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Ausangate Trek – The tourist route for travelers through Peru

Ausangate Trek – The tourist route for travelers through Peru

Traveling has become an obsession for those of us who inhabit this planet that seems to be permanently on the verge of social and environmental explosion in the world of travelers: if in 1950 25 million travelers traveled around the world, in 2018 more than 1,400 million did so now more tourists to travel.

We think that the destination that begins to travel should not be understood as the space of transit that the traveler has before conquering the snowy peaks of Ausangate, the colossus that watches over and legislates the world, nor as the gateway to the exultant Amazon, no, sticking to those narrow definitions make the route one more adventure destination that hides in its traces the infinite wealth of a land blessed by history and nature, of a territory inhabited for more than five thousand years by a race of men and women, the Ausaganterunas, who learned to live in harmony with the pachamama, the apus and their most beautiful creatures: the alpacas and llamas of their bofedales, the vizcachas that doze on their stony rocks, the condors that fly over their sidereal heights. And with the spirits and the festivals of dancers and pilgrims who have fed the faith of all their children since ancient times – oki doki operator.

CCATCCA, capital of Andean Spirituality – Operator:

The name of the district dates from the Inca period, then our town was known as Q’asqa, in Quechua or runasimi, broken or broken, this as a result of its geographical location. Since then, Ccatcca began to take on great importance, being an obligatory step on the exchange route for various products between Cusco (Qosco) and the Antisuyo region.

It is so that today the inhabitants and master craftsmen continue to preserve this magnificent diversity of living culture inherited from our ancestors and consequently, its worthy representative has the noble task of perpetuating all these manifestations that make the people of Ccatcca so particular and also share this originality with all its visitors. In this sense, you are cordially invited to know the different tourist attractions of the district for the articulation of the Ausangate Tourist Route project.

Admire the colonial San Juan Bautista temple and learn about the work of our master weavers whose work preserves the ancient techniques that we have inherited from our ancestors. Visit the Cuyuni viewpoint, the start of the Ausangate Route and participate, if you visit us in June, in the traditional Chaca Chutay, the construction collective representation of a symbolic bridge over the Ccatcca river with straw braids and ropes made from queuña and ccolle branches. In the same way, we invite you to enjoy the main festivities of our district: the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen that we celebrate in July, the Pachamama Raymi, the celebration in homage to Mother Earth that takes place during the first week of August. and of course the feast of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i, the largest pilgrimage in Latin America. We await you with open arms.

Ocongate for the world of travelers:

this guide to the Ausangate Route, promoted by the Technical Board integrated by the districts of Ccatcca, Ocongate and Marcapata in the PeruBrasil interoceanic corridor, with the purpose of showing visitors who arrive at our destination, the attractions that the district has of Ocongate such as the snow-capped Ausangate, the thermal baths of Pacchanta and Upis, the lagoons of Singrinacocha, Upiscocha, Qomercocha, Pucacocha, the varied and colorful designs in textile crafts and others.

Ocongate is an ancient town, proud of its past, whose men and women have known how to respectfully respect the customs and ways of life of their ancestors and that in these times of globalization they want to show the world for traveler excursions.

Marcapata, gateway for travelers – Operator:

Located halfway between the cities of Cusco and Puerto Maldonado, Marcapata is the gateway to the “cloud forest”. Also known as the “mist capital” due to the abundance of clouds that come from the Atlantic, our district was part of an ancient gold and coca route that linked the Amazon with the Andes – Okidoki operator.

Around this route, different temples were built that make up the so-called Andean Baroque Route. One of them, the temple of San Francisco de Asís de Marcapata built in mud, stone and wood in the eighteenth century. The roof of the monumental work is made of ichu and only ropes were used in its construction.

The walls of our church preserve mural paintings of great beauty, its thresholds are made of elderberry and the floor is made of red and yellow queuña. The importance of the temple, its strategic location and, in particular, the peculiar ceremony that takes place every four years around it, has motivated it to be recognized as Cultural Heritage of the Nation (2015) and to be included in the list prepared by the World Monuments Fund of the sites that require help Urgent to ensure its conservation.

Trip to the Amazon in Ausangate Trek:

Wasichacuy and or Iglesiawasichay, as it is said in Quechua, repaje in Spanish, is the festival that brings together the nine communities of the district, some located in the highlands, which have a unique scenic beauty and others in the intermediate part where we have the famous baths. thermo-medicinal guard pacemaker also diverse archaeological remains that date from the Inca era and is proud of its warm valleys where fruit and vegetable production is worked with its flagship product, the rocoto. Welcome travelers to this beautiful land of Ausangate.

The Tourist Route in Apu Ausangate Trek – A guide for new travelers through Peru:

Mount Ausangate (Awsanqati in Quechua) is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, its maximum elevation is 6,384 msnm. It is located about 100 kilometers southeast of the city of Cusco.

