusco is the principal travel destination for most tourists in Peru and South America itself, not only for housing one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, but for the many activities and attractions it offers.

If you’re the adventurous type of traveler, then this is the best option for you, where the jaw-dropping scenery of the region will captivate you. Immerse yourself in the sacred lands of the Incas and experience the divinity of these mountains by yourself!

Ausangate Mountain

Right at the heart of the Vilcanota mountain range lies the 6th highest peak of Peru, the Ausangate Mountain. The famous snow-capped mountain is located 100 kilometers away from Cusco and can be visualized from Sacsayhuaman and even from the Rainbow Mountain since it is located just in front of it. 

The so-called Apu of the Andes is surrounded by beautiful water bodies, intriguing stone forests, and glaciers which complement the whole scenery as a paradise on earth. Also, the Andean mysticism covers the entire region, where ancestral traditions, ceremonies, and the legacy of the Incas remains in the heart of the surrounding villages.

During the pre-Columbian era, each region of the Andes had its protector, represented by the towering mountains near these communities. The Ausangate, for example, was considered the birthplace of the “Masculine Energy” where its turquoise-water lagoons fertilized the Pachamama. 

Nowadays, an ancient festival is celebrated at the foothills of Ausangate called Qoyllur Riti, a Quechua word which means “Star Snow” in English. It is a celebration that takes place every year before Corpus Christi and it was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2004.

Certainly, the views along the Ausangate path are uncomparable. For those up to his challenge an incredible scenery awaits to be discovered. If you’re interested in taking this adventure, keep in mind that the trek has a moderate to challenging difficulty since you’ll be hiking through altitudes over the 4,200 meters above sea level

It takes from 4 to 5 days to complete the trek, therefore, you must be prepared for this physically demanding activity. For more information about the Ausangate Trek, please contact our local expert team.

Salkantay Mountain

It is one of the most recognized mounts in Peru since the trail to this imposing natural wonder takes you to the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Mountain is located at 6,264 meters above sea level, it is also one of the highest peaks in Peru, and a representative sacred figure to the Incas.

Just like the Ausangate Mountain, the Salkantay is surrounded by an otherworldly ecosystem, composed of towering mountains, beautiful lagoons, and an impressive flora and fauna. It is worth mentioning that if you’re lucky enough you’ll get to see the majestic Andean Condor.

Also, according to the Andean cosmovision, the salkantay mountain represented another Apu to the Incas since they considered it as a protector of the Limatambo, Mollepata, Machu Picchu, and Choquequirao towns. The ancient civilization made offerings and performed rituals to ask for the protection of their lands and crops. 

Nowadays, it is the most sought after option to visit the Machu Picchu citadel since it is the best alternative to the famous Inca Trail. It takes 4 to 5 days to get to Machu Picchu by the Salkantay pass; if you wish more information about the Salkantay Trek, please check our informative guide.

Humantay Lagoon

The water bodies in the Peruvian highlands are certainly beautiful, but the Humantay Lake stands out from the rest due to its authentic emerald coloration produced by the microalgae and the concentration of minerals in its waters.

The Humantay Lagoon is located at 4,200 meters above sea level, flanked by the beautiful Humantay snow-capped mountain. This dream-like scenery is situated 120 kilometers away from the city of Cusco in the Soraypampa town.

It takes about 2 hours to get to this lagoon from this small town, the trek is considered to be quite challenging but totally worth it. Learn more about the Humantay Lake here.

If you wish to experience the vast Cusqueñan lands by yourself, then we encourage you to take a look at our travel packages, all of them end in Cusco and include the best attractions in our country. 

Whether you’re looking for a short trip or a long vacation through our country, Viagens Machu Picchu provides everything you need to help you uncover the wonders of Peru.

Cusco has many adventures for you and we'd love to show you everything about them! If you're planning the perfect itinerary through this magical region, don't miss this blog about the best 10 day trips from Cusco so you can make the most of your experience.

Package suggestions