Cusco Trekking Tours that do not end in Machu Picchu: Choquequirao and Ausangate

Cusco Trekking Tour on horse

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Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu and more Machu Picchu. We’re not saying you don’t have to visit Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley, no way! What we’re telling you is that there’s so much more to see in the Andes. If you are looking to do a Cusco trekking tour and enjoy the lesser-known Inca ruins in the middle of the Andean nature with tranquility and privacy, it is possible with these two treks to Cusco.

Choquequirao and Ausangate are the rough diamonds of Cusco trekking tours. At the moment little known, but in a few years, who knows. We will not get here to imagine what it will be or not, but it’s good that we warn you to keep in mind, we watch over your enjoyment.

Choquequirao Trek

Choquequirao, besides having a very curious name, is a truly challenging 62-kilometer trek. Traveling Choquequirao and crossing diverse ecosystems in the Andes Mountains with incredible views of the Inca ruins is a tempting plan, we warn you.

All in all, Choquequirao is a precious ancient Inca city that sits above the Apurimac River canyon. Considered by many to be ‘the hidden Machu Picchu’ it is larger and less touristy, which makes it perfect.
Perfect if you love adventure and prefer to escape from places with lots of tourists, of course.

Ruins in Choquequirao Trek

To consider in Choquequirao Trek

  • From November to March there may be landslides or river floods.
  • The descents and ascents are quite steep, trekking poles can be of great help.
  • The climate is similar to that of Cusco City.
  • Only 30% of the ruins have been discovered, what you see is a tiny part of what is there!

Ausangate Trek

The Ausangate is one of the most important Apus of Peru from the Inca period. It is impressive to see its more than 6.380 meters. If thinking about it has given you altitude sickness don’t worry, the trekking to Ausangate is around it and only reaches 5.200 meters, that’s done!

The tour includes Andean and even high Andean landscapes – we expected nothing less at 5.200 meters! On this trek through the Andean mountain range you can see Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, an irresistible 2X1. This all sounds good, but discovering the essence of the Andean villages, surrounded by unique flora and fauna, makes it even better.

Ausangate mountain

And best of all, this 55-kilometer circular route is free of crowds. The most authentic nature of Ausangate, you and a camera. Well, and the baths in the hot springs that this trail offers may also help you make up your mind.

To consider in Ausangate Trek

  • It is a demanding route, is not signposted and runs at an average of 4.900 meters above sea level.
  • The weather conditions may suffer sudden variations.
  • There’s no mobile coverage.
  • The sun in high mountains is dangerous, do not forget the sunscreen.

Choosing is always difficult, but with this information you will find it easier to choose a trek in Cusco, or so we hope. Whether your thing is the Andean nature at high altitudes or you prefer to continue discovering Inca ruins, you know there’s a perfect plan for you. Which one do you choose?


Journalist, nomad and adventurer. Paula would never say no to a camping trip and is an expert in setting up a tent in less than 10 seconds.

Besides that, she loves to dance and maybe that's why she loves Latin America so much. One of her best trips was to Argentina, but she has many more destinations behind her, which she talks about in this blog.

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