Ausangate Trek location:

It is located in the Andes Mountains, in a stretch called the Vilcanota Mountains excellent for hiking in the mountains, lakes and lagoons of the Ausangate, corresponding to the Cusco region in the Peru. Its main peak is at 6,384 meters above sea level with large lagoons with a luminous and beautiful green/blue color.

Legend and Tradition of the Ausangate Trek:

In Inca mythology from this mountain and the nearby lakes – among which Sibinacocha stands out – is born the masculine energy that fertilizes mother earth Pachamama; after a long discourse, the waters are lost in the ignoble lands of the Amazon to return, to fill the lakes and glaciers every night turned into the river of stars or Willkamayu known in the West as the Milky Way. The Community of Chillca consisting of llama and alpaca herders is known as the guardian of these pristine places, from where you can do mountain hikes spending the night in comfortable hostels or tambos, among which stand out Machuracay Tambo, on a trek called “Road of the Lord Ausangate”:

  • Type: Adventure – Hike in Ausangate
  • Country(s): Peru
  • Coordinates of Ausangate: 13°47′19′′S 71°13′52′′N
  • Altitude: 6,384 msnm
  • Sierra: Vilcanota Mountain Range
  • Mountains of Peru: Andes
  • Route from Ausangate: Cusco – Tinke – Pacchanta
  • Topographic isolation of Ausangate: 245.69 miles of travel.

Every year on the north side of Apu Ausangate the festival of Qoyllur Rit’i (Quechua: “star snow”) has been celebrated since time immemorial before the feast of Corpus Christi, during which thousands of devotees visit it every year – Peru Operator.

Vilcanota Mountain Range on the Ausangate Trek:

Three local mountain ranges for trekking in the Andes – Vilcabamba, Vilcanota and Paucartambo – define the orography of Cusco – Peru.

  1. “The Vilcabamba mountain range is located to the northwest of the department. The rivers and ravines that make up the Apurímac River precipitate along its western flank, while the tributary waterfalls of the Urubamba are located on its eastern flank. Among its highest elevations are the Salcantay (6,271 m), the Pumasillo (6,070m) and the Sajsarayoc (6,050 m).
  2. The Vilcanota mountain range, aligned to the east of the river of the same name, is home to the snow-capped Ausangate (6,372 m), the highest point in the department and the fifth highest in Peru.
  3. With a lower altitude, the Paucartambo mountain range is located to the east, on the border with the Madre de Dios region”. (Regional Atlas of Peru, volume 1, Ediciones Peisa, 2004).

A regional history – The Ausangaterunas of Quispicanchi:

To the south of Cusco, between the valleys of the Vilcanota and Tinquimayo rivers, in the districts of Ccatcca, Ocongate and Marcapata, the powerful and vital Ausangate mountain range rises, a gigantic massif about 100 kilometers long decorated by a multitude of snow-capped peaks that seem to touch the sky with their perpetual snow: one of them, the apu Ausangate, the main, most notable and revered mountain of the southern Peruvian Andes.

In that territory of glacial valleys in Ausangate, winding roads, endless hollows and extreme climates where any human enterprise seems impossible, the ausangaterunas live and die, men and women of this story that We present the Ausangate Tourist Route, a new proposal for responsible tourism that invites you to visit the most extraordinary corners of a nation of partygoers, high-altitude shepherds, Peruvian men and women who diligently build their future and that of their children without give up their ancestral customs and traditions Ausangate Trek.

Basically high altitude shepherds, the uywamichiq punarunakunas, as Jorge Flores Ochoa called them, the main scholar of life in these highlands, have been integrating into the regional economy and the rest of the country in recent decades in their contemporary condition as ranchers, producers agroforestry, merchants, artisans, tourism entrepreneurs, service providers and professionals.

Hence the importance of knowing through this guide some of the main features of the extraordinary culture that has been forged over thousands of years on these edges of the planet, in these highlands where life has been able to renew itself under the watchful eye of gaze of some mountains revered by their children since the beginning of time.

Although the data on the settlement of the heights of Cusco are still imprecise, we know that the current province of Quispicanchi was initially inhabited by the Cuyos, an ethnic group originating from the Amazonian plains that settled in these heights to control access to the region. of Mother of God.

Those whose exchanged llamas and alpacas from Ausangate for coca produced in the warm valleys of the provinces of Quispicanchi and Paucartambo. These exchanges, at least that is what the evidence of the records of caravans of mules and llamas from the colonial era, have been extended almost to the present day. Let’s say that since then the commercial relationship between the inhabitants of the Vilcanota mountain range, where the Ausangate massif is located, and the inhabitants of the jungle near Cusco, have
been constant and very fluent.

There are infinite mentions of this commercial relationship between the high altitude shepherds and the inhabitants of the mountain slopes. Garcilaso de la Vega recounts that the Inca Yahuar Huaca in the mid-fifteenth century launched himself in command of his troops to conquer the towns that inhabited the Amazonian plains, a military enterprise which meant great efforts for his armies and witnessed the heroic defense of the ethnic groups settled in those regions.

There are numerous Inca occupation centers in the Amazonian plain, as evidenced by the name of Amaru Mayo that they gave to the Madre de Dios River. In addition, it is known that Harakbuts and Matsigenkas from the other side of the mountain range maintained commercial links with Wari and Tiahuanaco outposts. In fact, in the wachiperi tradition, one of the ethnic families of the Harakbut nation, the use of bronze axes exchanged for feathers and precious stones in times of Inca hegemony is mentioned.

The foregoing serves to understand the constant and very particular forms of commercial and cultural exchange existing between the inhabitants of the highlands, highland pastoralists for more than five thousand years, and the original inhabitants of the cloud forests and the Amazonian plain.

Llamichos and paqocheros in Ausangate Trek:

The domestication of llamas and alpacas, and the management of pastures that this entails, occurred in the high Andes around 2,500-2,000 B.C., and are the main events of this story. As is known, South American camelids have been used for five millennia by the inhabitants of the highlands in order to take advantage of their fiber, their meat, the carrying capacity of their better-constituted individuals and even their excrement than in an area of the planet without major tree cover is used as fuel.

Domesticating them meant a radical change in the life of the first Ausangaterunas who went from exclusive dependence on hunting large mammals to a way of life centered around hunting wild camelids and deer and grazing llamas and alpacas. The men and women on our tour had become llamichos and paqocheros, trades that they continue to practice despite the passing of the centuries.

They were engaged in these tasks when the so-called “meeting of two worlds” began, the conquest of these tributary regions of the Tahuantinsuyu by the troops of Francisco Pizarro. The social cataclysm caused by the Spanish invasion meant for the semi-nomadic shepherds of Quispicanchi notable changes in the relationship they maintained with the centers of power, which caused a decrease in exchanges with the inhabitants of the inter-Andean valleys through the Ausangate.

The policy of “reductions of Indians in Cusco – Peru” imposed by Viceroy Toledo in 1572 with the aim of subduing the Andean peoples under his yoke tried to dismember the social fabric of the Incas that had been hatched in the heights of the province for centuries.

The Ausangaterunas fought such unjust colonial provisions to destroy and make disappear the customs of the Incas, retreating to the most unfathomable heights of their mountain range. And persevering in their customs and ways of bonding with the surrounding landscape of ausangate trek.

The pastoral life to which they were accustomed maintained its historical characteristics despite the impact of culture
west brought by the conquerors. Western religion merging with indigenous beliefs, jealously guarded for several centuries, began the process of cultural syncretism that has been the common denominator of the way of life of the inhabitants of the Peruvian Andean south since the 16th century. Let’s say that the fusion between the western and the Andean began to draw a different face in the province.

The llamichos and paqocheros became believers and pilgrims and their huacas became places of prayer and some cases in appropriate spaces for the construction of the imposing churches that have survived time. The entire region was shocked by the birth of a popular faith alien to the colonial hierarchy and often contrary to the canons imposed from the Vatican.

This motivated, after the first years of the conquest, persecutions against the new parishioners and repeated campaigns of “extirpation of idolatries”, the religious offensive that trying to persecute the paganism of the Ausangaterunas ended up imposing a religiosity capable of intertwining the saints and the liturgy catholic with the magical beings of the world-another of the inhabitants of the highlands.

The apus that the men and women of this province had revered since ancient times acquired characters and behaviors typical of the new religion. The dictates of the altomisayoc or Andean priests began to share space in the ideas and minds of the local inhabitants with the preaching of the doctrinal priests and the fervor of believers in the faith brought from Europe to make the Inca race disappear, which until currently exist.

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    FAQs Frequently asked questions of our travelers

    What are the Apus in the Ausangate Trek? At the top of the entities that populate Andean religiosity is find the apu, the protective spirit of the hill (urqu). For the inhabitants of the Andean heights the hill, the mountain, orders the life of human beings, plants and animals. Therefore, the hills, mountains, valleys, are imbued with a guardian spirit, they organize the world, it is directed by the Andean apus. And, of course, they become protectors of the towns installed on their flanks. Thus, each town, each community, has its own apu. The Ausangate is the most important in the province of Quispicanchi and in all of Cusco, since it dominates, due to its colossal stature, all the other apus. They have a life similar to ours, they are masters and lords of the territories that they dominate in all parts of Andean Peru. And just like men, they tend to be grumpy, kind, generous, irascible, inflexible… and they usually have spouses, sons, daughters, relatives, properties and herds in all parts of the world.

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